I was sitting at the kitchen table when my dad told me a story about a woman whose husband showed up to the school she teaches at and beat her. I expressed my anger but as soon as my dad left, my eyes filled with tears.
These are the tears of the Womb(man). The raping. The beating. The burning. The selling. The killing. I am her. You are here too. The pain lies dormant in our bodies.
The pain in my own body is triggered.
I’ve reached a point in my healing where I’m ready to move on to the next phase. I’m ready to stop bleeding. I’m ready to transcend the pain. I’m tired of feeling sad. I’m tired of feeling stuck. I’m tired of feeling homelessness in my own skin.
I’m ready to reclaim my body.
I cannot talk about reclaiming my body without talking about sex. Sex for a rape survivor is a very confusing and complex subject. Is it an intimate exchange or a bargaining tool for the love we hunger for? I disassociate during sex. This is the coping mechanism I used to survive my assault. I reach a point of panic where my mind and spirit leave my body. I run as far away as I can. I run, tightly grasping the shame and pain of a burden that I didn’t ask for.
I’m ready to unpack the shame along with the pain.
I know there is more beyond this road block. There is personal power. There is confidence. There is freedom.
I have to go back to the moment I surrendered. I have to go back to that small, suffocating, hostel room. Bring myself back into my body. Back to the moment my spirit left because it could not comprehend that level of pain. I must go back there to take my life back.
I finally understand why my fear of abandonment is so paralyzing. For many years I hated myself because I thought I had abandoned myself that day. It wasn’t abandonment. It was self protection; I didn’t know what else to do. I loved myself so much that I cocooned myself from the pain.
That moment had me and my body in a chokehold since I was 17. Today I release its hold on me. Today I step back into myself.
My body is beautiful, the kind of beauty that has survived horror and still smiles. I’m safe to accept a compliment without fearing the motive. It’s ok to pamper and let myself shine. It’s ok to dress up and celebrate my body. Looking good did not cause the attack and beauty did not cause the pain.
My body is feminine without being less than or weak. It’s ok for someone to be attracted to me. My body is full and curvy and I will no longer burden myself with the guilt of men who don’t know how to control themselves.
My body is safe to experience pleasure without shame. It’s safe to touch and be touched. It can say yes. It can say no. It is safe to explore and express, to learn what it likes and what it doesn’t like.
My body is safe to let go of the pain that no longer serves it.
Reclaiming my body is to no longer tolerate or enable abuse from others or myself. It is to no longer barter my body for love. It is to cultivate a healthy relationship with my body and to be the authority of my sexuality and sensuality. It is allowing myself to be selfish with my body. Reclaiming my body is seeing its scars and in spite of them embracing, loving and nurturing my own body more intimately than I ever have before.
Ask yourself where you stash your pain. You might have left it there long time ago, this morning or a few moments ago. Close your eyes and go within. Go to the place where you hide what you are ashamed of. When you start to feel fear and panic you know you are close. Here is where you will find the keys to your personal power. Here is where you will find yourself.
Want to explore deeper? Schedule a coaching session to take deeper look and identify the parts of you that you feel are keeping you stuck. I’ve been there and I want to share with you the tools Im using to set myself free. We all have to start somewhere and I’m here to serve you as a guide, coach or just a listening ear.