A lot Of people May reference that small Voice as their "Gut-feeling" , or "intuition". I've come to respect that discernment of decision-making as The guidance from The holy spirit...a "helper" If You Will in times when i can't make a definitive decision or Choice in my life.
Being vocal about My survival Of rape has been an On-going process. Sharing is only part Of The Equation, but living in that freedom Of truth has requiered me to be honest about a lot Of other areas in My life.
I realized in simple day-to-day interactions My ability to use My Voice was scarce. I Walked Around went to school, And work silencing myself or refraining from interactions that demanded the use Of my opinion or shared My preference.
I couldn't understand for The life Of me why certain conversations or moments like that intimidated me.
Then one day It dawned On me...My Voice was taken from The day My Body unwillingly became his that night.
I vocalizad to The individual who assaulted me to "stop", I vocally addressed that My boundaries Were being crossed And his physical response was "your Voice doesn't count, I'm going to continue doing What I want to do anyway."
The power in that moment was taken from me when My VOICE lost It's validity And worth from someone I trusted.
As a result, I carried this Notion with me in My every day life. So I avoided social interactions as Much as possible, ones I didn't feel I Had control in because My Past painted a pretty dissapointing picture Of the lack Of power My Voice possesed.
I exchaged My Voice for Victim, And I have spent several years after The Asaault to gain It Back.
Me regaining My Voice recquired honesty; starting with myself.
I Had to reteach myself that HOW I feel is valid. While still accepting that feelings don't rule my life, but they are good indicators about what's going on in my life.
I had to realize that not everyone speaks my language, but that shouldn't deter me or discourage me from living and speaking out my truth.
(If you have a preference in food, you don't have to tell the waiter the history behind why you choose NOT to eat red meat for example. You state your truth, they respect it, and the hope is they don't go back to the kitchen and tell the chef "throw a big slab of med-well filet Mignon on that veggie salad while your at it.")
But what if they don't respect your truth? What if they completely reject your choice to be sober, to be vegan, to be a follower of Jesus Christ, to be a feminist, to be celibate, to be a business owner, single, married, etc??
What matters is that in a world of inconsistency and insecurity, your safety is within yourself. Your peace is in knowing that your truths in life matter, and ought to be respected not tolerated.
Just because someone took you for granted. Just because they took advantage of you, lied, hurt, abused you does not mean your future will do the same.
FAITH is the act of believing without seeing. I had to have faith, real HONEST faith...that my convictions are values I don't need to feel inferior about.
When I'm not feeling 100% about a situation, person, or circumstance. I reflect on my core values. Does this ________ compromise the core of who I am, or compliment it?
It starts with identifying your core values, what you value and what you don't; whether it's relationships, careers, etc. if you wait for someone else to define your values and truths about you on life you will quickly find yourself in experiences that distract, detract, and disappoint.
I'm not saying I was at fault for being sexually assaulted. What I am saying is that moments leading Up to that experience my value was already being compromised; and it took some redefining and reestablishing my voice to trust "me" again inspite Of What was out Of My control.
Redifining & trusting your Voice again IS something You have control over moving forward. How Will You use It?
With love always,
Hello fellow readers!!
Consider The path You are walking On right now... The present nestled Next to your Past And future. Every so often We May find ourselves reflecting too long in either place which is a detriment to our individual growth. Today... We are speaking on an intentional healing methods by exposing the dangers of being a little too friendly with our "past". 🙇🏽
The Past is merely a reference point. Not a place for You to reposition yourself Back On when You start loosing Faith or when your fleshly desires have You distracted Just enough to make You believe..."all paved Roads taken doesn't Mean you're moving forward." So please... Check your surroundings; check yourself. God didn't deliver You in order for You to run Back to The very thing He Brought You out Of in The first place. At The end of The day, I've realized "Closure doesn't come from people It comes from Christ."
Soooo.... We know some of You are aware Of the cool New Facebook feature that includes pulling images Of your Past feeds, posts And photos to remind You Of The good ol' days.
Most are great reminders Of a great memory or moment Of our lives, "Ohhh The Sweet reminicing..." 😌
Everything is alll good until BOOM! A moment frozen in time that Looks a lot like an EX. Ex-relationship ex-career, a memory that triggered EXtra pain And hurt... We've all Had those moments; some are More controllable than others.. And no, not every person or experience that hurt us needs to continue mean And then perpetuate hurt in other areas Of our present/future lives.
We are merely suggesting that You open yourself to a NEW perspective; one that agrees You can make NEW meaning of things from your Past; And also discern What things of your Past need to be completly left alone!
This Notion of leaving memories of a broken- childhood, ending a toxic relationship, quitting an unfulfilling job, or forgiving The individual who raped me got me thinking about The story Of Lot. ( Check Genesis 19 for reference) 📖
It was said that God sent two Ángels to warn Lot that Him And his family needed to leave their Home And flee to a neighboring land because Sodom (where they lived) was going to be destroyed by tomorrow.
The angels also instructed Lot And his family to "...not look behind you, or stop anywhere in the entire valley; escape to the mountains [of Moab], or you will be consumed and swept away.”
The Next day, Lot And his family packed their things And left. Upon leaving, Lot's wife looked Back at Sodom And was instantly turned into a pillar of salt. (Perhaps this is why Past things have a tendency to leave one Bitter/ salty...🤔Just saying)
Everyone else except Lot's wife moved onto a higher place, to safety, And essentially their future.
This illustration Really struck Me.
At first I thought of Lot's wife saying "well maybe She forgot something? Maybe She wanted to take one good look at her Home before It saw It's last moments before destruction??"
But as I was Making excuses for Lot's wife God started convicting me...saying things like "you've been through a LOT. And like LOT You have some things better left behind. You can't gain closure in things that once hurt You. Your closure comes from Christ; not people or things."
It's Easier to know there is a safety Blanket in life when We are Trying out NEW things (You know...in case We Fail) But REAL Faith is trusting that there is something BETTER then What You left; or What God said for You to remove completely.
It doesn't always make sense...but God's ways are not our ways. If You believe Romans 8:28 which Simply states God is Working out Everything for your good, know that wherever you've been is not to be compared to where You are going; or More importantly where You are right now!
Keep Making space for your healing, your dream career, your loving relationship with self And others...We are believing with You.
And this NEW chapter starts when YOU turn The Page Queen! 📖👑
With Love & solidarity,
The poem below was submitted from a Queen we'd like to honor with this week's "contributer portion". We welcome anyone who has a story to share. A story that will give someone else hope, & perspective for the millions of individuals who face the complexities Having survived sexual violence. You can choose to be anonymous as we've chosen to do today. We honor her bravery, transparency, and strength. This is her story.💕
"A Letter To My Son"
For the tears I've shed...
The past I've led...
The months I carried you, and the manI'm raising you to be....
I prayed for a boy because I couldn't handle a girl, I hoped and I wished, I rubbed clothes in the store...Iprayed harder than ever and had faith like never before, I truly wanted a boy. you were never supposed to be here so your birth is a miracle in itself and Ilove everything about you. from your heartbeat to your feet, from your eyes to your nose, from your ears to your soul all the ways to incompase your life force..I love you so dear. But momma has a story to tell you and although it aint pretty, I hope it will explain some of the things I say. I'm raising you to be a gentleman through and through in every way, to love, to protect and to obey day by day...a NO means NO so that you dont ever forget it...whether you or your lady says it, please dont fight, dont try to persuade, dont take advantage, please just stop and walk away, dont makes excuses, dont be angry, just accept that a NO means NO in every single way...tears come easy and moments can take all your innocence away, all it takes is one time. Unfortunately my moments lasted longer, starting at the RIPE age of 9...my moments lasted 4 years, each time more sickening than the last, so my son please listen as i tell you my past. Don't become the thing, that monsterous being, that loose soul diabolical in scheme, that deadly drift...NO normal 10 year old contemplates suicide, connected to the ceiling fan from an orange jump rope tied around my neck waiting to jump off the stand...a swinging lifeless corpse swaying from the band...NO son dont be the reason and cause of that kind of pain. And yes it does happen at any age to any race to any gender, there is no debate no difference in any of that or weight. I vow to protect you with my life, but do you see what stfrife i would face if you were a girl? God saw fit to spare me that fate, i couldn't have watched myself grow grow for 8 1/2 to 9 to 13...so God gave me you, a true blue and i dont love you any less nor any little girl i see but mommy just couldnt handle you being born a she...and for that i will not make an excuse for you NO "boys will be boys" around here, not ever. Baby please listen to me, it would break my heart for tou to ever start...please dont be the creature who goes bump in the night, dont be the FREDDY to anyone's dreams, don't make them scared to dream or scream out, to make a sound, don't make them cringe whenever you're around...afraid to be alone with you for fear of what you will do, don't be be the thing that creates nightmares and robs them of their dreams. Silent screams, trying to act like the pain doesn't exist. Maybe pills will work this time, 56...pills crushed in half...dissovled in 1 bottle of water, murky beige was the color...i poisoned my system, could've/should've died that night right over there, couldn't even finish the whole bottle, only a quarter left to drink...Angry, angry at God, angry at everyone, couldn't process it out, didnt know how just cried inside myself as parts of me died...that was 19 im almost 25 now...you see the after effects from 13 to 19, relapse at 20...and 6 years bound. I would've cut my wrist all the way if i could've taken the pain, but God saw fit to spare me and i thank him for it now. Baby dont pity me, listen to me, love me, and really hear me...see me...for what i say im not just a victim i made it all the way, it doesnt matter if your rapist is the same age or older, related or not, it truly is all the same. If you ever meet a girl like me, treat her with the upmost care, love her dearly and just be there...above all pray for her, for all things are healed through prayer. May you stick up for her and protect her always. My personal aplogy and explination from God himself came 1 year beforw you were born. And it still makes me cry to this day, for the love lost in my very own heart was renewed, the trust lost made brand new. My son, my son I pray you NEVER go through what ive been through BUT with all I posses I pray even harder and longer that you never become the MONSTER inside the man I knew.
Soo we've taken an inventory of my communication skills, and we are no experts.
However, we think it's clear we all have patterns of communication and how we respond to challenges.
" Being a wife, there are times where my husband and I don't met eye to eye and disagree. My inate response would say it's fine and walk away maybe go to another room and cry which was not helping my marriage. These patterns of communication were similar to how I responded after being raped. There was an experience outside of my control, so I shut down, hid behind smiles and busy work, and went about my life."
Devin Marie: "I recently dealt with the harsh reality that my 20-something self has some unraveling and learning or should I say UN-learning to do in that department."
Not Everything has to be an attack...I'm learning to accept this fact through my channels Of communication.
Devin Marie: "When I was nine years old I was molested by a classmate During Choir rehersal. I Will never forget that experience, not only from The feelings Of being sexually violated, but also The feelings Of not being emotionally VALIDATED."
The worse thing you can ever tell someone who has gone through/is going through something is "You don't have to feel that way, or stop crying?"
(Clearly they don't HAVE to feel that way, but isn't feeling the way expressing that what they are dealing with is too much for them to handle or contextualize on their own??...🤔)
We don't consider that shutting down someone's form Of expression is debilitating in terms Of Their growth Of communication. We bypass moments Of teaching for discpline.
Devin Marie: When a kid has a tantrum (😤😭😫👶🏽)obviously...something is Up!! I can empathize with parent's who for example, literally only want to grab a few groceries And bounce✌🏽️ than have to stop and deal with a screaming 3 year old who doesn't understand that that box Of fruity pebbles does not make for a suittable dinner.
(I'm no parent, but I can't help but empathize with the young mind who is dealing with a problem and is being taught their limited in way they can express themselves. I know I know...."time and place, time and place...."
But what if we actually took the time to teach instead of shutting down/ policing other people's emotions.
Scripture tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:
There is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven--
....A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
If GOD affirms our emotions, We have to respect someone else's responses to a given situation.
Granted, not every circumstance needs a catastrophic response like a Child Having a fit, or pouting when they Don't get their way."
These responses Don't actually Solve anything, but they DO reveal something real, And True to The person expressing in that particular way Of communicating.
"That being said; I didn't have anyone at The time who could empathize with my experience... I ran outside The autorium where We Were Having Choir practice in tears to The Girls bathroom.
"What just happenned, I thought" my heart raced, my Body flooded with heat, And my hands Were shaking..."
"He touched you" I said to myself staring at my nine year old face.
"No, no. It was a mistake" I told myself
"He shouldn't have done that."
"No, It was accident..It was all one Big accident, his hand poking my behind, Him, reaching underneath my skirt"
"He must Not Of felt me nudging Him to stop." (I should have said stop louder)
I went outside and sat against the wall, hugging my knees with my face turned from students passing the halls. My choir teacher followed me outside shortly after asking me what was wrong?
I told her "he touched me..." And her response was to immediately contact the principal and soon the other boy's teacher.
They approached me with the same questions, but will never forget the frustration I felt having to speak looking up to a grown man telling him, I was touched in place my mother always said was private...I knew it was wrong or else tears of frustration and violation wouldn't be flooding my eyes.
His response with lowered brows look down at me was simply "are you sure that he did that to you...do you know what that means?"
As if I couldn't physically be any smaller than these grown adults...I felt my value, my story, my frustration, and confusion had shrunk to the size of a peanut, it was like I was in one of those movies where the surrounding expand while you shrink to the most insignificant almost invisible ant-man meets honey I shrunk the kids like stature.
It wasn't until recently I realized why my responses to conflict as an adult mirrored a lot of what I went through in that very moment. I internalized the idea that the moment someone isn't leveling with me(understanding where I'm coming from) I immediately shut down, or get so overally frustrated I can't help but to cry.
I feel like that nine year old girl whose back was literally up against a wall, who couldn't contextualize her experience of being violated sexually to adults who she was taught could be trusted, who was taught could protect her and help her...I don't want to project that moment again in future conversations, I know I'll be facing more challenges in the future as it's important that I know my voice, and learn ways of SELF-empowering and affirming how I feel in order to navigate through my extended relationships.
Knowing what I know now, I've communicated with my accountability circle this area of character building I'm growing in. I'm gathering tools that are working for me as is Cristal which we would love to share with you in terms of validating expressions of communication and communicating your own!
We we are all a work in progress but we know with proper guidance, and love we can heal towards being our better selves. We love you, and we are here.
With love& solidarity,
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.