We've all been there, or maybe we invisioned what we might do, or say when our past meets with us in our present.
I use to fear running into the person who sexually assaulted me on campus. For a whole year, I was escorted by security in between classes while chargers of rape were being investigated. Unfortunately, this fear continued to carry with me even after graduating from community college.
Cristal and I have talked and prayed about the time it would come when we might hear for physically come in contact with the person responsible for taking advantage of us. In these conversations we unraveled our deepest fears; that it might happen again, that he might want to harm us more than before...but after exhausting these projected fears we learned to let go. We also learned to allow God to heal us and remind us; "Whom shall we fear, for those that love the Lord with all their hearts?"
Recently, Cristal responded to this very moment, and it was evident...She only fears ONE man; Here is her take on the encounter:
You broke me down
And killed me inside
Yet I stayed breathing
Never thought I could see
You eye to eye without
Hating you or wishing you the same death I felt inside
I couldn't go anywhere with out feeling this fear
It must have been read across my face...
But God healed me!
Yes it took years but GOD did it for me!
I saw you.
Thinking back I thought I would want to yell; curse you out of your name wishing the worst thoughts possible over you--
But my God is an amazing God that can turn every single pain into victory.🙌🏽
When I saw you;
I could only pray,
Pray that God may have mercy on you
Pray that God would bless you
I did nothing I once thought I would, but know it's because of God I can walk with a smile on my face.
God has made me Victorious in his image, No weapon form against me shall prosper
Not the weapon of rape, or fear, or bitterness and resentment.
If only you could see me; because THIS...THIS is called FREEDOM.
We commend you Cristal for your continuous bravery. Let this be a testament to how we can CHOOSE to respond when our past meets us where we are in present times. To be honest, we cannot control who or what or how things remind us of a time we'd much rather forget. But let's not forget; let's not ignore a past that was an obvious
Learning moment. I've learned that in a world that is unpredictable and sometimes cruel; we don't have to sway WITH its unrelenting experiences, we can go through them by accepting that this moment is an experience NOT an identity-marker. We are not rape, not violence, nor pain, we may have experienced these things, but we are stronger for surviving. We are BETTER NOW living in freedom and out of bondage that's would have kept us from our destiny had we allowed it.
Choose Freedom; we found ours in Jesus. We pray you live in it as we are, and will be here in the process 🙏🏽
To my daughter 💗
When I found out I was pregnant.
I cried of joy and fear;
Fear because I knew in my heart my bundle of Joy Would be a girl.
I cried thinking
"How can I raise Agirl when I'm afraid to be a female?"
I was afraid because of a hurting past that I didn't Know how to voice.
Afraid that I would not be able to teach you how to make your voice count
Afraid that you would get hurt like me
Afraid that I would not have answers when you ask, "Why didn't You do something Mamí?"
Simply afraid to bring a beautiful baby girl in a world that taught her to fear The world as I was.
But bringing you into this world...
You taught me to be strong
Taught me to heal from a hurting past of rape.
Because of you I stand today with a strong voice.
It is because of you, Faith, that I have become victorious from such a past...
Holding The "FAITH Of My future"
♡Mami 4 ever loves you.
To be honest I had written a whole new message to blog already but wasn't compelled to post it this week, so we'll save it for next time.
I felt a change in direction when I stumbled across this image.
I am unsure of the artists intentions or story behind it but it moved me to a write a series of pieces similar to that of one of our brave contributors weeks prior to this. 🙏🏽🙏🏽(Thank You for inspiring so many including myself) Previously she wrote a poem "a letter to her son" which inspired me to write my own version. This began with a fear of mine of ever having a daughter but if I'm ever honored to have one of my own...I pray she understands my heart:
Babygirl, you've got limbs kicking me in parts I only knew menstrual cramps could bring,
But don't ever stop kicking,
You're a fighter like your mama how could I forget...
Whoever tells you to stop running after dreams is is a foe not a friend, so while you're safe in here, know that I'm only here to protect yours,
Babygirl, you've got lungs that echoed in hallways when you entered this world
So don't you ever learn to make yourself smaller, sounding softer, acting timid
Babygirl, You've got opinions that stretch further than the shrinkage of your hair pulled by teasing classmates--USE them
Don't ever get caught up without an Anwser for why you don't want to do something--you're standards are too High.
Babygirl, you turn playgrounds into ancient majestic coliseums
So don't live in this world, build your own
Your territory is expanded when you pursue it not when you wait
Babygirl, you are braver than mommy ever could be, so don't fear the world, be aware of its ugliness but know: fear projects insecurity; and when you're insecure about yourself, you allow fear to pollute your mind, dictate your actions, and keep you at the mercies of the world's ugly wrath.
Baby...one day you'll be a woman but in between that time you must learn you are everything you'll ever need, stop seeking outside of yourself for life's truths, you are a already Queen whose bloodline is royalty,
So stop convincing others of how you ought to be treated, & show them
Babygirl, You've got a heart that once beat right Next to mine, so trust I'm always here to guide, to protect, to teach
Learn from My wrongs & My rights but know you'll naturally make your own
So keep kicking, keep speaking, keep imagining, keep loving, keep fearless And keep being My Sweet babygirl 💗
Sex......lets talk about it shall we??...& In the context of how it is experienced in society and our daily lives;
I have been modeling for the last five years and it has amazed me the about of internal challenges I would face being a model and woman in the fashion industry while also being a survivor of sexual assault.
We've seen and grown up hearing in America specially, how "sex sells". 💸💸 In a capitalist society I knew, our culture is fueled by sex or sexually-suggestive images to entice buyers and consumers alike.
I 100% believe in expressing love in the act of intimacy and sexual relationships. But through my journey, God has illuminated its truth, its power, and its blessings when done within certain confines. I am convicted to believe sex is an act Of Love to be shared between husband and wife; I strive to keep this promise, no matter What influences are Around me( And That's Just me). Being in a Healthly relationship for me meant gaining agency over ever aspect of my life including the physical part, and it just ain't happening. Keeping the peace, and communicating with my partner has been KEY!🔑🗝
In doing so, i have also been able to express the frustrations Of surviving something such as sexual abuse And NOT being Heard, or validated...
In terms of any abuse related to sex and intimate relationships...often times, heads are turned...and voices are silenced. "No one likes to or wants to talk about the sex-stuff gone bad." No one wants to confront the issues of sex and sexuality when it's non-consensual or questionable. But let me get around some of the girls and start talking about sexually promiscuous things, or invite that type of sexual spirit in conversation/ actions and see how much attention I would receive. 🙄
Seeing women portrayed sexually in The media at such an overwhelming rate is the norm these days. Products we buy things we eat, listen to, and read are tainted within this hyper-sexual society. So why is there so much money going into sex but we aren't protected when sex is taken for granted or abused? Do we blame capitalism, do we blame individuals? Do we blame ourselves?
I have been studying the implications of sex in our culture for the past 4 years (and Still learning!) and I am hoping to unpack its messy agenda in our everyday lives.
I realize that in order to confront the taboo of rape and sexual violence, there needs to be access to better education on how sex influences us as a culture, country and as individual citizens.
Let's continue to be open these upcoming weeks...let's grow together
Protecting your heart is More than Just putting walls Up in hopes Of protecting yourself from future harm.
Something seriously got lost in translation where We think "protecting your heart" means loving-less than It's actual intentions Of learning to Love BETTER..."
We have emotionally unavailable people walking Around pretending they have It all together when The TRUTH Of The matter is...We aren't Making loving us better by blocking The very thing We are afraid Of getting hurt again.
First things first... We can't avoid ALL pain or hurt...it comes with the grand ole' spectrum of emotions and experiences called life.
Some pain is simply unavoidable...
But I couldn't help but notice that even after the most painful moment of my life was "behind me" my present began to reflect a lot of what I was trying to avoid.
I noticed this pain reflected in the choices I was making post-trauma specifically in my relationships with people.
I never asked to be assaulted, the person who attacked me what someone who befriended me, I built a relationship of trust with this individual, and when I was most vulnerable he took the opportunity, drugged and raped me.
My thought process about relationships(intimate or not) was completely jaded.
My views on "love" only made sense if pain was involved. Looking back at my past relationships it made sense... God intended sex to be the ultimate expression of love, while rape takes the pureness of such an act into an act of hate, power and ultimately pain. I was use to living in a state of complexity and hypocrisy.
The state where love and hate coexist was my reality of love; it was a reality I knew God didn't intend for me to live in.
Now, you don't have to have go through domestic or sexual abuse our case to realize what influences certain patterns of relationships you see yourself in.
We are writing specifically for those who are aware or maybe unaware of their patterns of life choices.
It's one thing to go through pain, but to learn from it is another level of growth that requires time and a whole lot of honesty!
So I honestly looked back on my past relationships and could see the negative patterns that emerged.
In my past, I needed to be the fixer. If I couldn't fix my hell of a past I needed to be the fixer of someone else's. But it's not enough to fix brokenness for somebody other than yourself.
Healing is a SELF-Job, not reliant on a relationship, a career, or success to distract you from the real issue at hand.
How did I know this? Because even with love right in front me I found myself trying to find the bad or make the bad in order for it to make sense with my previously skewed notion that love& hate needed to coexist in order for a relationship to seem "real" to me.
I've grown tremendously since, I chose OUT of intimate relationships with others to protect what I was healing; my heart.
When I allowed for this time I realized protecting My heart began with healing It. I couldn't expect My Love for another job, a NEW relationship, or NEW blessing to be authentic And purely experienced If My Walls Were built so high It blocked My view from seeing a blessing right in front Of me.
So while You are protecting your heart, know What It is You are protecting. Aré they broken pieces needing mending? Don't waste time protecting something not worth keeping; so keep the lesson but loose the anger. Keep the wisdom, but loose the bitterness.
My Past is something I Don't want to keep forever, I'd rather learn from It, heal because Of It, And grow inspite Of It.
Be wise that You aren't projecting Pain on your present or future circumstance. You deserve better, And by being better through The choices You make...better Will come.
We are believing with you.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.