This posts contains information that may be triggering for people who have experienced sexual assault or other trauma and forms of force. Feel free read on if desired.
The first time I experienced sexual assault, I was 3. I have only remembered bits and pieces of the experience, although it impacted me and my family in ways that have been far reaching. Mostly, I became confused and surmised that men + sex = safety. While this could be a biologically sound inference to make based on the survival of the species, it worked out kind of wonky for me over the years and it really didn’t equate. True safety was not found in men, or sex. It has been good to uncover it, though, and I partially credit Deborah Donndelinger, mom and EFT practitioner, since it was during a session together when light was brought to this connection in my psyche. Now that the light has been shone upon this threaded lie, I can move forward freely choosing my relationships to men, sex and safety.
Recently, I decided to participate in Project Unbreakable mainly because, at times, I still question that I am unbreakable. In future posts, I’ll deconstruct this idea head on.
Sometimes I feel broken. I’m sorry if this surprises you, but I’m human.
I’d like to feel like I’m just bent, as the Pink song sings, but that’s not how the feeling arises. It’s a deep broken-ness and it doesn’t come from that one experience as a little child. It comes from a culmination of experiences I had growing up and as I’ve grown into a woman.
Sexual assault, or coerced sex, have been a part of my life for most of my life. That’s a yucky thought to entertain, but it’s true. Thankfully, I am changing my experience now.
Since some of this happened when I was a child, and the experiences were deeply impacting for me, the results have shattered into my parenting experience and I get to grapple with them daily. I have worked for years to release blame, because it holds me hostage, but I would be lying to say the energy never surfaces for me. The wounds are too close to home, as one of the experiences involved my mother and a doctor. (My mom had no intentions of abusing me; the doctor ended up being convicted of criminal sexual conduct with two other patients a few years later). Each time I consider accessing health care for one of my children, the trauma is in my face. Almost every time I see my mom, it pops up in my mind.
I don’t want this to be the experience I have with my mom. She has apologized and I believe she is sincere. Still, the feelings come whether I want them or not. My choice is in how I respond.
As I work to be present and address the residual effects of misunderstanding my personal power and other people working to take it for their own, I am gradually experiencing more freedom with myself – my mind, my body, my reactions and responses.
It’s not always easy.
Sometimes I get to sit down, breathe and reflect.
Sometimes I get to do this a lot so I don’t lash out at my kids from these pained places inside of myself. They certainly don’t deserve these ripples in their ocean; they weren’t even born when most of this happened and they aren’t responsible for my suffering.
It is with this realization that I, and I alone, am the only one who can address the suffering I feel as a result of what I have experienced, and I continue doing so one moment at a time…