It’s been a year of reflection from past experiences all the while enjoying my new found freedom.
I can’t believe it’s been a year since I shared my story with the world! As May approaches, I find myself reflecting on a year of excitement with surprisingly a lot of other emotions.
The year has flown by and I am surprised time has gone by so quickly.
My year-long emotional slip and slide start with fear. It took a few weeks to realize sharing my story was just as powerful if not more than I had anticipated. The first week felt surreal and almost like an out-of-body experience. I found I was isolating myself and less confident around others who I knew had read the article that graced the cover of One Tribe Magazine. The sheer vulnerability of sharing my story came with adjustments. The first few times I talked about it, I cried! I don’t know if it was it the pain of telling the story or was it simply fear? I’m sure it was both and I believe more so the fear of the unknown. Fear of judgment, fear of critics, and fear of losing connections dear to my heart. I think the thing I feared most of all was the fear of losing love. I truly believe what kept me grounded the whole time was my purpose.
In crept doubt, “Oh good lord I should have just kept this to myself”…“this was a mistake!”… “People don’t and won’t understand”, these are just a few words that left my lips. I believe it was more prevalent when sharing with family and friends. Explaining the emotions and then the “why” it took me so long to share. Trying to explain in a clear way without getting defensive became challenging at times. What kept me grounded was my purpose!
My dear friend, “over thinker” decided to show up just as I am popping a bottle of celebratory champagne live on social media. Here I am telling all my family, friends and connections…that I was sexually assaulted! My mind spun in circles as I heard the cork pop and go flying. What’s going to happen next!? What if this was a bad idea? What if I lose respect? The power of “loss, less and never” had to be put in play to keep my “over thinker” in check.
Then came fear…that pesky four-letter word. Fear is always there, ready to take over your mind if you let it and this time was no different. Fear of losing relationships, losing trust, rejection and losing the old me. The prior version of “me” was certain and familiar and yeah there was the trauma I held on too. But overall, she’s not that bad…right? Well…no, in the big picture to the outside world she was good. To me though, she was broken, sad and mean… I could still depend on her but for what? Keeping me stuck in the same mindset because it felt scary to let go. This last year I have spent time taking care of and loving me! I’m finally accepting the newer version of the women I am.
Along the way, I discovered layers of acceptance. Others acceptance of who I was and now who I am. The me I knew was there and was hiding behind the big dark secret that I held. The transformation had all the supporters, upfront cheering me on and holding me up when I needed a little more support. There were also people in my life that I wanted and hoped for support and empathy who were and are unable to be vulnerable enough to show their love and support. I know in my heart though it is there and someday they may feel comfortable enough to show it. Oh, and there are those who are simply no longer a part of my journey and I have come to terms with that…it’s ok. The acceptance I needed most was from me and the person who I am today!
There is one constant during this last year and that was exciting. The universe has provided me with opportunities to expand sharing my story across different mediums. I have a platform to help others explore and share their story. My purpose is to empower people to share their journey and know they are not alone! Helping people to see ways to ease their suffering and providing an outlet for them has been a quest for my original goal for sharing my story. I ultimately believe this helps people ease unnecessary suffering. The most powerful aspect of sharing my story and having art on my body tell my story was freedom. The freedom I received by letting go of the energy I had held inside for way too long. This kind of release is intense and was somewhat unexpected. I always imagined I would have some sense of freedom though nowhere near the level I have experienced the last year. I also want to share that this freedom did not come the moment my tattoo was done, or the moment my article was released. There just was a moment in time and I can not to this day pinpoint when it happened. But the energy shifted from shame, guilt and sadness to ultimate freedom with endless confidence.