I love this pic, and the woman in it! It’s a picture of one of my kindred spirits and Earth Sisters: Dai. She has been beside me through my traumas, triumphs, joys and pain. For a “survivor” of trauma, a “person to trust” can feel hard (if not impossible) to find, and is a massive blessing to have. Dai teaches me through example – showing me the power and beauty in being open and loving. She allows her Soul to shine forth brilliantly through her luminous eyes – giving with unbound depth, laughing with unrestrained joy and loving with the kindest heart of anyone I know. I love you Dai.
We are taught to run from the darkness, avoid pain, and be shameful of trauma. My life began to change only when I stopped and turned to look inside. I’ve discovered an unfettered and unapologetic power as I allow my pain to be, express it and release it. I’ve realised an empowered path through my trauma that leaves no room for shame or guilt as companions.
It just kinda hit me yesterday – as it does once in a while – this need to share. I was like….”CRAP! Here we go!” It’s an occasional compulsion that challenges my default – which is to be an intensely private person. I can’t tell you how much of my tendency towards privacy is due to my traumatic history; how much is an occupational hazard and how much is merely the personality with which I was born. All I know is that I’m fierce when it comes to trust and confidentiality. So when these compulsions to share hit me, I go through a bit of a process :).
With that said, I’m light years away from the person who “came out” about a history of sexual trauma almost 4 years ago. Leading up to the coming out stage, I agonised for months and broke into cold sweats at the thought of speaking my secrets out loud. Less than a handful of people knew of my past. You may ask, “Why to bother coming out, then?”. I asked myself the same question – TRUST ME! My answer to that was complicated, but my short answer is: MY YEARNING BECAME INFINITELY MORE POWERFUL THAN MY SHAME.
So in answer to my soul-deep yearning, I cracked open the door to the vault that contained my life, and literally threw out this massive “secret” that terrified and immobilised me for over 40 years. It wasn’t a little telling either…I put it out on the True2Soul website for goodness sake! LOL. Somehow the fear that was my constant companion to that point became so immense and non-descript, that my pattern of secrecy short-circuited and I felt nothing for the few moments it took to post my story on the website. Not knowing what to expect, and even uncertain of precisely what I feared – I waited. I shut my eyes, crossed my arms and fell backwards into the unknown of speaking my Truths out loud.
The response was fierce and massive for me. It was not at all what I expected or feared. There is a deep resonance out there. I’m in powerful company. There are more people than I realised – despite my years in policing and training – that share similar experiences, fears, emotions, triggers…and the list goes on and on.
At that point, I thought: “So THIS is what courageous vulnerability feels like. There!! I did it!!! I’m good!!!!” – hoping that this would be enough…..
Nope!!! That was far from enough, Fam. My soul-deep yearning and motivation has not waned but has grown. It’s like my Life decided: “NOW let’s get this party started!”
Everything has come under fire and put through the fire. My relationships, career, belief systems, life perceptions, etc. have all been taken a beating. Most have made it through to this point. Some have not. Some new sprouts have grown out of the ashes. Some continue to fade away – even as I write this. I’m understanding more and more clearly how I’m here to serve and guide, and how I’M BEING GUIDED. For so much of my life, I sought ways to protect, serve and guide (through policing, advocacy, holistic health, etc.). I now understand that it was my perceived failure to protect, help and save my Self as a child that drove a lot of my life choices (Thank you Acceptance Technique!).
I also now see that I exposed and surrounded my Self with people who have protected, helped, saved and guided ME – some in ways that felt (and feel) great, and some, in ways that were (and are) very painful. For both, I am deeply grateful. My ability to feel is something that was a casualty of my traumas – in ways that I’ll share about another time. I, therefore, treasure my redeveloping ability to FEEL my spectrum of emotions and allow them to guide me. I AM falling back in LOVE with my Self, and feel more powerful now than any time I can consciously remember in my life. I, therefore, WOULD CHANGE NOTHING in my past – pain or pleasure. That can be a tough pill for people to swallow when talking about trauma:
I’m married to a man that is no stranger to trauma himself; A man who TRUSTS the work I do, and LOVES me deeply. It took every single dating experience (painful & pleasurable), up to the moment we chose each other, for me to recognise him when I saw him.
I’ve been raised by a powerful matriarch who BELIEVED and SUPPORTED me when I shared my childhood and adolescent traumas. I cannot describe, within this post, the debilitating terror I felt in telling my Mama about something that felt so all-encompassing and dark. Yet, in my telling, I was blessed to experience my Mom’s deep love of me, witness her fierce advocacy, power and protection of me (to an unprecedented depth), and I was blessed to learn first-hand what is necessary when a “survivor” of trauma steps out of the dark – into the light.
I’ve grown up with sisters who UNDERSTAND, LOVE and SUPPORT me AS-IS. They allow and offer COMPASSION and KNOWING to a depth that we’ve forged and protected our entire lives. This cocoon of safety is one of the most precious gifts this life has provided me. Our relationship is my sanctuary, outside of my Self. It is where I may retreat when I seek solace, healing, honest and loving reflection, laughter, guidance and just…pure…LOVE. They are my rock in this world. They are part of my compass in this world. They are my best friends in this world. They are my sacred companions and kindred. My sisters are the best reminders and reflections of my Truth in this world.
I’m surrounded by children that remind me – all in their unique ways – why I’ve walked the precise path I have. My son teaches me, reminds me, guides me, grounds me and yet uplifts me. His birth called me back to my Truth. His life reminds me of my Soul Purpose every single day – in a plethora of ways. He, along with my nieces and nephews (each so beloved and uniquely powerful), leave me in AWE. I’m sometimes dumb-founded that I actually get the chance to see, live and in action, the legacies that sprout from my life choices! I’m fascinated as I watch them make their own. My conscious and continual decision to heal and allow my power is not only for me but my contribution to the Collective – the Whole. My healing releases my descendants from the burden of my lessons and acknowledges my ancestors’ contributions to my life. Sankofa!
This Truth-telling stuff is not easy, but only as hard as I choose for it to be. It continues bit by bit. My big truth-telling four years ago, awakened a hunger that reminded me how starved I indeed was. This deep hunger is not easily satiated, and will not be ignored. I no longer readily identify as a “survivor” of trauma – which is why that word is usually in quotation marks in my writings nowadays 😉. I resonate more deeply with the term “excavator”. I dive deeply and dig even deeper to draw out of my traumas what RIGHTFULLY BELONGS TO ME – who I AM: POWER, WISDOM, LIGHT, PEACE, LOVE. #S33Me #TriumphThroughTrauma #True2Soul #BeTrue2You