I was 15. I was young. I was naive.
That does not excuse what happened. There could never be an excuse for what happened. I was drugged. I was taken advantage of. I was robbed of my virginity and my hope. You see I had dreams. I had friends. I had passion. I had purpose. I was going to change the world. I was going to make it a better place. I believed in myself and my strength.

Then I was cheated. Then I was broken. Then I was hurting, hungry, afraid and confused. “It shouldn’t have happened.” “It couldn’t have happened.” “How could it have happened?”
And as if that were not enough, they had to add insult to injury.

“They” had to poke at my wounds. They were my peers, the ones I thought were my friends. They became my enemies, my monsters, my nightmares. I was laughed at and spat at. I was made fun of, a joke. Not only, not to be taken seriously, but labeled a Liar, and a Slut! I was discarded.
I was chopped liver. No one cared how I felt. They wanted to believe what they wanted to believe. Perhaps it was easier to imagine that I was some bitch of a witch, than to face the pain of the all too awful truth.

I was 15. I was young. I was naive.
That does not excuse what happened.

I cried a little, but not nearly enough. I hated everyone but it did no good. I ached for justice. I begged for peace. I pleaded with God and cursed The Heavens. No one seemed to hear me. No one seemed to care. To be fair…. My parents loved me and they were there as best they could be. Sadly I found no comfort in there attempts to soothe me. Slowly I begun to sink into hell. Hell for me was dark and dingy and damp and dreadful. Though I must admit that at times it felt almost comforting like a cocoon, but a very delicate one.

I learned quickly that when in a hell I had to tread softly or else something might catch fire. Namely me, I might burst into flames of pain, or rage, or deep and dreadful sorrow. The flames might try to consume me and I might not be strong enough to survive. I lived in fear of not being strong enough. If I had been stronger this would not have happened. If had been stronger I could get over it. I could stand up for myself. I could face the taunts and still hold my head high. If only I was stronger.

Fuck that. I now see through my own delusion. Just another allusion I built to protect myself. Protect myself from feeling, much of anything really. For you can’t block out pain and still know bliss. You can’t run like hell from anger and still feel your full joy.

When the river is dammed, well than it’s dammed. Stopped up, congested, bottle necked, broke’ down. And that’s okay. Sometimes we need dams like we need band-aids. We need blockades like we need hugs. You see sometimes things happen and they are more than we can process. Sometimes we have to press pause and try like hell to fast-forward. But we cannot ever really fast forward.

We can press the gas while simultaneously holding the brakes and we may manage to inch our way down the road. Eventually though, the brakes wear thin. In time the bandages don’t hold. The dam springs a leak. It is only a matter of time before we can no longer hold on and moving forward means touching that wound that we tried so hard not to see. For if we see it, we might have to look and if we look we might have to touch. If we touch, we may in fact begin to feel all that we could not feel or process. It was too much when it happened. There was too much at once and in order to save ourselves from going completely mad, in order to survive we had to hide.

It is okay to hide. It is not bad or wrong. Sometimes that's what it takes to survive. I survived. You survived. We do what it takes to survive. But just surviving gets so old and it doesn’t hold. It doesn’t carry water. It doesn’t nourish our souls. Everyone who is just surviving wish’s they could be thriving.

What does that even look like it?

For me it seems to start with opening my heart, peering deep within and sharing my story, that it may build a bridge, be a gift and lift the lives of many. I have to believe that I have not suffered in vain, that this pain is bigger than me and that moving this mountain will not only set me free it will loose the chains that have held so many in pain and begin to show them hope and perhaps a path toward their own freedom.

Freedom to feel, freedom to heal, freedom to thrive. It starts with me, in me, in my own heart, in my own love. I am consciously choosing now to touch my wounds with LOVE. I am ready to show myself where it hurts and blend the salve to sooth and mend.

I am here to re-write my own story and integrate this pain into something far more powerful. Expression is my best friend. With paint brush and pen I will forge to bring an end to the idea that I am broken, the concept that I have some how fallen from grace, ash in face, discarded, disgraced.

Not to say it did not happen, but rather to acknowledge it fully and breathe new life into the picture. I can now be my greatest teacher, healer, helper. I am blooming into the woman that can show my frightened inner child, the way out of the darkness, the way back home.

This is my story. This is my prayer.