Never did I perceive these two experiences as sexual abuse since there was no penetration, simply just fondling, until I realized there is no such thing as just to a five-year-old little girl. It took years to comprehend how powerful these incidences were and the impact they had on my relationships going forward.
In our world today, the trauma of sexual assault and abuse has finally gained a platform in which both women and men are being heard and listened too, and it is about time. And this is a good place to start. The true beginning of our intrapersonal journey is when we say yes to releasing the hurt, shame, and discomfort that has been held energetically in our cells-sometimes for decades.
It is a healer’s journey that takes a strong constitution, a courageous heart, and a knowing self. One who knows how insidious trauma is on our overall health and wellness. We have a choice. We can engage in the necessary core work to energetically, emotionally and physically release the impact which remains in our cellular makeup or we can allow it to fester until it turns into dis-ease and/or codependence.
If we have the courage and constitution to choose option number one, we inherently commit ourselves to the healing process, however long it takes. It may be the road less traveled, but it is the only road to walk. This is the ‘piece’ that will, in the end, give you ‘peace.’
The process most likely will feel overwhelming and daunting, but hiding always takes a greater toll on our lively-ness. The pattern will continue until it’s no longer attached to your cellular knowing. The bigger journey is to trust, deeply trust, you have all it takes to remove what must be removed. Is it simple? No. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
My belief is that we all have a desire to be fully heard and validated. Period.
The story: The first time a male relative (eight years older) violated the boundary was when he babysat for me and my sister while my parents attended my paternal grandmother’s funeral. I was five-years-old. I was left in a safe place, right? What is safe, the innocent five-year-old asks?
Simply fondling, the little girl remembers. Well that ‘simple act’ of inappropriate and intrusive behavior, which occurred twice by the age of seven, landed in this innocent little girl’s DNA. How do I know that?
As a healer, I recognized how this pattern repeated itself many times throughout my life. Not in the way it happened years ago, but rather how the energetics of this insult continued to show up in relationships over and over again, until now.
As I allowed myself to get to the source of this pain-filled memory, I began to feel through the residual energy of the said past event and how it continued to rear its ugly head. I also recognize the ‘thread’ of the original event, and the damage it caused, which in the long run, had a more significant impact on my overall health and wellness; body, mind, and soul.
“Why didn’t I tell my mother?” I asked myself for years. “Why didn’t I tell my sister?” The second time, my sister, just a year older than me, was lying down next to me upstairs on my aunt and uncle’s bed watching television while the adults were in conversation downstairs, when my relative came in the room and asked me to follow him.
When he entered the bedroom, I remember desperately wanting to tell my older sister not to let him take me into the bathroom with him. I do believe she would have stopped him. She was a brazen little girl even at the young age of eight.
The reality is, I never even acknowledged these incidences had an impact on me until I started my healing journey approximately forty years later.
On a deeper and more profound level was the belief system already established in my five-year-old mind; no one was available to hear me or protect me. I clearly did not feel safe enough to tell either my mother or my sister. I felt alone. I didn’t believe that someone cared enough to make me feel safe. I now recognize how I must have taken on a sense of unworthiness and shame as a result of these incidences, because I was not brazened enough to say no, resulting in these behaviors occupying space in my cellular makeup. Message received.
Protect me, make me feel safe is what so many long for. Unresolved, these patterns repeat themselves in codependent relationships throughout one’s adult life. Please make me feel safe because I do not know how to by myself.
This is where the healing journey begins… It’s imperative we see clearly and accurately into each experience. We owe it to ourselves to understand, without judgment, how we may re-enact pieces, threads, of the initial trauma, without ego awareness, into similar scenarios throughout our lifetime. That’s what deep honesty and honoring looks like. That’s where we discover the root cause and find the resolution.
Not being able to protect yourself by saying no, not feeling safe to ask ‘other’ to protect you, carries an energetic vibration which is held in your cells without personality awareness.
Energy is energy.
The Healing: After acknowledging how these memories were fundamental to my continued healing process I did a search and found my relative on Facebook, of course. Fifty-six years later I instinctually knew it was time for me to deal with the issue. It took two ‘looks’ and two months in between before I asked him to apologize for his inappropriate behavior that occurred so long ago. I needed closure to heal the breach of this traumatic experience that apparently was still haunting me and infecting my soul.
The relief was immediate. Although my heart cried while I was writing the message, the moment I was done I felt unburdened. It became crystal clear just how ready I was to let go of the trauma and move on.
This is what I wrote to him,
“I am writing you because I need your help. I know this might seem bizarre after so many years but I simply have too. Please understand all I am asking from you is an apology for what happened so many years ago. I am not angry just must release this memory because, believe it or not, it has haunted me my whole life. I need to heal this piece of me, for me. If only for family sake, please help me.”
This is what true healing requires:
I left it alone. As I said, no attachment to outcome. I simply forgave him. I forgave myself too.
I also gave myself permission to feel the deep shame/pain of not having the courage to speak up to either my mother or sister and how wounding it was for this little girl to feel that alone, unprotected and unsupported. Those two pieces required as much, if not more, heart and soul resolution than the inappropriateness of my older cousin. It was the grief of a lifetime I had to pay attention too.
I’m sharing this personal story to encourage you to share your piece that remains deep within so you, too, may find your peace. Most everyone I know, both clients and friends, have a story of abuse to tell. Here lies an opportunity to un-wound ourSelf for nobody else but ourSelf.
The Resolution: My relative contacted me three weeks later via Facebook offering with great sincerity, a heartfelt apology for the hurt and pain he caused me. He gave me his cell number and invited me to speak with him. I was shocked and relieved. I didn’t push him away or ask, “How can I speak to my abuser?” I simply accepted his offering with grace, knowing this is how healing happens. When I spoke with him a few days later, his first question was, “How old were you?” We talked with open hearts. He didn’t run and hide. He shared how deeply troubled he was as a kid and how sorry he was for what he did. I felt my heart sink. He acknowledged that an incident like this stays with you and understood the role it played in my life. He spoke to my courage as I spoke to his.
I honor the fact that he had reached out to me which makes me believe he himself had done some significant healing along the way. May everyone have such integrity and be so brave. This is what forgiveness looks like.
As the healer, I sit in a knowing that he too must have been abused. Together, we will open the doorway to the resolution of held past pain and shame so we may both move forward in grace.
As the healer and therapist, I accept this IS the work of forgiveness and resolution. This does not mean I will ever forget and I am certainly not condoning his behavior, I am taking the higher path of greater consciousness.
This is the reason my client’s sign up with me; to help them walk through their traumas and painful stuck memories while seeking resolution and deep healing.
I celebrate my courage to always walk the talk and have a non-judgmental perspective to see from all sides of the equation. Grateful for the opportunity to resolve and evolve. Just simply grateful.
If this brings an opening for resolution to one person I am grateful.
From my heart to yours,