This is the article I have been feeling reluctant to write. This is the article that I have sat on for years because it just feels too open and honest. Yet this is the article my soul needs me to write, and my spirit says that it’s time. My Facebook feed has been filled with a trend happening of announcing you’ve been impacted by sexual abuse or assault by writing “Me Too.” So here goes, in my opinion, hate my opinion, but it’s what it is:

I’m 10 years old, and I’m scared as I lay in my bed knowing what inevitably will happen again tonight. I’m 14 years old and feel like vomiting at this moment because I don’t want to see what is happening to my best friend across this room as her father asks me to come over and join them. I’m 18 years, I’m held down in protest as he violently enters me. It’s then two weeks later, and I’m at a party and in and out of consciousness as he has sex with my drunk body, and I watch myself from the corner of the room and the only thought in my head is, “Well, I’m already a whore, and might as well be treated like one.” I’m 29 years old and pissed at myself because I should “know better” than to have put myself in this situation. I was hoping for healing in this room, but instead, I find more shit, and I just stop fighting because it won’t make this go any quicker. I’m about to turn 31 years old, and I’m in a club protesting several times to no avail that I want things to stop, but my struggle only intensifies the pain and later as I message my friend, I can’t even cry because I just truly feel empty.

I was talking with a friend recently about sexual trauma and the impacts of it on people’s lives. I made the point that often times the trauma we think would stereotypically be the hardest or the most impactful is not what really sticks with us. The above narrative of my life is only the tip of the iceberg and I, like many other women and men, can fill several pages with stories about times they experienced sexual abuse, rape, and assault in their lives. From my personal life, I can say the rapes where I knew the person intimately, and there was the previous trust established were the hardest to process through and also the times things happened when I knew in my gut something was wrong and yet I persisted. It didn’t matter how aggressive the man was, how much I was physically hurt the next day, or if they were drunk… NO, for me, what made the difference between them was how much I blamed myself.

For over a decade, my job has always included listening in some form or fashion to other people’s trauma and sometimes specifically sexual trauma. I am always humbled when people are willing to share these difficult stories with me, and I love seeing people move out of being a victim of their trauma.

I am amazed at how people who have received sexual trauma from a spouse, while intoxicated, or that wasn’t a full penetration are shamed and minimized. A rape from a longtime boyfriend or husband can be just as damaging (if not more) than being raped by a stranger. We don’t win by putting a measuring stick on how bad trauma is… what makes sexual trauma hard is based upon how that person processes it and not actually on the event. Sexual trauma is not about the actual sexual act, but instead about the loss of control, self-esteem, fear, and getting a choice taken away.

Prior to working through my trauma, I was a mess! I was disconnecting pieces of myself, blaming myself, and the process of avoiding this pain left me internally dead. Then I spent several years processing and working through my sexual trauma. And what I found was that… hold onto your seats ladies and gents… that at some point I just needed to get over it!

Now, before you start screaming at your computer screens, let me explain. The more I focused my attention on these events, the worse I felt, the more like a victim I became, and the more of this same energy is what I manifested into my life. However, when I chose to move on and no longer let it control me is when life started happening. It’s when a beautiful, orgasmic sex life opened up for me. It’s when I began to have more confidence in myself and also when I was better able to set boundaries.

When constantly rehashing the same incident repeatedly, I found that I was validating to myself that “people don’t listen to my no!” “I am weak,” “I am broken,” “I have no control over my own body,” etc. Once I stopped focusing on my victimhood is really when the real healing happened and when I have seen the most healing happen for others as well. When we think we are a victim, or even say I’m a survivor, which inherently makes you think of having BEEN a victim, then the events gain power. When we don’t shove the trauma away, but instead move through and beyond it, the event loses some of its power.

Another thing that helped me and is honestly pretty controversial is that on some plane, I really did “ask for it.” Again, let me explain. I believe that although we have free-will that we spiritually signed up for many of the traumas and experiences prior to coming to this life, I believe that my soul knew going in that for some reason or another I needed the sexual assault, the rapes, the trauma. My spirit needed, for some reason, to learn to see that there is always a blessing, no matter how hard it is to see. And I fully understand that, sometimes, it is incredibly hard to see! Did that make things in the moment of these incidents any easier? No, of course, it didn’t make it easier, but I believe that at some level, I needed those experiences to make me the person I am today.

Do I think that a week after a rape you should be “over it?” No. There is a time for the tears, the anger, the pain, and the processing. There are also times when you may find a need to reprocess a sexual trauma that reemerges based upon a life situation or event years later. Process, heal, give yourself grace, love, and then find a point of letting go of not holding yourself back and continuing to revictimize yourself based on past events. Also, a state of forgiveness for not only yourself, but also for that other soul because hatred, anger, and resentment will only steal your own energy and will have no impact on that other person.

Forgive yourself. Forgive your body. And live a juicy life free from the confines that trauma attempts to put on you!

I have never met any adult that has not had some form of a trauma in their lives. If all of us choose to sink into this trauma then we wouldn’t move, we wouldn’t grow, we wouldn’t be able to function as a society. Recognizing our wounding is imperative for growth and a deeper knowledge of ourselves but we need to stop raping, abusing, assaulting ourselves every day in our own minds. We need to find our spiritual connection and discover the purpose of our unique trauma.

I asked for my sexual trauma. Before I was born I signed up for these lessons and this life… good, bad, or indifferent it’s my choice. I chose to give the other souls that contributed in my sexual trauma a chance to work something out in their own karma or soul’s purpose. But my human brain may never entirely understand the full depths of that soul contract.

What I can do is live. What you can do is live. We can use our experiences to move us forward and to have deeper love and compassion for our fellow man!

What’s your choice?