If I can plant flowers for every woman who comes to me to share about their experiences of abuse – be it by a partner, a family member, a friend, a colleague, a superior, or a total stranger – maybe I’ll be able to make a sanctuary for women who have had to struggle with their sense of control, power, worth and reasoning.
Let this be clear: acts of abuse can never be acts of love or admiration.
I’ve been asked so many times why women don’t speak out about their abuse. And I UNDERSTAND. When it happened to me again recently, I couldn’t speak about it for so long, and I still can’t share the details now. Besides hurting too much, and dealing still with the trauma, there are too many other reasons to not speak out: fear of judgement, fear of ridicule, fear of not being able to prove it, fear of bringing entire structures down and being the one to blame. Let’s face it – women, more often than not, get the shorter end of the stick.
So what happens when women can’t demand justice? How do they reconcile the horror of what had been done with their day to day lives?
We move away from the perpetrator. We struggle through our pain and turn it into beauty, power and wisdom. We survive. We heal. We thrive.
I speak to those of you who has had your trust, body and soul broken by someone: We all have our own different ways of moving on; some have better coping mechanisms than others. People forget that the process of healing is never linear. Two steps forward, one step back. I know of people who abuse substance to forget their pain. There are people who jump into new relationships and bad cycles of self-inflicted pain, and there are those who swear off love for the time being while they fix themselves.
Please know that the act to have courage and walk away is the first of many turbulent phases of healing. But it is the most necessary one. There WILL be help, and you WILL fix yourself. You are worth more than someone that doesn’t respect nor value you. You are enough. Even when people tell you otherwise.
I pray you find courage to choose yourself, and to choose better. It may take a while, but you will rise again.
Someday, it’s not going to hurt anymore.