I remember this day vividly.
It was the weekend I did my Landmark Forum.
When I was 16 years old, I was raped by one of my classmates.
He shared the experience with everyone as if it didn’t happen the way it did.
It was talked about and I was teased about it.
I chose to keep it inside.
I didn’t tell my parents as I thought they would love me less and that anything I may have done or would do in my life would be viewed through the filter of this experience.
For 16 years I tried to hide it from myself as if it didn’t happen.
The word ‘rape’ occurred disempowering to me and I refused to label this experience as such.
And for those 16 years this story was running in the background of all of my relationships with men.
I had a delusional context about sex, men and relationships.
Mostly that a man was only interested in me if there was something sexual to gain from our interaction.
Truthfully I didn’t like men very much and viewed all of them through a filter of “men are assholes”.
The Saturday of my Landmark Forum I called that classmate.
I had never spoken to him about what actually happened.
I asked the most important question I had for myself, “did this happen for you the same way it happened for me”.
Cause trust me, my occurrence of the way it was shared from him to other people after it happened and all those years of repressing it, I had plenty of internally dialogue that justified it.
In the moment he responded, “yes, that is how it happened for me” I was able to be with it and give up me making me wrong for it.
And you might be thinking that that phone call was the hardest part.
It was uncomfortable, yes, hard no.
The biggest conversation I was avoiding was the one with my parents.
A year later, I had that conversation with both of them (thanks to a strong encouragement from a dear friend of mine).
I still had in my way the judgement that they would judge me.
What I also discovered was what I was avoiding the most was I didn’t want them to ‘feel bad’/’to be sad’ about it; I didn’t want them to have to ‘deal’ with it (me).
Even with all of that in my space, I shared it.
I completed that experience in my life.
And by ‘completed’ I mean it’s done.
The emotional bondage is done.
It’s significance is done.
It’s meaning is done.
It is complete.
Thank you Jamie Limbaugh for asking me that day in my office if I wanted to attend an introduction to the Landmark Forum. Thank you Ashley AB Butler for inviting me the times before as I wouldn’t have had an idea of what Jamie was inviting me to.
P.s. this photo is the Tuesday evening of my session with my beautiful friend Danielle Kravitz.
P.s.s. EVERY TIME I GET MORE OF ME I GET TO GIVE THAT MUCH MORE TO YOU (and by YOU, I mean you reading this).