Healing is a strange and dark abyss. I don’t think i could describe it to those that don’t know how it feels. Some people may be wondering where the title of my blog, “Through the Woods” came from. Well, it works on multiple levels….the thing about surviving both an abduction and multiple sexual assaults, i can only say this:
When you are clinging to the hope that you will step out of a car alive? Your worst nightmares have become your reality. Your own personal Hell on Earth. For me, Silence became both my worst enemy and my savior. I struggled with taking a risk that could very well end my life, or staying silent and enduring the inevitable?
I often hear people talk about what they would do in my situation, or if someone were to attack them. It usually entails kicking the attacker in the genitals and other such scenarios. But the thing these people don’t realize, is that when you are actually in those moments of terror, kicking a guy in the balls will not always help you. It could be like my story. Trapped. I had so many thoughts yet i was completely void. I needed to feel something! At the same time, my thoughts were flying around in my head, bouncing off of each other. Complete chaos. Can you feel it? That feeling of having no control, whatsoever. I can assure you, it is terrifying. It’s like running, as fast as you can through the woods at night. Black. Perhaps you should add the feeling of being completely alone. And maybe someone is chasing you. You are trying to flee, but every time you trip and fall, that person inches even closer. Until they are right at your heels. You are so close you can feel their breath on your neck.
Now, stop. And imagine that this moment replays over and over. Every day for the rest of your life.
That, my friends, is what Healing feels like.
Now, i want you to imagine you are walking through that forest during the day. The sun streaming through the trees and kissing your cheeks. The dirt and rocks beneath your feet. The sound of crunching leaves as you walk. You are hiking through the woods, and pushing your body further than it has ever been before. You are in pain but as you reach the summit of this great mountain, it all feels worth it. The view, the sounds of silence, the feeling of accomplishment, are all things you relish as you stand solemnly and think, once again, back to that night in the woods. But as you look around you, you find Peace. Somehow, this moment on the peaks of an amazing journey, makes it all feel worth it. You feel worth it.
And that right there, ladies and gentlemen, is where my blog title came from. I wanted to combine those two pieces. Integrate them both into my life but hopefully the joy and despair might equal each other out. Who knows…
In my previous post i shared my mandala that was published in Volume 2 of the End The Silence campaign’s journal. They were looking for entries about “Identity”. I drew mine one day as i meditated on that word, identity. What did it mean to be a survivor? How do i feel? What do i think? How can i continue to heal? (That’s kinda where this blog comes in ) I ended up splitting the mandala in half. On one side, what my rape and the healing process afterwards has felt like. On the other side – where i want my healing to go from here. The quote that surrounds the mandala is one of my favorites:
“Perhaps strength does not reside in having never been broken, but in the courage required to grow strong in the broken places.”