“I am not my betrayal”

As a child no one really understood me, not even myself. Things were happening to me that I was too young to be exposed to, too young to grasp. Migraines, nosebleeds, tummy aches, sore throats and nightmares were just some of the side effects; my cries for help went unnoticed.
I always worried.
I always feared.
I couldn’t eat.
I couldn’t sleep.
I didn’t love.
I didn’t live.

At the age of 7, I was persuaded into performing sexual acts on a family member. She gained my trust and used it to her advantage. At the age of 7, I should have been learning, exploring with an imagination running wild.

Growing up I had trouble finding my place. My body became this silenced prison. All that was done was to be hushed.

I felt hurt and I was used.

I still fight back the urge to ask her why? Curiosity perhaps? Selfish acts? Emotions have a way of running your mind in circles. I stopped the racetrack of a mindset; I dissociated because it “helped.” But the abuse didn’t stop there. It carried on in my later years and continued to happen with others. No one was to blame but myself. I convinced myself it was something I wanted because they did. I grew silent. I became the girl who liked to please, the girl who took care of everyone but herself.

All of the emotions I experienced from the time of my molestation to the present moment were painted on my face: the confusion, the sadness, the dissociation, the pain, the anger, the guilt, the helplessness and the disappointment. With time I gained the courage to come face to face with my experience and with what was, for some time, my reality.

This beautiful project has been one of the steps I’ve taken towards peace. I’ve learned the beauty that comes with vulnerability. It’s this humanness that these loving and compassionate people who have entered my life understand. Dance has taught me to love and to use my body to express and not to trap my emotions. Therapy has helped me to verbalize my thoughts and my opinions. Through trusting myself, I have learned and still am learning to love, to be honest and to fight.

I will be heard.
I will love.
I will live.
I will be okay.