Entering the Arena
This is a post that's easy to write, though much more difficult to share. Perhaps it will get lost in the ether of social media and there was nothing really ever to worry about at all. But the more time that goes by, the more apparent it is that I must step into the arena, as Brene Brown puts it and be brave.
When the #metoo movement started and grew, I was hesitant to get involved. Not because I didn't support it, I wholeheartedly did and still do, but because I didn't want to be seen as a victim. And I didn't want to be perceived as a 'survivor' because I am not merely surviving. I have worked hard, both physically and mentally to be in the position I am today, and live the life I lead. I am so very grateful. So in that regard...
I wouldn't change a thing.
But after watching Surviving R. Kelly and Respect, the Aretha Franklin story within a week of each other, along with reading Oprah and Bruce Perry's book, 'What Happened to You' and conversations with my friends, it has become apparent that this is an issue that transcends the colour of your skin; the year you were born; the money in your bank account; or the city in which you live. The World Health Organisation published an article in March this year citing that 1 in 3 women have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse in their lifetime - worldwide. 1. In. 3.
The long term effects of those incidents are really only now starting to be recognised. Maybe there's a reason women have been getting 'hysterical' all these years when they're put under pressure. PTSD. Depression. Anxiety. Substance abuse. A pretty impressive list. And then all of the things that go 'undiagnosed' and unnoticed - people pleasing; the inability to set & keep boundaries; fear / anger / shame that stops them from really being the truest and fullest expressions of themselves.
Not being the fullest expression of themselves. Myself.
I have always been passionate about this and raising other women up to empower them to be the truest and most 'them'. Though never as bravely as now, in this way, speaking this truth. And I can see it coming more and more into the forefront of my work. I know I am not there yet, I have some pretty innocuous triggers - 'just add him on Facebook, he likes you' - for instance. But the more I see them, the more I can love them and let them free. Building my inner security, inner love and inner wholeness.
It is my work. And I can see, the work I am here to help others with. Maybe not this month, maybe not even this year. Though the timing will become clear. We need to change the statistics and the narrative for the generations to come.
I love you and I see you,