Life is like a wave, sometimes it’s gentle calm and other times it’s chaotic and unruly; leaving us damaged with wounds that seem almost fatal. As we struggle to pull things back together and continue to work on our dreams, we are often blindsided by additional disturbances in the water. Despite that, we must continue to ride the wave until we reach that island of paradise, unconcerned about the time it takes us to get there.
With that said, here I am, a 25 year old black woman, tenaciously at war with a vast amount of issues and judgmental onlookers; including not only family members, and friends but surprisingly me; myself. At a young age; I encountered abuse, bullying, and abandonment, little did I know the impact of these experiences, would last forever. I grew up unaware of how to ask for help to confront these issues; so I simply ignored them.
My solution was to just suppress the pain, the guilt, and the hate as much as possible. This only complicated each relationship, each task, each compliment, and each criticism I received. Afraid to speak in fear of rejection, my self esteem was non existence therefore I believed all my opinions, thoughts, and emotions were not valid,
I found myself in a horrible emotionally abusive relationship, my hair was falling out, I began self harming, and had an ectopic pregnancy. These events were so overwhelming, I ended up in the hospital for trying to kill myself. At the time of my hospitalization, there were no "smartphones" which meant my only options were art therapy, group therapy and roaming the halls.
I thought, pondered, and evaluated. Those deep dark things that I refused to face and address; looked at me fiercely, ready to consume all I had left. Finally, I decided to tell someone I was molested, I told those close to me and medical professionals.
The pain and confusion that followed my confession was alarming. I heard so many hurtful comments like; get a grip, get over it, your grown, that's in the past. Someone actually told me, during this time, that their's somebody going through something worse. Although people thought they were helping with those comments, that was not the case. I quickly reverted back into my shell and attempted to appear normal, in response to the things being said about my abuse.
In reality I was only returning to a dark place. My struggle and pain were real and valid, just getting over it, was an unrealistic approach. The time had come for me to be honest with myself, I knew that if I kept pushing forward and surviving, I was not a victim. My healing would not come overnight and I was ready to start the challenge of becoming whole again. The reality was I suffered from sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and I was trying to fill a hole left by my father. I suffered and cried alone while at the same time wondering about others that were like me.
My healing journey led me to a volunteer position as a crisis line counselor. The training for me was brutal, mixed emotions of pain, eye opening truths, reality and facts. I wanted to advocate for those in pain and give them a shoulder to cry on; because I understood feeling alone in a place of pain.
So many people are not honest with themselves and try to pretend they have it all together. Admitting your issues, faults, and demons to yourself, is so rewarding, because it will allow you to question your decisions, emotions, and reactions. Although you may still battle with the issues, you will be more equipped to identify target areas and work through them.
Diminishing a person’s individual battle or pain by comparing it with someone else's battle is a hindrance to healing. Also, it's important to know that healing is an individualized process that does not operate on a set time-frame. No matter what you encounter or go through, healing is possible!
Yes, it’s a daunting process but as long as you take that first step forward, you can ride the wave to you place of healing. ~OneLove (Ashley)
For every wound there is a scar.
And every scar tells a story.
A story that says: I SURVIVED