Inspiration, Mental Health, Sexual Abuse, Wellness

Breaking The Silence – Part One

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. – Khahil Gibran.

There are many things about humanity and human relations which make my heart sink. At the top of that list is our collective culture of silence over difficult and uncomfortable conversations and situations.I’ll get straight to the point and mention these difficult and uncomfortable conversations by name: sexual abuse and molestation, drug abuse, suicide, mental health and wellness. There are many, but the ones I have listed are what I have experienced from childhood right to adulthood. I do not like to generalize so there will be no statistics here. I am just a Queen who has overcome a substantial lot by the Grace of God. I am sharing my story because I realize there is a desperate need for more people like me to share their stories to get more people speaking and healing.

Photo Credit: Asteria Malinzi

Before I unpack parts of my story, if there is one thing you take away or remember  from this post, may it be on the importance of identifying, unpacking and processing whatever you have witnessed or experienced as a child. I find, and again, this is based on personal experience, that when we suppress and ignore things we have been through, there comes a time, usually when you are getting along with your life that all the pain, hurt, guilt and shame rise up and demand to be confronted. That being said, all it took was a poetic challenge titled #1738 in 2016 which both shook me to the core but also demanded I revisit my dark and not so glorious past.

I was sexually molested by both men and women from the age at eight.  Everything I have been through is directly linked to what happened to me when I was a child. There is chronology in the way pain and self harm manifest. In hindsight, this is probably what has been the single biggest influence on how my relationships have panned out. This is because my view and perception of relationships and pleasure were distorted before I had a full appreciation of what they both entail.

When I was about between the ages of 14- 16 I began to self harm. I used to inflict so much pain on myself and it is only now more than a decade later I realize I was merely transferring what I felt on the inside outside. I used to scratch and cut my arms but would wear my jersey and long sleeved clothing to cover the scars every single day. In the thick of October heat I would be covered up, sweating and refusing to address what I was desperately trying to ignore. I suppose I couldn’t adequately articulate what it was I was mentally trying to block out.  This was also the season I tried to commit suicide for the first time. I attempted to take my life several more times after and thankfully I was a dismal failure and you get to hear my story!

It is for this reason that I am certain God hand picked me to live to share my story so that the silence is broken. There are too many people walking around with collapsing souls because they either cannot speak up and get out of mental bondage or have exposure to stories like mine for them to realize they are not alone.

To be continued…

Inspiration, Motivation, Spiritual

Who are you and what will you be remembered for?

You cannot separate self awareness from personal reinvention. At least I don’t think so! When you are aware of who you are,( even if it’s 0.001%), it forms the basis of reinvention as you transition from each season or stage in your life. I don’t know about everyone else, but have you ever attended a social gathering where the played out, eye roll inducing ice breakers begin to fly around? You know those “ so, what do you do” questions that can either result in two things. 1. You feeling high key overwhelmed as you mumble/stummer/ power through a response as the jury listens to your response or 2. You blurt out a crammed summary of where you have worked or the projects you have done or are a part of. To best honest, I’ve realized along the way that being asked “so what do you do” is not as difficult as being asked who are you and what will you be remembered for? The pressure. Rather, the constructive pressure.

I believe in order for the African millennial to understand the significance personal reinvention, they (we), need to continuously ask ourselves those pertinent questions: Who are we (as a generation) and what will we (both collectively and individually) be remembered for?

So…. pen to paper. Who are you, and what will you be remembered for? Let’s start with the basics before some of us begin to overthink and waltz into an anxiety attack.