to all the girls in me
To all the healing, sad and angry girls in me and to everyone who needs to hear this…
After years and years of disconnectedness with my body, through sexual, physical and emotional abuse, all the big jumps, the breakups, the risks, the hard work, the loneliness, the loses, I discovered healing when I started pouring onto paper. Scribbling my innermost thoughts and feelings, calling them to the front. It is not all sunshine and rainbows, it’s a dark place. It’s a search for light, for life. It is addressing all the broken parts of you and kissing the wound from the root up. It is calling all the lost girls in me to return. The girls I lost to self-destruction, to neglect, to emotional disconnect.
It was not your fault, none of it was and I believe you. I believe your story even if you do not remember everything. Even though it might have happened a while ago. Even if people kept blaming you for everything, you did not ask for it or drink too much or wear a skirt too short. It has nothing to do with you, but with the entitlement and lack of justice within our systems. I cannot illustrate how much it breaks my heart. How many years we’ve spent in darkness, searching for the light, for the healing, for the answers. This is not just sexual assault, harassment or rape, it is also emotional abuse, physical violence, the manipulation, the ignorance. It hurts. The myths and the blame. It hurts. People have compared our bodies to property – do not leave your car in a bad area, if you do not want to get robbed. My vagina is a part of me, it’s not disembodied from me, I cannot just leave it at home or in a safe. Why are we pretending rape culture does not exist when so many of us have a story to tell? Yet we are told to suffer quietly.
To all of you who hated their bodies after, who hated themselves for what happened – you are not alone. Trying to inflict physical pain to deal with the emotional – you are not alone. Someone came into your home and took everything, scraped it clean, how do you want us to live after? How can society tell us to stay put, to shrink ourselves and our experiences, because it is too hard for them to hear it. ‘It’s such a sensitive subject to talk about’ they tell us. We used to be sensitive beings too. You are erasing our experiences by asking us to be complicit, so you would be comfortable. But we are uncomfortable with the silence. We want to shout from the rooftops. We are ready to be angry, even though we are still grieving all the lost parts of us we may never regain. It is time to engage in conversation. Even if we do not remember much, sometimes just shame, anger, sadness and helplessness breeding into every cell of our beings. It’s where I lost all of you in me – you kicked us out of our own home. You came unannounced and evicted us of our rightful home. The only home we will ever have. We spent years being angry at the house – how dare she lay the welcome mat to this violence? We starved, some avoided mirrors, some put themselves last, we made ourselves believe we were not worth anything. We rotted. From the inside out, just by ourselves. No help needed. All the lost girls in me – I am calling you. We are rebuilding and redecorating. Airing the rooms and changing the sheets. We are planting sunflowers in the garden. We are here. Living. Again. And despite it.
You are under no obligation to justify or explain your pain and abuse. All you have to do is heal at your own time, space and with your own means. Healing is necessary but it looks different on everyone. And it is fine. It takes time to heal and telling the stories is how I am managing my mental and emotional health and recovery. I bleed it out until it stops and try and make something meaningful from it, something that might not only help me heal, but reach someone else in a moment of need, or the end of revival, or the start of despair. You are not alone, you are not wrong, you are loved. There is a whole army behind you – never doubt that.
“It takes a broken twisted person to come searching for meaning between my legs, but it takes a whole, complete, perfectly designed person to survive it. It takes monsters to steal souls and fighters to reclaim them. This home is what I came into this world with. Was the first home. Will be the last home. You can’t take it.” Rupi Kaur