“Here let's go to your room,” he said. I felt resistance as he guided me towards the room, towards the truth.
This was finally it.
As we sat on the bed, my chest heaved and my body convulsed, choked by emotional pain that I had locked inside for nearly twenty years. The dam I had built could no longer withstand the force.
Eventually the words passed through my constricted throat, quivering out one by one. They were the words that I repeated over and over to myself since I was a very young child. The words that would make me hit myself in hopes that they would stop as I tried to fall asleep. The words that made me cut, poke, and pull out hairs compulsively. The words that symbolized the horror that enveloped the radiant light of my true being.
Four simple words. 20 years of pain.
|me, nineteen years old|
|i love you little molly!|
That day was April 4, 2002. I like to call it my Independence Day.
I was blessed to have such an emotionally safe and supportive boyfriend. He was the first person I ever told my story to. He was my first love, my first boyfriend....first everything. He confessed that he knew what was going on with me before I even expressed those words directly. To this day, my heart is filled with gratitude for the time we shared.
|me and T, my college boyfriend of four years|
From that day on, I began to seek support for my healing. The counseling center at my college offered individual and group therapy for incest survivors. Group work especially had a profoundly positive effect for me as it gave me the space to integrate the “crazy shit in my head” in a safe envirnoment with other women my age that had experienced similar things. For the first time in my life, I started to feel “normal” and empowered!
This type of work was also valuable at the time because it helped me develop the confidence and language around my experience so that when I told my friends, it wasn’t as much of an earthquake for me. The first person that I told after my boyfriend was a dear friend and college roommate. She couldn’t believe it and would have “never guessed it in a million years”. She cried and embraced me while we sat on my bed while telling me how amazing and gifted I was. Our friendship florished in the short time we lived together (I love you so much for that C!).
The initial stages of my journey were not so easy even though I had support. Sometimes I felt like a diseased and unlovable monster or just plain crazy. Even though it was really tough, I always knew deep down in my gut that this was the path that I was meant to travel on and that one day I would be a resource and supportive voice to other people. I needed to navigate the cellular memory of my trauma, the engrained negative neural pathways, and automatic nervous system responses in order to free myself. There was no way but through. Each step was towards the light of embracing my inner warrior.
What followed in the years to come was an integration of my authentic self.