Overcoming Sexual Abuse
(Photo credit: Damien Genardi)
I am grateful to be to the point now where I can share this. I am grateful to have amazing friends, family and communities who have helped me get here. (Here's to you Dreamers. Here's to you Thrivers.) I am grateful to have the most loving partner who hears me and sees me and matches my level of integrity and heart. For parents who are wide awake. I am grateful that I can share this in hopes to inspire change. I am not grateful to have endured this kind of abuse.
..because the truth is, in the passed I was trusting to a fault. I like to assume people are as well intended as I am until they prove themselves otherwise. And in the passed this resulted in being violated sexual, and in other ways. I wish I could say these two instances are the only ones, but they are not.
When I was sixteen years old I went to the Amazon to sit in Ayahuasca & Huachuma Ceremonies with my father. This is an experience that I would never take back, as it has shaped who I am. It was my first initiation into Shamanism. It further allowed me to see the workings of the universe. To further understand myself, and the harmful effects of the beauty industry on a young woman's psyche. Powerful lessons for a sixteen year old young woman.
There are however several moments on that trip that I would take back if I could. One in which my body was violated by the Shaman who was holding ceremony. While receiving my morning flower bath he pulled my bikini to the side to look at my breast. He then proceeded to try to suck my face off. I told my father, and he did what he could.
The next instance was worse. Much worse. Upon returning back to the US I went to a party one night. I went home with a man. He was twenty one or twenty two. I was sixteen. I considered him a friend. That night he tried to sleep with me. I said "no" over and over. But he kept asking. He kept trying. I finally gave in because in that moment I didn't see another option. But the fact of the matter is- "Fucking fine. Turn off the lights," is not a consensual "yes."
He wouldn't turn off the lights. I closed my eyes and tried to check out. He told me to open my eyes.
Different people process trauma in different ways, but there is one thing we know for sure. One of the beautiful protection mechanisms of the psyche is to remind us that it could always be worse.
He bragged to our "friends". One of these "friends" called me later to make fun of me for sleeping with him. That is not only slut shaming, but that is victim shaming. I blamed myself for not going home that night. I blamed myself for not seeing another option in that moment. I blamed myself for giving in. I blamed myself to the point of not even seeing it as rape until more recently that I would like to admit. I didn't want to be "that girl" who cried rape and got a boy in trouble. He was not a boy. He was a boy in a man's body. This was rape on multiple levels. For a long time my thoughts were, "He didn't beat me, so it wasn't that bad."
For the next twelve years I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I would consistently have this feeling that I was being choked, yet I was not. I have never been non consensually choked in this lifetime. What I see now is that in that these experiences I was symbolically choked. They seared into my psyche that my voice didn't matter. It wasn't until recently that I realized this is one reason that I would find myself repeating myself frequently.
For several years following that experience sex no longer felt sacred. Sex felt like something I had to do in order to receive touch. Sex felt like something I just had to do if I went out for a couple of drinks with a man, because I didn’t want to lead him on. What this reflects to me now is the impact that it had on my self worth. At that point I was not aware that there are multiple kinds of touch and intimacy. That ever human needs to receive these kinds of touch and intimacy in order to feel their needs are being met, and that is natural and healthy.
I forgive both of these men. I forgive them from the bottom of my heart. I forgive them so that I may go into ceremony as a divine channel and pray for the evolution of their being. I forgive so I can pray for their children. Pray that their children are taught healthy boundaries and the meaning of consent. In hopes that their children never experience the same things I did. I will not, however, forget what they did to me. I will never just chalk it up to being what women have to go through in this world. We do not have to go through this. We have the power to end this cycle now!
We end this cycle by teaching our children about consent. We change this cycle now by talking about sex with our children from a young age, because everyone is born a sexual being. We teach healthy boundaries. We also teach our children that is it okay to have needs. We teach them how to ask for support, and how to get their needs met in healthy conscious ways. We teach our children how to say no. We teach our children how to listen to no. We teach our children the power of intention. That action follows intention and it is always important to hold the highest good for humanity as our overarching intention. We don’t just teach our children. We start talking to our friends about this NOW. We support each other so that no one feels like they can not open up about their experiences.
It is because of this, and for many other reasons that I have put together my Big Island Journey Retreat. So that we may experience the beauty and healing energy of Dolphin Medicine as we swim with them in their natural habitat. So we may sit together as a group and hold space for each other as we open up about things that we may have never before felt safe to share with people before. So I can share the tools of Yoga, Meditation, Breath Work, and Sacred Plant Medicines that help to open up the channels of the body. So we may open up and heal together. Because our sexual energy is directly linked to our creativity, to our ability to experience pleasure/success/money. Because our voice is important, and I want to hear your story. I want the world to hear your story.
This retreat is for all genders, so we can support each other in healing. This retreat is for you if you want to rise above your less than desirable experiences and expand into your joy. If you want to learn communication tools that will change your relationships for the better. This retreat is for you if you are ready to do the deep inner work that it takes to heal the mind, body and soul. If you are ready to see the quantum shifts that take place when we do this inner work. If you are ready to allow yourself to open up to all of the pleasure and happiness that is available to each one of us in this universe. If you are seeking amazing friends who you can laugh, cry and be yourself with!
May your voice ring as loud as your soul desires to shine,
Angela Rose Fields
(Earlybird Special ends March 12th- My Birthday!)
(Photo Credit: Matt Straughan)