Before you read this post, I must state that this could be quite unsettling, uncomfortable, disturbing, and even triggering. I believe that I’ve written in such a way that I only lightly tap into traumatic events, but if you feel at this moment that this won’t do you any good by reading this please don’t. I also want to state that I would really appreciate that everyone limits their sympathy or shock comments and keep them to themselves. If you feel like this helps you, or you feel like you want more of this kind of realness, those comments are welcome. If you have anything you’d like to discuss with me, you can do so by privately messaging me.
Lately, I have been diving into understanding my struggles with my mental health. I have been going in and out of the depths of my mind and I have began to shed light on my shadows. I have had memories of events from my childhood start to reveal themselves, and the truth has been unsettling. I don’t know when it started. I don’t know what exactly happened. I just know that I have an incredibly sharp memory and the gaps in my memory timeline hold a lot of trauma around sexual abuse. I’ve always had a feeling that this was the truth, but because I couldn’t remember what happened it never felt relevant enough to even mention.
My mother tells me that as a young child I was loving and cuddly and always gave hugs, then when I turned to the age of around 10 or so, maybe earlier, I stopped letting anyone touch me. I completely shut down. She never understood why this happened, and I never understood exactly why either, but I always had a feeling that something very very wrong had happened.
There isn’t very much scientific research on the matter, yet, but it was because of a dose of psilocybin mushrooms that my memories began to come back. I am one of the many people that believe in the true healing abilities of mushrooms and I believe that at this time it may seem radical, but give it a decade and it will be normalized. Much like the plant-based diets and medical marijuana. I can’t remember what brought me into the memories, maybe I was thinking about all my failed relationships, maybe I was wondering why my father abandoned me, maybe I was remembering my most recent pain, either way a light turned on in a place that was so dark I never acknowledged it’s existence.
It wasn’t just one time, it was many times. It wasn’t just one person, it was a number of people. People that I had trusted and they took advantage of my innocence and naivety. I remember laying in bed with men, as a small child. I remember being told that sex was beautiful, as a child. I remember feeling my vagina for the first time while a man watched me, as a child. I remember how they waited for me in the darkness. I remember being hit in the shower. I remember being hit for being a bad girl. I remember being sent to bed without food as punishment. I remember having my nipples touched and prodded at as they grew from a child’s chest to a young women’s breast, while they thought I was sleeping. I remember fights my parents had from the time I was two years old, the colours and the feelings. I remember being left in the dark. I remember running away. I remember wanting to runaway my entire life.
Why is there so much shame around admitting that you’ve been abused? Are we afraid that we wont be loved, or believed? I believe these truths need to be said, they need to be unveiled, shared, and embraced. I know that I am not the only one out there that has been through these traumas.
A story I feel myself is real, is that I think many people see my smiling face, they hear my boisterous laugh, they see my pictures and read my words and they think, wow this girl is so happy, she’s such a light, and in the back of their mind they think she’s had it so easy. It makes me sad, and frankly mad. I feel frustrated that they can’t see all of me. I act out, I become sassy, and they call me a little brat. That word is so condescending that I end up feeling like my pain is irrelevant. That I don’t deserve anyone’s sympathy or understanding because I have it so good. The truth is, my life has been long and hard, but I refuse to let any of it paralyze me, and yet there are moments where the trauma freezes me. I fall into dark holes in my mind, unable to understand why, or how, I got there. My nerves are in constant fight-or-flight mode, so I keep moving, I keep smiling, I keep shining,
I am learning that the depths of my darkness is apart of my radiant light.
I believe that I went through these experiences in order to turn these traumas into gold and use them as my tools to help others do the same. To me, all of my experiences seem insignificant to the experiences and the pain and the abuse that I know so many others have and still are going through that I didn’t feel like it was my right to even mention my own, but that is so far from the truth. As life goes on and I attempt to find inner peace and happiness I realize how I can turn my experiences into tools and that this is my true path.
Recently I came upon the concept of Ikigai, which is a Japanese concept that loosely translates to “our reason for being”. A chart has been developed for people to get more of an understanding of how to pursue a path that gives them more reason for being. There are 4 circles and in the middle they meet to create your Ikigai. There are 4 topics to ponder to get to the centre point. What you Love, What you are good at, What the world needs, and What you can be paid for.
I decided to actually attempt to fill out this chart with automatic writing, listing out whatever each question brought to mind naturally instead of what I felt I SHOULD write down.
I started with what I felt would be easiest to answer, What I love, listing things out like: health foods,animals, nature, friends, family, writing, cooking, eating, fine wine, etc.
Then, What I am good at: cooking, writing, making friends, etc.
Then, What the world needs: health, healing, peace, and love, etc.
And what I found is that when I made it to What I can be paid for, what made sense was a path that follows introducing health and happiness to others. Holistic nutrition, counselling, healthy lifestyle influencer, working with healing trauma.
After spending 5 years getting my bachelors degree in fine arts and majoring in photography I have spent 5 more years discovering that this isn’t what is aligned with my highest path. I thought that artist, art, photography, etc would come up and surprisingly enough, or maybe not at all, that is not what I think the world needs. It’s only what I need for myself, and because I have told myself that it is what I SHOULD be doing I’ve drained out the passion that originally gave myself purpose.
I am only just beginning to understand why I have struggled so much throughout my life. Let me be very clear, I have a had an amazing life. I am so grateful for EVERY experience that I have had. The good and the bad. The light and the dark. I wouldn’t be this shiny without this much darkness. I want to share my experiences of trauma more openly because I believe it will set myself and others free from the paralysis. It may feel uncomfortable to read such raw content, but I want to take off my masks and let the world see me so I can encourage others to do the same.
Hi, I’m Jessica and I have issues, Im learning to love them as I fall deeper in love with the girl that made it all the way here.
If you feel like you can relate and would like to discuss any feelings or experiences of your own, it would bring me joy to hear from you.
The truth shall set you free.