Updated: Jul 26, 2019
I'm broken...and I am tired of burying it.
There were the years I felt damaged. The years that I put up endless walls to hide myself. There were years that I prided myself in no longer caring. Years I put absolutely no value in myself. And then I started to dig myself out from under it all.
I sat on my yoga mat yesterday at #yogaday as a guest at ESPN. The instructor asked us to set an intention, my intention was to be a student. To be a student is to let down some of my walls, to be #vulnerable and I wasn't expecting this to stir so much up, but my suffering exists as part of me.
What is the biggest pain you have suffered? Can we really say some #suffering is worse than others? I can note suffering back to some of my oldest memories, but this perhaps was the worst. It was the day I lost myself. I was just 13.
There were mistakes I made and poor choices that lead up to the situation that would haunt me to this day. There were lies I told to end up at a friends house, at a party no parents knew was taking place, at a house where no adult would be home all weekend. There were the friends and teens I knew but there were also those more than 10 years older than me. My innocence lead me to trust the drink handed to me and that was the moment like a cascade of dominoes that I wish I could erase in time.
The me I had known would soon be buried deep under so much hurt I would not remember that part of myself of many many years. Beyond intoxicated later to find out my drink had angle dust or PCP added to it, curled up barely coherent in a friend's bed after the party had died down, someone 13 years older than me, twice my age would forever change me. He pulled off my pants, I fought him. He hit me until my ears rung, I screamed hoping some would hear. He choked me until I passed out, I woke up to him forcing himself in me. The details get worse. The pain layered on and on too awful to even share. When it was over he spit on me. Told me I was dirty, told me to shut up and stop crying. I lay there until morning when I told my closest friend who had thrown the party. My first attempt to live in my damage body...and she didn't believe me. I was lost.
I was 13. Do you remember yourself at 13. Do you have a child or a family member who is 13. Look at how young they are. Look at how much life they have yet to live. Look at the promising future they have. At this point mine was stripped away from me. I pushed away friends that were close. I stopped doing the things I loved. I began cutting myself. It was #thedarkestnightofmysoul.
This trauma haunts me every day. It lead me to abusive relationships and situations through my teens and into my twenties. I started to find a glimpse of myself when I first sat on my yoga mat in my early twenties. I uncovered a bit more of me as I began yoga teacher training. I dust off a bit more of myself which I have tried so hard to piece back together each time I share tools for healing with my students. But this pain is part of me. I cannot hide it. Hiding it is a delusion that will simply fester and corrode me from the inside out. The only way to fully heal, is to accept it. The only way to fully feel whole is to love this part of myself. To love the little girl who made the mistake that lead to this terrible night. It has taken this long to realize I can both accept it and also love myself.
I still feel broken. I often feel damaged. But I love the little girl within me, same me that is here today.