We are important too!

When I saw this months cover of Time Magazine’s “Person of the year” – The Silence BreakersThe Voices That Launched a Movement” it not only struck an angry nerve for me, but it made me sad and frustrated!

For YEARS people have been speaking out about sexual assault, sexual abuse, child sexual abuse, rape and so on! I am not talking about just celebrities; I am talking about your everyday mom, wife, daughter, sister, father, husband, son, and brother.

People have been speaking out more and more about sexual assault, sexual abuse, and even rape! I believe it needs to be heard louder, and it’s not given the proper attention it deserves.

What made me upset about the “Time Magazine” article was this quote:

While the concept of #MeToo was started in 2006 by activist Tarana Burke, its use became part of the national conversation in October after celebrities on social media used it to share their own sexual abuse stories in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal

It only became a worldwide conversation when “celebrities” stood up and spoke? What about the millions of people who write books, write blogs, spread awareness around their own stories? Why did it take the voices of well-known, high paid, wealthy celebrities for the #METOO movement to be seen and recognized as much as it has this year?

Are the voices of everyday people not credible enough for this movement to be seen for what it truly stands for; only when celebrities began standing up to it?

YES, Time Magazine did include a great spread of photos around the everyday people who have also come forward – but that was not brought to the forefront, or noticed until popular celebrities began voicing their truth, and telling their stories of the sexual assaults they endured.

Lets be honest, had the celebrities not spoken out as they did – we “sadly” wouldn’t be having this conversation right now – because to society and the media, the every day people are not as interesting, and it doesn’t pay and that is the sad truth in all of this.

It makes me angry, and it makes me sad that we are not hearing the voices and the stories of your average everyday people who dare to speak, and have the courage to be seen.

The “METOO movement” which began in 2006 sadly wasn’t heard-of as loudly until recently when popular celebrities took their stories to social media! I struggle with society and the media not paying attention to it until it brings in revenue or its high standards of the celebrities to make it stand out and worthy enough to pay attention to. it saddens me!

I am however hopeful that the movement is pressing to the everyday people to speak more – I am in awe anytime anyone speaks their truth, but I will stand by this belief – this DID NOT start with the celebrities who stood up this year and took a stand – it started WAY before that, it just sadly went un-noticed!

When I saw the magazine cover, the first thing I thought of was “this isn’t new” “this isn’t new news” – look between the lines and you will see that stories have been told – voices have been spoken – people have been courageously talking about it for YEARS by thousands of people – sadly the media and society chooses to highlight it when it benefits them!

I hate that something so important as the “metoo movement” or the stories written by others stood stagnant until the popular media heard it through celebrities!

Whether it’s a story told against the popular Harvey Weinstein, or the actor Kevin Spacey, or the average man/woman living next door to you, it’s a story worth telling and hearing! No one “story” or “pain felt” should be treated any differently whether you are a celebrity or not.

Thousands of courageous bloggers and writers out there have been telling their story for YEARS; using their voice to bring awareness to a topic that is so shielded by society out of fear of talking about it.

I myself have been writing for years on my blog; writing about the story of my past, and the healing journey I have taken in therapy from my past around the child sexual abuse I endured from the age of 5 until I was 11, and then raped at 13 by a “friend” of the family.

I work hard in my journey, and I write about it in hopes it gives others the courage to stand and tell their story! I love connecting with others and truly have a heart for those who find that courage within.

I am not saying that Time Magazine didn’t focus on the everyday people, and I am absolutely not saying that the voices of these celebrities are not important – because EVERYONE’S VOICE MATTERS!

What I am upset about is that we live in a society that money and fame speak louder than your everyday person whose voice is just as important – but unfortunately not as noticed.

EVERYONE and ANYONE who has courageously spoken their story deserves to be seen as “person of the year” – and I will say, if this highlights the movement, even more, that’s GREAT, but lets stop giving all the credit to the celebrities – because I truly believe it started with those who hide behind the fear – those who are NOT seen in the limelight.

We need to bring awareness to all woman and men who have a story to be told! Let’s give credit to this movement to ALL who speak and use their voice to the truths around sexual assault, sexual abuse, and rape.

You matter, and your voice matters! Stand tall against a society that chooses to focus on what will sell the story – because, in the end, no amount of money can equal up to the courage it takes to speak your truth.

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finding new light and darkness

“I stopped looking for the light and decided to become the light instead.”

This quote is so true to what I feel is going on inside this past month.

Even as I sit here and write this blog, it feels different – there is a newness of this writing and the process of being open with where I am.

Like I shared with my therapist in session last week, “this past month has been the most healing in all the years of being in therapy.” I look forward to what this new light will bring to me as I continue to take steps; allowing myself to be the light, rather than finding the light to lead the way.

One of my biggest struggles in the 10 years I have been in therapy is being open and truthful when I am really going through a hard time, or really struggling with something! Well, doesn’t that sound contradicting seeing that therapy is “made” for helping when you are struggling and going through hard times?

Well, for me, as far back as I can remember, I have only allowed myself to be open about whatever struggles I am going through if I have come up with how to fix it or make it better, and then I ask for support and help as I move through it.

I have always had this fear that if I allow myself to be seen struggling, that I will be rejected or I will be punished or pay consequences for talking about how I feel.

I am a FIGHTER, and I like to show that side of me – not the side that struggles or needs help.

When my therapist and I work together in therapy, we work TOGETHER! I rarely allow myself to say “I need help, and I don’t have it figured out.”

This past month I came to this realization that there is more light in allowing myself to be who I am “in the moment” and allowing others to see me in that light.

I made a decision this past month that allows me to be authentic to the moment instead of always raising a wall to the hard and only allowing the wall to come down once its OK enough to be seen.

The same goes for my writing, a lot of times I wouldn’t write a blog unless there was a resolve or an understanding of something. I would write a blog about positive things that I have overcome rather than letting people know “HEY, I have struggled and I don’t have it all figured out and hey that’s OK.”

What I have come to realize is that, healing happens even in the moments that are not fixed, or don’t feel better. Healing can happen in the hardest of all struggles, and its OK to ask for support in that. I don’t have just to be supported when I have figured it all out – that I am loved, cared for “SEEN” in the darkness.

The past couple of weeks in therapy have been the most healing, the most supporting, the most open, and the most vulnerable I have ever experienced because I have allowed myself to be in both light and dark.

I am finally seeing myself taking steps back into the things that once used to be a huge part of my life. Like the church, writing more, being around my once close friends, and not because I have found the light, but because I have allowed myself to see the dark, and heal in the dark.

I am open to what is next. I am hoping that I am going to write more by allowing others to see not just the good healing steps in my life or the good healing steps in therapy, but being open to the struggles it took to take those steps. Even in the moments of saying “this is where I am, and I don’t have it figured out, and that is OK because I am supported.”

This is such a HUGE step for me because I never allowed myself to be fully seen or supported without me putting up a partition wall to the struggles until It was ok for others to see. This is such a new space for me and I look forward to seeing how it brings me to the places I long to be.

I look forward to writing and connecting with others more in this space and seeing what it does for me and how it heals and meds and where it leads me.

I look forward to writing the blogs that say “I am having a hard day, and ITS OK” or showing up in my life no matter where it is open to the dark, and not just the light knowing healing can happen in both.

So I hope you will all walk with me in both the light and dark and both Good and Hard as I continue to take steps on this amazingly un-perfect journey.

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awaken memories

The past couple of weeks I have been experiencing very strong, vivid dreams and memories of my past when I was a little child, and it’s been incredibly hard to sit with these memories that have come to me in my sleep.

I have written before about “crying wake up’s” that I experience once in a while – dreaming and then waking up crying out of my sleep. Well, its happening again only now it’s happening along with very vivid and strong memories of my past.

The moment I wake up with a dream like this, I try and grab my phone’s notepad app to write down whatever I can remember to capture as much as I can! If I fall back asleep without writing the dream down, I will forget details.

I have had crying wake up’s before! I had had bad dreams before, but this is different, this is vivid, and they are strong and painful even. These dreams have been effecting me and my personal life and connection to self.

My therapist and I have been talking about them more in session and the meaning behind them and what the dreams/memories may be trying to tell me. We have spoken about it, I have written about it, I even talked with someone who knew a lot about dreams from those abused in the past, or from abuse survivors.

The dreams and the wake up’s are the inner young child’s way of telling a story she holds! Sometimes when we work on healing for so long, the inner child begins to trust more, she begins to step away from the wall just enough to let images be visible from the young child’s perspective. My inner child is telling me a story of the past that needs my voice, needs healing, needs to be spoken for her to move on, and grow up to be the adult I am today.

I have been told many times that the inner child is stuck inside, and sometimes it takes years and years for the young inner child inside to finally be free and ready to accept the endured abuse and pain, and the story she holds to be told, to be felt, to be trusted!

I have been in therapy for ten years, and in these ten years, I have talked about my story many times in different ways. I have worked through a lot of the pain! I have worked through a lot of the images and the story behind my past. I have painfully stepped into my past.

But it’s different this time; I feel a different shift happening inside of me to where the young part of me feels present; particularly through these vivid, horrific, painful dreams.

These dreams feel so real like it’s happening all over again! It’s the closest I have been to the abuse since it has happened, and it’s scary and painful in ways I cannot describe.

So what do I do with this? At times I am afraid to shut my eyes to sleep at night. My therapist knows what “I had a crying wake up” means and just how hard that is for me – – but that doesn’t even touch just how painful these wake up’s are or have been these past couple weeks.

My husband has even experienced me struggling in my sleep many times this past month, and he has seen just how horrible it has been for me. The crying wake up’s, the wincing in my sleep, the struggle to get out of the situation I am in during these dreams.

What I have come to realize and understand is, this is not something to hurt me all over again, but more so a way for the young inner child within me to speak and show me what she holds. It’s her way of saying “this is what I hold, this is what I remember – and she looks for healing.

But what about all the years I have talked about my past? What about all the hard work I have done so far in working with the images and stories of my past? I thought I was healing? Why is this happening now? Well, This IS the healing! This is the young part of me healing!

Finally, she has trusted to come out of the dark shadows within and show me, to use my voice to talk about “her” feelings and “her” pain.

We all have an inner child! For those abused as a child, that inner child is “stuck” and “silenced” and driven to fear out of being told for many years that she is not allowed to talk about it!

Me as the adult I am today, I have told the story! I have re-lived the old images of the past- but the young inner child wasn’t ready yet, she stayed dormant to the healing until trust could build just enough to come out from behind the walls.

As the healing has happened within me over the years, the young inner child has finally become awaken to my truth, to the trust of my therapist who holds the story. I have spent ten years showing up and showing her trust, love, and connection. The young inner child has awakened to that healing I have worked so hard through – and now that young wounded child is here – listening and ready to heal.

A physical wound heals from the inside out – An emotional wound heals from the outside in! Think about it, emotional healing begins on the outside and works its way inward, and deep within is that wounded, scared little child stuck, now ready to heal and speak and talk and even feel, and that is what I have realized is happening inside of me.

I spoke with someone recently who specializes in healing the inner child, and she said to me “Karen, you are healing, the dreams and the wakeups are not there to hurt you, but to show you.”

Difficult to think about isn’t it? Doesn’t make it any easier to shut my eyes before bed knowing I could be shown yet another image of my past that is painful or hard to see – – but if I can heal another wound on the little girl inside of me, it’s worth going through the pain again.

It took me years and years to believe that I have an inner child. I didn’t want to believe it! I struggled with the thought that if I admitted to having an inner child, that something was wrong with me. I feel differently now – I welcome this journey, and I embrace whatever the inner child wants to show me, because I know, from the outside in, she is healing.

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