…of what’s helping me heal from childhood sexual abuse.
In no particular order.
- Dancing. These days, dancing = attending my awesome Zumba class in Yellow Springs. It’s liberating. It’s helping me unwind the long-bound-up energy in my pelvis. When I have a week without Zumba, I feel the lack. The teachers (Gina and Melissa) are wonderful. There’s a room full of women (and sometimes a man or two, too, which is great!), of various ages and colors of skin, and we drop it low low drop it drop it low low… sometimes we cool down to the Beastie Boys. It costs $2 per class; you put your money in the box by the door, the honor system. Close as it gets to perfection. At times, I imagine the room full of dancers as an army of survivors…I say to myself, “okay, predators, I dare you to enter this room. You want your ass kicked? Bring it on.” Extremely empowering for a “nice” girl who was socialized to be nice and take care of everyone but herself.
- Being with other women who understand. I’m fortunate to have many strong and amazing female friends, and lots of people to talk to. Including my mother. The more I talk about it, the easier it gets to talk about. It also helps when I can remind myself that right now, many women are feeling exhilarated about #metoo and the truth-telling, and many are feeling vulnerable & exposed, and both, and yes, and every shade in between. It’s heady, and for me the sensation changes from one breath to the next with all this release of secrets and shame. This collective vulnerability feels new to me. (I know part of the newness to me is because I’m white, so I have felt relatively “safe” in many ways, walking around on the planet during my lifetime, unlike the experience of many people of color.)
- And I visit a skilled, compassionate therapist.
- Writing. Writing anything, but especially writing about it, in various forms, and writing letters to the inner critic, and writing, because it means I’m alive and I can use my voice. Like now on this blog post. Like when I run into someone later today at the store, and I’m sure something will be spoken, something from out of the shadows.
- Breathing. Similar to writing…I’m alive and I can use my voice. Sometimes breathing helps me remember that the past and the future are not real. Just now, this moment, is what’s real.
- Listening to (and singing) fortifying songs. Like “In The Roots We Are Together”, by Eleanor Brown, for ALisa Starkweather, which my dear friend Amy Chavez introduced to our circle last year, after that predator was elected president. Please find the lyrics below.
(How are you healing these days?)
IN THE ROOTS WE ARE TOGETHER
by Eleanor Brown
I am still love
I am still here
Even in the ravaging crying of a river
I’m breathing this fire whilst still under water
I am still loving this heart on dilation
Unraveling unending keep singing her forward
I am still love
I am still here
We rise and we fall, are we wise or we fools?
Are we walking us home, are we leaving it all?
Cracking us open, gold digging down there
Are we saving our lives, are we great saboteurs?
In the roots, in the roots, in the roots we are together
We are here. We are love.