How Sexual Assault Changed my Life and Why I Forgave My Attacker

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When I started this blog my main goal was to speak on issues that I am passionate  about with the intention of helping as many people as I can. I truly believe that is my purpose in life. For the past few weeks my stomach has been in knots, and anger I have not felt in a while has resurfaced. This uneasy feeling brought me back to a place that I don’t like very much.

Brock Turner, Derrick Rose and Nate Parker all have the same things in common; A young woman who is the alleged victim of a sexual assault, and men trying to prove their innocence. One was found guilty, One was acquitted and the other is fighting for his freedom. What is alarming to me is the narrative that comes with sexual assault cases. Somehow the victim is always at fault in the public eye. What was she wearing? Was she drunk? How many sexual partners? Did she say no? I spent hours on social media reading the responses each time the stories were trending. People made jokes, some questioned the women’s motive while others alluded to her part in her own rape. I am infuriated. I am infuriated by the fact that with each new case it becomes more evident that society finds assaults on dogs more heinous than the assault on women. I felt helpless. These new cases made me reexamine my role in society.

I have been somewhat of a recluse by  design, but for years the people closest to me have been privy to some information that in many ways changed my life. Beginning at the age of seven years old, I was molested by an individual who I trusted with my innocence. It happened multiple times. Then at nine years old I was again molested by an older family member. Again, it happened multiple times. Somewhere in my undeveloped mind I accepted this to be the norm. I continued to live my life. I hid from my parents the hell I was living in, but with each day that passed I sank deeper into a place of darkness. I tried alcohol before my breasts were fully developed. I smoked, ran away from home (to my best friend’s house), dated the community drug dealer and searched for anything that could fill that hole. I didn’t understand what had happened. I carried with me the smell of the castile soap and sweat mixture from my first molester, and the sweat and camphor mix from my second molester. Every time I got to a place where I felt good, I would get a whiff that felt so real that I would cower in fear. I was living in my own personal hell. Continue reading

Inner Peace is a Personal Choice

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For years I struggled with finding and keeping some level of inner peace. I spent so much time working for validation from my parents and others in my circle that I completely forgot to live up to the standards that I created for myself. I was consistently stressed as I carried around the burden of not being able to fail without criticism.

I remained in relationships that no longer had my best interest at heart because I worried about the reactions of others. How would they see me if this failed? How will I survive by myself? I didn’t know how to change a tire. I have never taken my vehicle for an oil change. How would I survive without a second income? Who would protect me? I allowed the fear of hitting the reset button to completely hinder my personal growth. As years passed, I realized that I was unhappy with who I was. I did not possess inner peace. After another lengthy “discussion” with my parents about my degree concentration in college I realized that I needed to make some changes in my life.  Continue reading

Diluting the Realities of Slavery

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Slave Monument in Le Precheur, Martinique

If you asked me 15 years ago what my definition of freedom is, I would probably describe a life growing up in Jamaica. Back then, freedom meant the ability to wake up to a warm cup of chocolate tea and some variation of porridge, a nice open air bath at our favorite river, chasing the cane truck down the street, or watching soccer at our favorite community league. Back then life was simple. I was younger, more ignorant and less concerned about the past and how those occurrences could dictate the kind of future I might have.  Freedom meant that I could live and be ‘irie’ in a land once inhabited by people who could not have enjoyed the beauty that land offered. My island freedom was only a few decades removed from what is arguably the most hostile slave environment in the world.

With time and exposure my contentment with ignorance was replaced with an eagerness to know more. I knew I was born in Jamaica. I knew that my great-grandfather was of Scottish/Northern English ancestry. Somehow I was not satisfied with that, so I was curious to fill in the missing pieces. In high school we were taught about Christopher Columbus and the Native Indians. We were taught about the slave trade, but there was not much emphasis placed on the level of brutality. I don’t believe the average person asked many questions about their ancestors. We lived in a carefree world where we figured out our daily struggles and moved to the next phase. Continue reading

My Issues With Body Politics

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What is that one non-material thing that you are the sole proprietor of? You can dress it up, dress it down, it follows you everywhere, you choose when to lay it down and when to take it for another spin. You choose when to feed it, when to bathe it etc. Your body is YOUR temple and as the preceding sentences showed, you choose on a daily basis what to do with your body. As women though, it seems as if we have choices until those choices render others uncomfortable. Society has labelled and mischaracterized the use of the woman’s body to the point that her worth increases or decreases with the length of her skirt or the amount of her bosom that is on display. Her breasts can be used to sell anything from cheeseburgers to cars, but is told to cover up in public if she has the nerve to breastfeed her child. Politicians organize panels to vote on whether a woman can have access to birth control, and women succumb to the pressure that society has placed on her by spending insane amounts of money  to change the direction that nature took. We are socialized to believe that a woman is sleazy or her self worth is lacking if she dares to show any part of her body. Continue reading

Getting Back Into The Saddle…

 

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I recently posted about serial dieters and included tips that would lead to a healthier lifestyle. What I failed to talk about is the fact that many of those struggles are actually mine. From I was A toddler to around fours years ago I remained slender. In 2012 I had my daughter and even though I only gained 30 pounds throughout my pregnancy, my body never really recovered. I have dealt with weight fluctuations, lack of energy and restlessness ever since. I have not really changed my diet so my physician has trumped up the weight gain to a slower metabolism and hormone imbalance, possibly caused by birth controls.

As you can imagine, an increase in size can lead to a decrease in confidence. I found myself shying away from full body pictures and only purchasing loose fitting clothes to “hide” the weight gain. It has been almost 4 years since I have been employing every method except the right ones. My main struggle has been the discipline needed to eat well and finding time to exercise. I am the quintessential serial dieter. I have established that my level of discipline contributes to how my body is responding. I know as mothers it can be difficult to balance the mom life with all other aspects of life. Lets take this journey of a healthier lifestyle together shall we? Continue reading

What Is Your Price?

Money woman

While browsing Instagram today I came across a quote that said “find who you are and then be that”. That message inspired this post today because it drove me to do some soul searching. Those of you , who are committed to a 9-5 schedule like me may be having the same struggles that i am having. For a few months i have been wrestling with the repetitive nature of my job to the point that I feel like i am not myself anymore. Working in the service industry calls for a certain personality/ attitude so in a sense your real personality is suppressed for 8 hrs each day. One of the unfortunate facts of adulthood is that money is central to our existence, but does that mean we should sacrifice our mental stability to get paid? Continue reading

Serial Dieters Unite…

Do you find yourself trying every new fad diet that someone shares on social media? Do you copy your favorite celebrity’s crash diet? Do you find yourself hungry and sometimes angry after each meal? If your answer to one or more of those questions is ‘yes’, then you may be a serial dieter. Unfortunately, I am one of those people who struggle with maintaining a balanced diet. If you wear many hats like myself, you may also struggle with crafting meals that are consistent and healthy. I am a mother, student and a manager at my job so I am severely strapped for time. I sometimes resort to crash diets to lose weight which I know is doing more damage than good in the long run. I found that the crash diets led to cravings for sugar, or overall hunger which in-turn led to me eating ANYTHING in sight.

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food-eating-candy-chocolate

After a few failed attempts at dieting,  I realized that I was going about this the wrong way. I simply needed to make a few adjustments to my lifestyle to achieve the balance I craved. These tips may work for you as well if your lifestyle is similar. Continue reading