Sunday, June 2, 2013

Bottom of the bottle empathy

Last night I met some new people. It was fun, interesting and I had a few bonding experiences. We went to a local bar/club and had the opportunity to get to know each other. After everyone had reached the bottom of many bottles and many hours had passed, the night finally ended around 2am.

I faced the get to know you questions, the exposure to the craziness, the bonding and getting personal, lots of girl talk, and I survived it all.... it was good and I had fun with it all. We talked about how I came to be there, about my job now, my future career, about my book and what it was about, etc. The most memorable part of the night was the car ride with V squared. At one point one of the women turned around and shared with me that she had faced something similar to what I had been through in high school. We had an awesome conversation about it and I was able to shed some light for her as well as share some advice as far as healing and moving forward.

This was the first time I really had the opportunity to talk about my book and really reach out to someone who has been through a similar situation. The first time I was able to give advice or share experiential wisdom. I know I do not know everything and every situation is not the same, but I really did feel like I made a connection there and it makes a difference.

My entire passion for writing is sharing my experiences. I know that when I was going through all of them I felt so alone. There wasn't anyone out there who knew what I was going through, who would talk about it, or share their story with me in order to empathize. I know I cannot reach everyone, but the ones I do reach, I want them to know that they are not alone.

I know that when people drink they become more emotional and their filters disappear. I may not have learned what I learned or had the opportunity to share my experience or understanding if the bottom of the bottle hadn't been reached a few times. Would she have shared? Trusted me with her experience? Been able to speak about it out loud?

Then I start to wonder.... I know that when I was there in that moment years ago it took a lot for me to share or even talk about anything... I never spoke about most of the experiences I faced because I felt so alone and I didn't know there were others out there who shared the same thoughts, emotions, experiences, etc. I know there were many times I reached the bottom of a bottom or many bottles before I would open up and share anything with anyone. This breaks my heart, but it is the truth. I know that I have personally struggled with this and there are others who struggle as well.

My goal is to open honest dialogue about the experiences we face. I want people to talk about it. I want women and men to know they are not alone, there is a safe place to have a conversation and people will not judge you about what you have been through. The other thing I want survivors to know is that it is not their fault. There is no reason anyone should ever force you to do something you do not want to do in anyway. No means no, and if you are too inebriated to say no, then that means no as well. Any situation where someone is taking advantage of another is a bad situation and should not be happening.

Speak! I know that I did not back then and a part of me regrets it because although it would have been a tough road and trying to endure all of that, the man that caused me all that pain and suffering for years, the man that will be in my memories and nightmares forever, the man that took so much from me would have faced the law and been forced to suffer the consequences of his actions. I know that in my situation he ran off, moved away and I was not present to see what happened after he left, but I know there is one thing that I have always clung to throughout my life... that is that God will take care of it...

Romans 12:19 (The Message) Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for you authenticity and sharing with us. I am a survivor also and I hope to one day be able to share my story so openly like you do. You are such an inspiration to me and you are so brave and courageous.