I woke up today feeling a little anxious as to whether or not I should write about a matter that has been playing on my mind… Before I dive in, I just wanted to say I appreciate everyone who takes the time out to read my blogs! It has been so rewarding emotionally to let out all my feelings both good and not so good. With every blog or Instagram post I am getting closer to becoming the person I have always wanted to be, which is to be transparent, helpful and most of all an inspiration to others… I share my stories from real life experiences and not only that, this platform is helping me to educate myself in other ways. E.g. Buying more books and actually reading them lol. I research motivational speakers and also read other blogs to gain more insight and knowledge in order to give the best advice I can when asked by my peers. We are all on a journey one way or the other and if we stop and really listen we can certainly change the way we dialogue.
The above title I began writing last week and as blog day approached I couldn’t go any further. I felt as though I needed to take a few days to rest my mind and eyes from the screen of my laptop and also from the books. The words were all beginning to look the same, so I listened to my body and took some time out to see my friends and spend some overdue quality time together in the sunshine. I had a great week, picnic in the park, conversation with other adults face to face, lord knows I have missed those! I enjoyed a glass of prosecco and cider, whilst watching our children climb the trees, kicking the football and appreciating being outdoors amongst each other. It was bliss! To the friends and family I haven’t seen yet, we soon link up, can’t be around everyone just yet…
As the weekend came to a close, that anxiety I had previously felt was no longer. Upon reflection I felt as though I needed to perfect my blog and reading all these amazing books trying to absorb all the information overwhelmed me. What I am learning is to keep pushing, however listen to my body and take time out when needed.
If ever you are trying to build on something whatever it may be and you feel overwhelmed there is no harm in taking a minute to refresh and get back to it. You are not a robot, I am pretty sure even the greatest of minds take a break. So with that said, take time out to have fun, as life is too short!
My journey so far with blogging has been some what refreshing and although it wasn’t my intention to become the perfect blogger, I am certainly seeing that it is both rewarding and challenging at times. There has been blocks along the way, but what I won’t focus on is any form of blockage. Being confined to my house has given me the much needed time I needed to figure out which path I want to take. It’s funny as the past few months I have been receiving calls and emails with dates for my return to work. Shortly after that, I then get a phone call saying: “We need to furlough you for another three weeks” and it has been continuous ever since. This means the universe knows my heart and has bigger plans for me. It is giving me more time to really work on becoming the best version of myself!
What are the things you do to help be the best version of yourself?
So let me get back to what I had previously planned on talking about… The title said it really, but I will go more in-depth… Question: Do you every stop and think about all the trials you’ve been through and how strong that makes you? – This is some of my testimony… I didn’t think I would be here to even be talking about this, that in itself is God and my Angels. My upbringing has been rough, I have seen and been through things not even my sister knows but she will now (sorry sis). Growing up in a household where you were called ‘The accident’ has followed me throughout my life. I am now able to speak about some of these things without crying so I know I am on the right path to healing! The constant need I had to ‘people please’ led me down some roads I wish I had never been to, yet in all it’s made me who I am now. Maybe without these teachings I wouldn’t have the wisdom I do now… Anyway, in my household there wasn’t much love shown, more like mental and physical abuse to put it lightly. The lack of support and encouragement to pursue a career beyond sales or invest in property had set me back to some extent.
This isn’t to pass blame on anyone now that I am old enough, I see and know better. I can see this is bigger than me, it stems deeper within generations and how they were brought up. The hardship they faced and not only that, they (mainly black people) were not allowed to speak up. Whether that be about abuse they felt or opportunity that wasn’t given. So when I say “speak your truth” this applies to everyone who has been and maybe still suffering in silence. But speaking from my experience, we were bought up to be seen and not heard so if shit hit the fan and I tried speaking up I was dismissed. Once again it’s not about blame, family just didn’t know what to say or do in tough circumstances. This is why I praise this new generation because the movement now #BLM is a real shift and being silence will be a thing of the past!
As a young black Jamaican girl growing up in south London, I was perceived as being a certain way, eg. loud, ghetto, aggressive and my God, that was for from the truth. In fact what I always did was speak my truth and some people did not like that. When people see you as ‘ghetto’ there is nothing you can do apart from prove them wrong. I remember being a youth talking to this guy, I felt grown because he was a few years older than me. (Those were the days of Motorola brick phones and flip Sony Ericsson’s). He was good looking, one of the mandem (as we called them), he had the chat and he was interested in me… Little did I know that same guy would be the one to take advantage of me a few months later. As I write this my hands are shaking. I had to call my friend and asked her advice and she reassured me that as I let it out, I let it go! Thanks hun – With that advice let me continue…
We met at a house party, I sat on the stairs because I only knew about three people there and felt some what nervous, so didn’t want to mingle. The vibe was nice, if you’ve ever been to a Jamaican house party you would know what I mean. I dressed well, nothing too revealing. As I sat on the stairs he walked past, I didn’t think anything at first as I only saw his long neat ‘locs. Soon the host for the party suggested I mingle and go to the kitchen for a drink, which I did, but as I did I had to walk past him. When walking past he pulled my arm and said “Mi can get a dance?” My head swelled because this fine man wants to dance with me and that night we exchanged numbers, yes the brick phone was well hidden in my bag. Days and weeks went on we spent time hanging out and getting to know each other, all was going well or so I thought. Come on, this young girl didn’t know any better… He picked me up from the block in his car, we went for a drive, grabbed some food and then he dropped me back home.
After repeating the same pattern of meeting up, hanging out, have a meal and then go home he began to get a little touchy, that I didn’t mind. However, my nerves meant that’s all it would be, until the nerves disappear. Two and a half months had passed and meeting up I felt more calm, he was ‘bae’ at the end of the day right. On this particular day he said we’re gonna go back to his house and cook, sounded nice… (Yes, me and bae are gonna cook food and chill, proper grown up I felt). It was going well, we watched a movie, laughed and it felt good. He then said in the middle of the film, “So what you nah mek we fuck?” I was somewhat aware sooner or later he would want to, but in my mind we’ve been good so far, so let me not say anything. I smiled and turned my head. His attitude changed and now pacing the room he seemed annoyed, so I said “Drop me home”, to which I felt a slap across my cheek! Shocked and speechless, I didn’t know what to do with myself so I froze. He then responded to my stillness and said, “You’re a cock-tease” with my face still in shock.
Trauma can affect you no matter what age you are, if you do not deal with it head on.. It will follow you throughout your life. There will be signs that a relationship may not work out, I’m not saying put up a guard all the time, however if you see a red flag get out!
He apologised, kissed my cheek, said how much he was attracted me and that his frustration in that he could not have me got the better of him. I didn’t leave after that, I stayed and me staying that day is the reason I am writing this now. We hugged, he touched me, I felt uneasy, still traumatised by him putting his hand on me. But not only that, he went that bit further… He held me down and did what he had set out to do. I felt sick, I said to myself did this really just happen? Did I say ‘yes’, was I into it? ‘NO’.. Hold up, did he really just rape me? Nah, he’s bae that didn’t happen! So why do I feel like this, like I am not in my own body? He seemed fine, talking, relaxed, calm… So maybe it’s not what I thought it was. I just wanted to go home. When he dropped me home it was as if nothing had happened, “I’ll call you later” he said. “Hmm” I mumbled. I avoided seeing him for weeks, until he showed up at the block, called and said he was downstairs. Heart racing as I took the lift from the seventh floor to ground…
We spoke and with my guard up the conversation stood still. I did not mention my feelings or what he did me to and how he made me feel. After that day, we drifted. He did not call me and I did not call him. To this day I have not seen or heard anything from or about him. I finally had the courage to tell a family member a little over a year after, when I felt low with suicidal thoughts. This burden was expressed in form of a letter, to which I was shouted at for causing problems and accused of it being my fault. “Shut up, nothing nuh go suh” I was told. Being dismissed by that family member brought on resentment… Although I have moved on to some extent, I guess that trauma had stayed with me. My roller-coaster life has opened up boxes I thought was closed. The problem was I hadn’t dealt with my trauma which is why it kept coming up in different forms, from failed relationships and trust issues including believing in myself and my capabilities.
The only thing that has helped is me speaking my truth in order to let it go… I know that what happened wasn’t right, that person took something from me that caused me pain even after I have had relationships with other people. He took away my freedom and choice to say ‘YES or NO’. The great thing about pain is that it builds strength, and that I claim in abundance!
ADVICE: for trauma victims, family and friends…
– Never dismiss, when you are dealing with someone who has been through past trauma, don’t dismiss them no matter how long ago that trauma may have happened. It takes a long time for some to even acknowledge that another could hurt them in ways that may need healing.
– Listen, listen, listen I can not stress that enough, some may just need someone they can vent to without judgement.
– Encourage their strength, it is very hard to feel strong at such a vulnerable time, but remember it takes strength to break silence.
– Show Love, show them how much you care, they may feel as though no ones cares because they are living their own lives, but if you check in that alone shows you care.
– Patience, have patience with yourself, there is no time limit for when or how you heal.
– The future, you can chose to make that step from victim to survivor- moving forward with your life.
If another who reads this is struggling to come to terms with any trauma, past or present, it may not even be related to this blog. I pray you speak up, speak your truth only then will you feel a relief of that burden you have or had been holding on to. Now is the time to pick yourself up and create the life you want. Our parents or grandparents generation may not be able to help because they may have experience similar trauma that they haven’t dealt with so don’t blame them for how they have dealt with you. Use this time and knowledge now to teach the new generation that silence is not on option!
Sending positive energy to my readers and into the Universe.