I am Going to Write Something True.

secret chapter

Let me first clear the air about the title of this piece. Me sitting down and saying I am going to write something true does not mean that everything I have written before this post was false. Tonight I felt the familiar tug to write and when I sat down to start this is the title that flashed across my mind. In that moment I knew it was time. I am ready to be seen in a truth I have not shared.

In this post I am going to share a chapter of my story I have never read out loud before. I have held this pain, I rescued this piece of myself many many moons ago, and now I am ready to share this small piece of a guarded part of my soul.

When I was 23, almost exactly this time of year 10 years ago I was raped.

I was raped by a friend. I did not call it rape, I called it complicated.

Complicated in that I blamed myself, complicated in that I knew him personally so who would believe me?, complicated in that when I told one of my best friends the very next day she also blamed me and minimized it – you should have known better, you know how he is.

He was excused and I was blamed. I never spoke of it again. I threw away my ripped shirt and bra, I made peace with the fact that I was never getting that missing earring back, and put healing ointment on my ripped ear that the earring had been torn from.

I got tested a month later and every month after that for 6 months to ensure my body was safe from what happened. He used a condom but still, this felt like the one way I could control something when everything else that had happened that night made me feel powerless.

By 23 I was so skilled at disconnecting from my body in times of trauma that it did not take me long to adjust and “get back to normal” as if nothing ever happened.

As if nothing ever happened is the lie I have been telling myself since childhood, I knew how to play this game.

I don’t know what my feelings are towards him. He shared his darkness with me that night, AND I know he is more than just that moment, he is more than just that darkness. AND I do not ever have to be okay with it.

I can know all of this AND I am not obligated to forgive and forget. My healing does not depend on my forgiving him or forgetting anything. My healing does not depend on him at all. My healing happened when I finally went back to that moment and rescued that girl who I abandoned that night when I was scared and in pain. It happened when I allowed myself to finally hold the pain, and shame, and fear, and rage I had spent a decade ignoring.

I am one of countless women who have experienced sexual trauma. We each narrate and make sense of our story and experience in different ways. This is the first time I am sharing this piece of myself so openly and while I am not sitting in shame about allowing myself to be seen in such a raw form, writing it and this sharing feels clunky.

Many of our stories we tell so often that they have a natural flow and ease rolling off the tongue or falling from our finger tips. My truth is: trauma stories rarely do. They feel clunky and misshapen, sometimes uneven and without that flow. I believe that is because these are our unspoken truths, we have never given these experiences words so when we finally try I think it takes time to find the words that fit, and sometimes there just aren’t any words for experiences – that is okay too.

This is my raw, unfiltered truth:

I was raped by a man who I know now was never my friend. I was shamed into silence by myself and (knowingly or unknowingly) by my friend. It may have taken me a decade but I went back for myself and I saved that girl. I took that shame and like an alchemist transformed into love. Nothing that I have ever done or that has ever been done to me in this life has made me unlovable. I am love.



To Be a Master


A little over a week ago I graduated from university with my Master’s degree. I have been spending some time feeling this new title out. Master. I mastered something, I became  Master of Social Work. Actually, No. That is not my truth.

Something I realized right away and lamented on throughout the year while I was working on this degree was the fact that I knew I was not getting everything I needed/wanted out of the program in order to feel fully competent when leaving school. They give us the foundation, sure, but the rest is up to us. It is up to us to become who we are meant to be and make our own unique mark in this field and on this world. Going to school did not make me a Master.

So I am still sitting with this label. What does it mean to me? What would it take for me to be a Master?

My thoughts then gravitate to my own personal work. For a long time I have thought of my therapist as my own personal Yoda. This came after a session where she compared me to Luke and told me that I am on my hero journey. I said well if I am Luke that would make you my Yoda. And so Yoda she has been since that day.

Luke became a Jedi Master but he had to take his own path to get there. There was  no school to show him the way, I think the path of the true Master can only come from within.

I think one day I could feel grounded in my title of Master of Social Work but the truth is I am not there yet. I might be a lot closer than some though because I show up. I show up to do my true work that I am called to do in this life and through that I will learn my deepest purpose. This degree is not an end, it is my beginning. Social work was just the key to the door and now that my door is open I can step through and begin the real work.

All my pain and failures and heartache from the past were laid out in front of me so one day I could be here ready for this. I will continue forward and walk along side others as they walk their paths forward and one day I will be ready to step into my true greatness as a Master of Love.