Archive | June, 2013

AT THE END…

19 Jun

Rainbow


AT THE END

I Lived

I Loved

I Laughed

I Prayed

            I Felt Pain

               I Cried

                    I Hurt

                        I was Betrayed

                                     I made Friends

                                         I was a Friend

                                             I lost Friends

                                                 I had enemies

                                                              I was Brave

                                                                 I was Weak

                                                                     I was Strong

                                                                 I was Me!

                                                                                      I Hoped

                                                                                          I Prayed

                                                                                               I Believed

                                                                                                    I Dreamed

                                                                                                                    I Fought

                                                                                                                        I Persevered

                                                                                                                           I took  Chances

                                                                                                                              I Leaped

I DIED!!

 I Traveled

   I was Transformed

       I was Reborn!                                                          

                                     I Evolved  

                             I made a Difference 

                                            I made a Change   

                                                 I Forgave

                                                         I Laughed                      

                                                             I Loved

                                                                         I LIVED                   

                                                                   I PRAYED

                                             I WAS UNIQUELY ME!

 AT THE END

                                                                                                                                                                                                    By: Larissa Rhone

I AM NOT MY MOTHER! Part1

10 Jun

“Your mother gives you your identity as a woman” (Iyanla Vanzant) hmm-mm I don’t know…Is this really true? I will be able to agree or disagree at the end of my release. I have been rather hesitant to write this post, and the others that will follow, I agonized over the wording, what should I reveal and what to hold back until further notice. What will be considered offensive, how will this be perceived? Will my actions be understood? The reason this particular post proves challenging is because it’s solely about my first relationship, my first role model, my first love, my first heart-break, my first betrayal; this post is about my Mother! I LOVE my mother yet for years I battled with various emotions, how could this woman who I adore cause me so much pain! I RESENTED this woman, in equal terms, with mixed emotions, one part loving the other part resenting! But I knew underneath it all… unconditional love was always looming.

I watched and listened over the past few weeks her responses to my choices, her attitude fluctuating as she’s not sure what, and how to feel, when or how to speak, or how to act or at times verbally approach this situation of me publicly speaking about the sexual abuse I experienced as a child. I watched her as she rode her waves of emotions, not knowing at times if she wanted to support or condemn me. I listened and observed as she tried to accept and find her footing when she realized there was no stopping me.  My mother as usual laid wait, waiting for others to react, to know how to feel it seems.  The support from her didn’t come until she saw the support of others rolling my way. It seems she found the courage to follow suit though apprehensive.

Little did my dearest mother know, this, my speaking out, my taking action was happening with or without her approval, because I was tired and I was about to blow.  I have tried for many years to be respectful of her, holding in my true feelings toward her, taking into account she has been through so much, and I didn’t want to hurt her any more than she had already been hurt. Throughout this time I have been annoyed and irritated with her child like cowardly behavior over the years, and I have held her responsible first and foremost for the deepest parts of my hurt and the pain that I carry. I never felt protected, I never felt important, I never felt like a priority, she made me feel like an obligation she had to fulfill, the deepest and hardest part of my test, and the times I needed her to stand with me and weather this storm she bailed, she succumbed, she reverted, she acted like a weak and puny, coward child, giving in to everyone’s demands but mine, standing and siding with everyone but me…

Not having my mother’s support over the years killed me over and over inside, with each dismissal of my pain I was made to relive, to retell, to revisit old hurt, I felt trapped, I felt suffocated, and the more she and others asked me to suppress the torture I had to endure, the more I started to resemble my weak and feeble mom…I knew it was happening and I hated the thought of becoming the spineless coward people pleasing person that my mother was or had become. Little did I know…The story was yet to unfold!

I knew that once I started making the abuse public, it would be hard for her as it is ridiculously hard for me, however it’s all a part of my healing and I must heal completely not just a fraction. I must come to terms, accept and release it all en root to my end result, my ultimate goal of healing and forgiveness.

My relationship with my mother has been one filled with many highs and lows, smooth sailing and turbulent, our relationship mimic that of many mothers and daughters, our disagreements and butting heads were many, as with ever parent and child we had our occasional blow up and blow outs. We fought but our fights though at times tense our fights were considered mild-mannered compared to some of my peers. My mother and I somehow managed to remain respectful and dignified… I believe like her I fought hard but with caution, trying to refrain from saying what we truly felt and what probably needed to be said. Throughout the years though it was extremely hard at times for me because even though I loved and respected my mother so much our relationship was strained. I thought and still do think the world of my mom, for the most part “but” there was that side, the side where my love never wavered but my respect did. I had my moments of being extremely happy that she was and is my mom, yet at times I found myself torn between love and deep-seated resentment!

“I am not my mother!” The first time I uttered those words I was seventeen years old, and after a major fight with one of my aunts I recall her (my aunt) explaining her dismay, total surprise/disbelief that I reacted, (fighting back after she punched me in the head) according to her  because I fought back, I had no manners or respect. She stated that had my mom, her elder sister hit her she would not have fought or hit back…I was livid, I had done nothing wrong to warrant the abuse, so while she tried to accept the reality I had had enough of her and fought back, and she was ever so correct I had NO respect for her NONE but… (Another post).  I was steaming over the fact she compared me to my mom! That was my first time saying it out loud “I am not my mother!” but had not been the last time, in fact it resonated over the years… I refused to be my mother, I am not my mother and will never be my mother I would tell myself and repeat these five little words time and time again. I thought my belief,  I thought my refusal to pattern my mom’s ways were as a result of her demonstration of self throughout her relationship with my dad and while this held true, it was not my only reason.

Imagine my surprise when in my adult years I finally realized that the way I felt about my mom was a combination of things. I knew I didn’t want to be her because she didn’t protect me as a child, in addition to how she reacted to my dad’s ill-treatment. I resented my mother, and I resented her deeply. It’s something I have battled for years, and yes, while I had my moments I realized I loved this woman tremendously but for the most part I didn’t like her! I did not like my mother! How and why you wonder? Well at five years old the first time my grandmother’s husband stuck his slimy nasty disgusting tongue down my throat and fondled me to the point he ejaculated from the pleasure he received. The moment I returned to safety the first person I told was my mom. What happened next was not expected even my five-year old brain knew something was off…My mother, yes my ‘mom’ proceeded to pull my underwear down, check me to see if he had penetrated, pull my undies back up and uttered the words “do not tell your father, do not tell anyone!” I was too young then to comprehend the profound impact and the magnitude and/or toll that this decision would have on my life in the years that followed. I had my first experience of extreme betrayal then, from the person I loved and idolized the most. My first lesson was that this man, her mother and others were more important than I was. The five-year old me needed my mommy to show up and out for me. This was the beginning of a steady decline in our relationship as I would come to realize my mom placed the feelings of others first, her feelings as well as my own we were second in command. The saga continues…

Releasing old hurts, relinquishing resentments, dismissing old beliefs, surrendering to healing and  journeying to free… Join me as I/we Journey2Free

 

From my heart to yours

 

Larissa


 

Journey

10 Jun

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Journey

My life,

My tears, my fears

My obstacles, my trials, my cares

My battles,

My pains, my strife

My experiences, my ways, My Life

 

My challenges,

My habits, my scars

My mistakes, my trials and errors

My happiness

My victories, my beliefs

My hopes, my aspirations, my dreams

My wishes

My expectation, my gifts,

My talents, my wants, my needs

My love

My pride, my experiences,

My future, past and present,

My disappointments,

My joy, my hurts,

The lessons learned, my life… yeah…My Life

Differs

We may travel similar paths, but the road taken are different, our journey, thee journey taken does not contrast.

Journey

 

Travel life, travel light, travel well. Just keep on traveling…

The journey is never simply it’s unpredictable, yet… travel, continue on your path, endure, abide on your journey, keep trotting until the journey ends.

We’ll Call Her Change…

4 Jun

I met a young woman yesterday I didn’t know, never met her before, I was a little scared at her disheveled appearance, but she wanted to talk. I reached within and found the courage to listen to what she had to say. She had a story so personal, painful and deep that she seemed unclear of where to begin. It was hard listening, very hard, I had to be non-judgmental and open, instead of just waiting to talk (being a wait to talker) I had to practice listening, reserve my opinions, I had to swallow hard a few times not interjecting, my thoughts and opinions. As I listened for what seemed like hours, I watched her express her pain and her quirkiness as she gave wings to her story I was bubbling on the inside. I managed to get through it, but oh, how her story sounded similar to mine. Different but similar in many ways…

Years of child sexual abuse have left her lost, lonely,  depressed and what seemed to her as hopeless. As I sat and listen to her speaking, I could see and hear the pain that this woman harbored almost all her life. As she told me bits of her story it made me wonder, though some of it was difficult for me to hear because it mirrored my own story, I knew I had to be fully present, this proved more challenging at times than others, as I found myself drifting in thought with various questions, the how’s and the why’s.

Let’s call her Jane for now, she was raped by her brother and his friend at the tender age of seven, upon telling her family, the mother said her brothers used to touch her butt and breast when she was young so she should get over it. Her father told her she must learn to forgive. Her father would tell her she resembled a monkey and no man would ever want or love her because he didn’t…  Oh I was steaming! Again I kept reminding myself  “Larissa this is her story, allow her to speak, be quiet” but it was hard! I was mad! I just wanted to hug her! Naturally I was talking to God at the same time, “I know you’re bringing this to me for a reason and apparently you think I can hear this but, wow!” I listened! I walked away from this young woman with questions for days. How many are there? How many of us were exposed to this?!!! The parents, why?! How could her family be so desensitized to her pain? How could they not understand what happened? This woman is in  dire need of love and support and the very family and relatives made the act so much more painful because, because, why or what?

Jane told me that for years she attempted to numb her pain by self-medicating, but then she chose to stop and sought some needed professional help.  As I listened to her I found myself hurting deeply on her behalf, I agonized over the conflicting sea of emotions she must be feeling. Jane was being forced by her family to show love and affection to an older brother who should have protected her, but instead he assisted in inflicting pain on Jane. I felt hurt for this young woman who lived in hell with parents who refused to see her pain and in so doing was hindering her healing process. I’m constantly being asked to forgive and forget, I can forgive but I cannot forget, the evil deeds that were done to me, I wish I could and I am trying, but it make it harder when asked to “let it go!” Scars are scars, they are reminders, and sometimes if not healed properly they will reopen, and get re-infected. I/we need to heal.

As I listened most times in horror, I pondered the questions, the how’s and why’s. Why is it that some people are able to go through some horrible and heinous thing and survive, while others seem to experience the smallest of test and end up committing suicide? Why was Jane dealt the hand she was? Though she faltered by the way as she searched for herself in unconventional ways, how is she able to breathe, what made her decide to kick the habit and take stock of her life while others surrender?My conversation with her, drew my attention once again to the sickening statics of child sex abuse!! Is this the norm, for most victims to be left to process all these emotions alone? Why are there so many cases where some family members choose to negate, support the abuser/molester rather than assist the tormented soul?

Is it that the families are so mentally screwed that they can’t see the bigger picture? Is it that they believe this will just
automatically go away? I’m confused, but what concerns me even more is, when these broken young victims make it to adolescence and adulthood scared, tormented and tortured decides to finally act, to speak out and reclaim that which was taken, folk’s especially family get so hot and bothered. In my experience  I’m of the impression they
seemingly believe it will melt away, the torment and memory, the years of inner conflict would just magically ‘puff’ and vanish away without the victims taking action.

Well I want to tell the families of victims “sorry no such luck,” that’s so not the case. I now realize that so many victims if not all, regardless of how we choose to cope or handle the abuse we lived, whether it’s hiding behind the name of God, suppressing, medicating or whatever method, it’s always an inch away from the surface of one’s mind, and that’s because it was never dealt with!

Getting to that place of unconditional love and personal freedom (freedom of my mind) it’s my ultimate goal, I aspire and long to be there, but it’s a long and tedious process, because you battle with self and resistance each and every step of the way. Some days I want revenge and retribution, an eye for an eye, you hurt me I hurt you that inner conflict and power struggle. I feel the need for revenge mostly on the days when I have to deal with the betrayal, lack of support from the ones who are supposed to love me unconditionally and the utter disappointment I feel when I am asked to “let it go.”  But then my rational mind takes hold and I know that I may find relief in revenge but it would only be temporary, the feeling would be very short-lived, the feeling is transitory, and it’s very fleeting.

Most are quick to speak of forgiveness not realizing it may just be the hardest thing to get to, because that broken child now becomes a broken adult with all the hurt in tow. It would have been easier to forgive the perpetrator if the child was protected by the adult. However, in most cases similar to ours, the covering up and protecting does more damage than the act itself, the actions taken or the lack thereof makes the situation so much worse for the victim as they are taught that the perpetrators and others are so much more important, their life, their emotions, their feelings doesn’t really matter, so instead of working on forgiveness for one, now you have to forgive a few! It’s easy to preach, not easily attained.

I need you all to understand, it’s all a process, you must go through the anger and the hurt before you get to love and forgiveness. The query in a victim’s head goes as such, “on one hand I want you to hurt as much as you hurt me, and I’m not ready to let them off the hook, on the other…. I’m also wary because…. I’m not hurting him/them,  will that get me anywhere or will it?” You question, when to speak and when not to speak, when to act, when to tolerate, when to fall back/walk away. With warp minds and jaded thinking for as I search for the answers that I seek and others try to understand my doing I realize forgiveness is when you’ve really moved past that hurt and anger that once was. Forgiving doesn’t mean the slate of your memory has been wiped clean of the series of events that occurred in one’s life. You simply refuse to have left over residue or remnants continue to taint. Therefore I recall the injustices, the anguish, the pain thus I can speak openly about it. The query continues, but what I can say is that which I said to Jane. Do what is satisfactory to you, be it to walk away, stand up and out for yourself and others, to bring charges
against, or if you feel at peace in your heart with letting it go, that’s ok too. Whatever and however you arrive at this place as long as it’s done out of self-love, helping others, and not hate/revenge (I won’t endorse or promote hate, as we search for inner peace and freedom, these actions are the opposite and very short-lived) it won’t regenerate that which was taken. I realized however that the only way I was going to free me, was to speak my truth, therefore I choose instead to use my story to propel me into my purpose and my power, not as a crutch.

Break cycles and clean up the patterns. You have work to do! You have to carry your message, even if it’s only for the betterment of you!Fear and shame can hold you hostage. Fear of being judged, shame you feel as your deepest fears are realized, but I’m moving forward with a few following suite, repeating one of my new mantras “Live from your power, not your brokenness” (Iyanla Vanzant). With awareness comes consciousness, which ultimately leads to acceptance and change, join me as I/we journey to free

From my heart to yours

Larissa.