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DON’T SPEAK!

24 Sep

Each time I hear the question asked “why can’t you just get over it!” I cringe, yes my stomach churns, these three words  ‘get over it! triggers a less than pleasant response.

I’ve garnered support and established new friendships with a few ladies I will respectably refer to as ‘age-ables’, and though our chance meetings may be summed up as bittersweet, I cherish every moment I spend in their presence and cling to their every word. Our stories is what binds us, the familiarity of our ugly truths, a common theme PAIN. The pain of being taken advantaged of as little girls now adults, ‘adulting’ from a place of brokeness. These women are well into their sixties (60’s) and still carry with them the ghost of what could have been, the ash of what should have been and the stagnant remnants of a past experience that never truly decays. Forced to lock away, to hide, to suppress memories while unknowingly hiding, suppressing, loosing themselves and everything else in the process. Sixties (60’s) and still struggling, some still barely surviving, still not knowing who they are at their core, some still unable to shake off or break free the invisible restraints of family secrets and shame, yet, are still being expected and asked (why can’t you get over it?!). With each exchange, with every shared detail I’m privy to, in the voices I hear a longing, coupled with deep sadness yet masked as full fledged, totally capable, well put together and competent functioning beings. When will we get over it?! When the game playing and hypocrisy cease!

A child that has been sexually abused grows into an adult that have been sexually abused. Trapped beneath the surface is a tortured soul. A soul that is disconnected, a soul that’s in search and in need of being whole. We learn to disconnect, separating mind and body. Like functioning alcoholics we compartmentalize separating body from our feelings and are fully capable of playing the roles, meeting our demands, our responsibilities, being everything to everyone at all times with little or no regard to self and what it is WE (the tortured souls) actually needs.

When will YOU see, know or understand, there is a loss that is experienced when sexually abused as a child?! Loss of power, loss of pride, loss of dignity, a loss of truth and a true sense of who you really are, loosing an identity before even having the chance or ability to develop or create one.

I’ve become accustom to the callous, uncaring and insensitive remarks of those that have not had the experience and chooses to be closed minded, even worst are those that have had the experience but lack empathy, is void of compassion and struggles with sincerity these are the same folks that say ‘I understand but’… A victim of child sexual abuse doesn’t seek to be pitied, and unless you’ve been there we truly don’t expect you to understand! However, If you insist on asking questions from a from a place of judgement and misguidedness do us ALL a favor, DON’T SPEAK!

While on this journey of navigating unfamiliar paths and charting new courses, I honestly thought time would have healed the wounds and it will, but they cut deep!  Being made aware by the ageables that though ‘scars may appear faded on the surface they are permanently tattooed on the soul’. Some are fortunate to have received needed help, others like myself are on their way to healing while others remain loss and unfortunately will never find their way. Most painful of all, are those that have gone back to the earth with the secrets, never having the opportunity of being free. It all hurts and one things for certain, it NEVER goes away, You NEVER forget and for DAMN SURE it’s not something YOU JUST GET OVER!!! 

Yes, healing is possible but it is constant, the pursuit is never ending, the process is daunting and tedious and it takes loads of work! While on this journey… From my heart to yours…

To be continued…

 

 

Pained

23 Sep
“A life lived in constant pain, suppressing hurts and misinterpreted shame is no life lived at all!” (LHR)
 
I hurt for you! I cry for you! My heart breaks and bleeds for you!
 
I wonder, how many people have died taking with them secrets that drove them to an early grave? Secrets that weren’t theirs to even keep and if only those secrets were revealed they would still be here… Freed!
 
I hurt for you! I cry for you! My heart breaks and bleeds for you!
 
My heart is heavy…

Grateful…

15 Sep

When you just have to drop an impromptu testimony…
God I’m so grateful… I have journeyed a far way… Thankful…

Journey with me…
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I STILL STRUGGLE…

6 Sep

“I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I am not where I used to be.” – Joyce Meyer

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines Self-Esteem as having respect for yourself and your abilities. The definition of Respect a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important etc, or feeling or understanding that someone or something important, serious and should be treated in an appropriate way…

Hmmmm, well, well! I knew prior to my Journeying2Free that I had major self-esteem issues, I masked it well, or so I thought! The last few months have been challenging, on one hand I’m amazed at how far I have come while acknowledging how much farther I have to go. Since January of this year, I have had numerous opportunities to speak to adults and children alike and with each opportunity the feeling of inadequacy emerges before the first word spoken or the first crack in my voice. The “Who, do you think you are?” The “no-one cares about what you have to say!” The “what qualifies you to speak to anyone? questions. I sometimes feel like an unqualified fraud, nevertheless, I know my story, I know my truth, and on truth I can securely stand because it’s my experience, lived and experienced by only me, however, I struggle…

Journeying to mental freedom I have discovered so much about myself, being able to ascertain truths about who you are can at times be pleasantly pleasing while other times the realization leaves you in a bemused state of mind. Being mentally and emotionally abandoned after being sexually abuse, you learns the negatives. Negative self-talk – when a person speaks, thinks and believes every thing negative relating to themselves. When a child is not supported, loved, protected, encouraged, reassured and/or worst forced to carry shame for the actions of another, the negative self talk begins. The negativity stems from lack of belief in self, doubting ones abilities, feeling inadequate, feeling worthless, feeling void of value and undeserving of good things. I felt this way for many years! Truth is, I still struggle… 

On three separate occasion this was evident. Thursday, July 27th, I was asked to facilitate an overnight retreat, I’m unsure as to if my nervousness was evident to others but I was so frayed, not only did I over-pack for an over night trip, but I questioned my abilities every step of the way! I worked myself up into such a frenzy that when it came time to present, I was mentally and emotionally wired. The first realization came when I boarded the bus along with 30 girls to Kingston. I was one of two facilitators on the bus, a bus I didn’t have to be on, but choose to ride in supporting the very young girls onboard. I was the only person that should up with a suitcase! The girls all had overnight bags and rightfully so being it was an overnight trip! In the morning I awoke to get dressed for the days event and while going through a fully packed suitcase, not finding anything to wear, It was only then I realized my being in such a frenzy had very little to do with the day’s event and everything to do with the fact ‘I am still not that comfortable in my own skin!’ I caught a glimpse of my self in the mirror, looked myself square in the eyes and uttered “child you are who you are, you look the way you look pimples and all and It doesn’t matter how you dress it up or try to cover it over with makeup  you are who you are and it is what it is!” In that moment having changed a couple times I did the Jamaican “kiss teeth” a sign of frustration, I threw on something and finally went out the door. I had an AMAZING day!

On Saturday, July 29th, I had my 22nd High School reunion. I intentionally planned on being late. I was asked only days prior to pray the opening prayer and immediately after being asked the anxiety began. I pray but apparently I had an issue with praying publicly, my nerves got the better of me. I ended up being late (Guess I really spoke that into existence!) My sitter got out of work late, I had no choice.  The venue was beautifully decorated, my schoolmates/classmates were looking oh so stunning, now being as late as I was my nerves ran wild. I grabbed the closest seat I could and sat down feeling so uncomfortable and out of place. After allowing my nerves and the voices in my head to run a mock for a while, good sense prevailed, I silently shouted at the voices inside my head to ‘shut up’ I mustered the courage and chimed back “Larissa (Rizzy) Rhone get off your ass, walk around those tables and greet everyone’!  I made a move, my nerves were shot and the voices inside my head screamed louder “ you better sit your skinny, ill-shaped ass down and not draw any attention to yourself!” I stopped, I was tempted to listen, however, I hugged the first person in my reach, then the next, then the next, until I greeted everyone nerves and all. When it came time for dancing the voices resurfaced, once again, I did the infamous Jamaican (suck teeth) and decided, It’s been a long month all work, no play, my children are safe, and that wasn’t about to change tonight, I broke loose, believing , so what if I’m judged, I deserved this moment right ‘ere’ and I enjoyed myself mingling, co-mingling, chatting and dancing the night away with my some old schoolmates, classmates, friends, associates, and friends of friends, even if some were just friends only on my head. I had an AMAZING evening!

Sunday, July 30th the mecca of tests. Placed in an uncomfortable situation where I alone made that decision to place myself. The voices inside my head screamed at this point. ‘What the hell are you doing Larissa!” It was one of those situation where you know better, but for whatever reason you decide to go with the flow, then reality hits. I know I deserve so much better and I should not have to settle for less but in a moment, in that moment, a moment of weakness, a moment of wanting to be loved, needed and accepted just the way you are… in that fugacious, fleeting, momentary, short-lived, passing phase I  could have and had placed me in a situation that I must have been only relying on one side of my brain, the not so rational part. Here again, I had to quiet the voices, I had to allow the rationale part of my brain to be dominant in ruling. I whispered (and yes, I do talk to myself) “Larissa (Rizzy) Rhone, it’s completely ok to feel vulnerable, to want  to be wanted, to feel like you are needed, to desire to be loved, but not at the expense of over stepping bounds you may not be able to come back from kid!”. I stepped back into the here and now, I was engaged and fully aware, being fully present I walked away from that situation feeling empowered and encouraged with my pride and dignity in-tact, knowing I did not come this far only to throw it all away for… It was an AMAZING night!

I am so tired of putting/placing the wants and needs of others before my own, sometimes at the expense of my own safety/sanity (something learned and imbedded from childhood as a result of being asked repeatedly to put my needs and feelings aside to accommodate everyone else’s) When a child is asked and expected to make compromises and accommodations for the adults, instead of the other way around they are taught and learn that their feelings, their needs and their desires takes a back seat to the needs, desires and wants of others. Again I say, ‘it’s ok to have and experience all these emotions, It’s ok to fall short, it’s ok to make mistakes and horrible emotion based decisions but you also have a duty to see these for what they are and rise above it all! Too many of us allow vulnerability and negative self-talk to override good judgement. Free will not happen overnight hence the journey, but as long as I/you remain open, honest and maintain an attitude of growth no matter how difficult or uncomfortable ‘you/I will be just fine!’ So, with a heart that’s not fully intact, being emotionally wired and mentally frayed it’s ok, Get up, Show up and get on with the rest of your life! I still struggle… BUT

Discovering, NO, knowing I have self-esteem issues I MUST continue on this path. I am fully aware of my lack of self-love prior to this journey nonetheless, I have been working on MYSELF and Yes, I Still Struggle in a few areas. I Still Struggle with acceptance, accepting and loving me, my gifts, my talents, my abilities… I know and now believe I am priceless in worth and pray my actions reflects that. I have come a LONG way and for that I am proud! For after all, I can truly say “I’m not where I want to be but I surely I am not where I use to be. I AM working on ME.

I Wonder…

25 Aug

‘My father died not knowing his daughters were sexually abused as children’.

I often wonder, had my dad known I/we were sexually violated, how different would my/our life’s be? Dad passed on April 2, 2017, and I’m unsure as to why I’ve been plagued with all these ‘I wonder’ questions since.  It pains me to my core that I never had much of a  relationship with my father and though it’s much too late for the blame game or to get needed answers, I believe with every fiber of my being that had he been a better father my wounds would have not cut so deep, the scars would have healed and I would not have been plagued with the damning unworthiness I feel.

My reality, I was never a daddy’s little girl and I still suffer the rancid residue of being judged and ostracized by him. Truth is, I have convinced myself that he did the best he could with what he was given BUT, I am upset that dad didn’t consider me worthy or special enough to change his mindset, his beliefs to ensure that his little girls were loved beyond his limited perception of the value of the opposite sex. Daddy could NOT have stopped the molestation, but I know the effects would not have been as long lasting or life altering had he been a better parent.

The past few days have been emotionally draining. I spent hours trying to figure out the source of my discomfort, in an attempt to lift my spirits I listened to music, kept myself busy, attended meetings, did my usual runs but nothing seemed to work. I knew this was serious when my go to, my children, my boys usual antics didn’t work. I realized only then that no amount of avoiding, suppressing, evading or side-stepping my emotions was going to make these feelings vanish, I gave in and decided to sit with it. The cause for my uneasiness was my dad, thoughts of him swirled in my head, I miss him terribly but this wasn’t the usual ‘think of dad, sulk for a moment, shed a tear or two type momentary deal, this was deeper.

I thought about the relationship my dad and I had over the years. Dad was very much present for the formative years, besides the fact he worked extremely hard I got to see him daily, he was home every night mostly before bedtime but our relationship strained and lacked all the key components of a  great father-daughter relationship.

I am the first child (supposedly) born to my father. Dad did not hesitate to let everyone know how disappointed he was ‘because I was a girl’. Dad was from an era, a generation that viewed women as weak, worthless and disposable, he was born to an extremely sexist father that did not hesitate to verbalize his disdain towards the ‘weaker’ sex. How I wished and longed for my dad to see my worth and to consider me valuable, special and irreplaceable but unfortunately he was too broken and so damaged himself he was blind to the fact girls/women are worth far more that being barefoot, pregnant and totally dependent on men.

I often wonder, what would have been the result of my dad knowing we were taken advantage of? Knowing dads temperament, I do believe this saga would have had a very different ending. Since going public about my ordeal, one of the most frequently asked questions from folks that knew my father well is “was your dad ever told, did he know” and with each “No” the response “I figure” almost certainly follows. Folks that knew my father well (or so they thought) still believe had Mr. Rhone known about the abuse of his daughter, my sister and others after her would not have shared this horrid experience, chances are my grandmother would have been widowed some twenty something years ago.

Daddy was a licensed fire arm carrier and he was not afraid to pull his weapon, in fact, he was considered somewhat trigger happy. Dad was a responsible gun carrier but he was also known to have a short fuse, he was a no-nonsense, outspoken, no bars hold, prideful person that was also arrogant and thrived on the praise and recognition of others. Dad was well-known and highly respected within the parish of St. Thomas, his community and neighboring towns, chances are a murder would have been committed if only for the sake of saving face.

I loved my dad wholeheartedly and spent the greater part of my life seeking the approval and validation of this man. To the outside world he was a stand up guy, a man to emulate and adore. He was a hard working, determined, go-getter, family oriented (or believed to be) but the truth is, dad  had his demons to contend with and was riddled with insecurities, so much so that sexism and classism oozed from his pours and slipped oh too easily from the folds of his lips. It took me a lifetime to understand my mothers reasoning for instructing me not to tell daddy what had happened to me, because she feared he would do to me/us what he did to her by using the abuse against me/us.

My father was from a generation plagued with the belief that a woman’s worth is secondary to that of a man, that we were only created for certain things including being servants to the ‘dominant sex’. It was that hard and fast belief that led to the constant reminders that I was secondary and could not be compared to my brothers. My self worth was tarnished and tainted by my dad, a realization I came to years ago but somehow weighed heavily this week.

I wonder; if only dad had the courage to break free from the thoughts that held him captive, freeing himself from the mental slavery that kept him bound; relinquishing the belief of a superior sex. If only MY dad had been open to experience love, being willing to accept love, to see love, to feel and to be love; if only he had possessed the ability to love unconditionally like a father should love, adore, protect and  \shield his daughter, I do believe my life would have turned out different.

I would be foolish to think my dad being a better father would have somehow prevented the abuse from happening No! A pedeophile is a pedeophile and will remain a pedeophile if not helped! I do believe however, if daddy had been more of a loving, reassuring, accepting and affectionate father, had he possess the qualities of patience and understanding, had he been able to instill, reassure, nurture and cultivate a strong sense of being within me, if only he had the capacity to extend or open his heart to his daughter/s he would have been told and years of internalized anguish would have been minimized and my decimated self-esteem rebuilt.

I wonder; why dad, I can’t help but wonder why?! But, it’s too late now and though I am saddened at the fact you couldn’t see ME beyond your own hang ups and insecurities, I try to understand and will cling to the belief that you still loved ME with all that you had. Daddy, I just wish you were able to see ME…

Intervene…

13 Jun

Sexually abused children who aren’t believed or don’t receive help are more likely to have long-term problems with:

*Trusting themselves and others
*Self-confidence (due to unresolved guilt/shame)
*Mild to serious mental health problems
*Romantic/sexual relationships as an adolescent and adult
*Increased vulnerability to future social trauma…

Yet so many are still of the belief that being sexually abused as a child is no big deal! To those foolish enough to think this I say go educate yourselves!!

The list of cause and effects after such trauma (CSA) is never ending if a child is not helped, these issues carries to adulthood…

#journey2free #CSA #beintheknow #awareness #triumph #survivor #overcoming #educatethineself #J2F

Dearest Grandma… Trailer

7 Jun

Dearest Grandma, Awaken from your Slumber! (Prelude)

Let it begin…

Too many hurting!

On this journey…

In the midst of life there is death…

8 May

Postings to my Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4zuyxOC9foTd_Si_9AISZw  will resume shortly… Please feel free to subscribe, follow, comment, share…

 

 

Lessons: A Box of Plantains

1 May

Walked into a grocery store earlier tonight in search of a few Jamaican items. I knew this particular store carried the needed items so I made the trip. I went in for plantains amongst other things hoping to make my son some porridge in the morning. Already in a bit of a mood I approached the plantain display, my immediate thought was ‘these plantains look diseased‘. Jamaicans would refer to them as flucksy and full of yawz (unfit, young, not ready for consumption) Disappointed, I turned to walk away, but then decided to go back for a second look, to look a little deeper inside the container. To my astonishment, just under the first two rows of unfit looking plantains were some plump, fit, rather green and much healthier looking ones, I instantly paused, smile and drew a comparison, not because of my discovery but the fact that I had so quickly rushed to judgement and now felt silly.

Lesson:  A powerful yet humbling reminder inside the grocery store. Do not be so quick to disregard, walk away, turn noses up/down or turn our backs on something/someone not to our liking or satisfaction at first glance. Sometimes the surface looks dejected, battered, even unpleasant but if we just exercise a little patience, dig a little deeper and go beyond the surface we would be pleasantly amazed at what we find.

Reminder: Things are not always what they seem. Look beyond the surface.

Journey To Redemption

26 Apr

While rehearsing last night I broke down emotionally. During Act 1 something happen, not sure if it was the name calling, the intensity in which the lead actress delivered, the emotionally charged play or the flash back I had smack dab in the middle of my opening performance. Fact is, it happened. I felt the tears welling, I tried to fight it but, when I had to shout the words slut and whore directed at the lead actress ‘who’s playing a victim of child sexual abuse’ within that moment the flood gates open and the tears streamed down my face. I could feel it coming, one of those moments when I needed to be alone to feel, process and make sense of what was happening. I knew then no amount of reassurance from a cast I’m just getting to know was going to help me, I needed a moment to just bawl. I immediately walked off stage, found a corner back stage and I cried. Soon after the cast had finished rehearsing scene one and were slowly making their way back stage, I transformed into that girl that would never dare to make anyone see her cry but I couldn’t stop, the tears were streaming even faster now, my thoughts going a billion miles a minutes and memories came flooding.  I managed to pull myself together, walked dignifiedly to the nearest bathroom composed enough to check the stalls, realizing then there was no-one there but me so, I gave myself the needed permission to weep, though brief and I did just that.

I cried for a good four minutes,  again gathered myself together, walked back into the rehearsals and onto the stage. Thank God, I was with a group of individuals that have been rather supportive and understanding, so after a few hugs and reassurance I was ready again.

Scene 2 had me questioning myself, was it just a bit too soon to be doing this and why did I agree to play this part or any part for that matter in a play that’s so telling, so raw and so expressive?Well,  It seemed like a great idea at the time and a wonderful opportunity I thought to help my healing process (now, I’m not so sure), however, I made a commitment and I will by the grace of God make do on that commitment, get through my performance, the play and my speaking.

Today I experienced a wide array of emotions, this happens from time to time and is to be expected on this my Journey 2 Free.  I have come to terms with it I believe and acknowledge that on this journey to my freedom, I have to accept the good with the bad, the down right ugly and the sad and try to remain open to it all.  Let’s see what tomorrow brings, but for now, I’ll sit with the emotions I’m currently experiencing, for this too shall pass.