I’ve had big dreams as far back as I can remember. They have been many and various, but one dream I’ve wanted for most of my life is the wish to escape the hell inside of me as a result of repeated abuse by certain people.
I have lived with PTSD.
I also have lived with a panic disorder which can go hand in hand with PTSD
If I did not take medication, these disorders from all that I went through both before and right after Hurricane Katrina would have interfered with getting on with my life, yet I did not let this stop me from pursuing my dreams.
I’ve spent a greater part of my life walking around waiting for the other shoe to drop.
My brain became been programmed to operate with the” fight-or-flight” response. It was scary and exhausting. Now, each day when I open my eyes, I thank God for people and things that are catalysts for my well being- -my resilience from surviving the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, my therapist, beautiful food, cooking, and music.
I now understand that all these things were also dreams that saved me. To this day, something as simple as cooking a pancake and watching the bubbles dance puts me serenely and completely in the present moment. These things started as “survival techniques” but they eventually helped me thrive.
I have wondered if I should tell the whole story of me and my life here on 8 Women Dream.
I’ve wondered how people will react and not react to my story. I’ve thought about certain people that I know, and how some of them will become quiet when they see my story today. Their silence will scream at me.
I am a survivor of childhood abuse.
I am strong and I am fulfilling my dreams now in a healthy, happy space.
I want my story to be this dream message to you: Do not let old “junk” screw you out of your dreams.
Because it can. That’s where the real shame lies.
Dreams are one of the most beautiful gifts in the universe.
If you find that you “can’t quite get to your dream,” and you know in the depths of your soul that it is because of past pain that is still haunting you today, turn your direction. Give up the excuses. Quit blaming other people, your circumstances and whatever other excuse you can muster.
Stop living there.
Do whatever it takes to look at what pain is holding you back from the life you deserve. Cross that pain hurdle once and for all and run with everything you’ve got towards your dreams, but take it easy and do it at the pace you know feels right.
Last year, around this time, I went back to New Orleans, Louisiana. It was the first time I had visited since I moved to Sonoma County, California after Hurricane Katrina.
It had been 5 years.
I was excited to go back for many reasons. After-all, I had spent 44 years of my life there. I have so many wonderful memories of living and growing up in such a magical place, but I also needed to close a chapter on my own personal heartbreak memories.
Below is the video from when I went back and closed the chapter on what has screwed with my dreams most of my life. Doing this video was one of the most powerful, most painful, and most necessary things I’ve done to honor myself and stop the cycle destruction that sexual abuse can bring.
This video is intense and contains profanity. I’m just giving you a head’s up.
I only had to do it once.
If you can relate to this particular story, I lovingly urge you to get help and support so you can start authentically living your dreams too.
The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse is a book I highly recommend. I purchased it at the age of 23 when I was suddenly crippled with the effects of the abuse but was afraid to open my mouth.
My friends, stop taking the easy way out.
If you don’t have all you want in life, it’s not because it wasn’t meant to be for you. It is because you have not done all the work that you need to do. You need to heal your past.
You are awesome. Claim it.
This week’s recipe is a cup of chamomile tea. Chamomile tea is calming and loving to your soul.
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp dried chamomile flowers
- Sugar or honey to taste
Bring water to boil and add chamomile flowers.
Boil for 60 seconds.
Pour into a cup – strain if you prefer and add honey or another sweetener to taste.
If you prefer an easier recipe, the buy chamomile tea at the store –
- Put the tea bag in the hot water, sit back and love yourself.
**I am once again featuring the images created by my friend and star photographer, Andy Chou. Andy — you rock my world.