Weinstein, Cosby, Kavanaugh. A fire has been lit and though it may seem to scorch our earth, it also ushers in a newfound fertility. That’s why we must embrace this fire and let it burn— allow its flames to lick at our wounds, to ignite the pain, the shame, the rage unsung and stir the ashes that once buried it.
As a survivor of multiple sexual assaults, I found myself quietly weeping with Dr. Ford— old tears mixed with new ones. Painful memories, long since healed, were being nudged to life. And not just my own memories; I was feeling for all of us—tapped into the collective memory held in my cells—my lineage, our lineage, thousands of years of sexual violence against women. And I, the prey and the predator, the innocent and the guilty. For I too held my tongue and surrendered my power. I too changed my behavior and my outfit—for them or to hide from them—the good girl, the slut, the tomboy. I too shamed the feminine and cast her out of me.
This wasn’t a new awareness for me. I had sought out this healing before and even cycled completely through it. Heck, I just wrote about it for my next book! (which sent me on yet another cycle of healing but... more on that later) The point is, I had full on shamanized it and yet there I was— weeping. And I know I wasn’t alone. Many of us wept— for her, for ourselves, for each other and even for him. Some were triggered into their trauma while others felt the rage of wanting to defend that pain, to condemn it and castrate it.
Whatever you felt, my invitation to you is to put down your sword and sit with the fire for a bit. Let it work its magic on you. The very patriarchy that we seek to unseat is the same force that tells us to ignore these emotions, to bypass them, or to channel them into “productive” action. But we must embrace our emotions if we are to truly heal.
So many survivors of sexual abuse stand atop a victim who hasn’t yet healed. This is our calling back to her, to honor her voice—just as we did Dr. Ford’s—and to let her have the floor.