Please enjoy this post by my friend, Ingrid Neil*.
She bravely shared these thoughts with me and gave me permission to share with you.
Her words are an exquisite reminder that hope is something nobody can take from us.
*name has been changed out of respect for her privacy.
I have recently started therapy for assault and emotional abuse that has happened within my past. For the first time in my life, I have finally found the one professional who understands the way I think, the way I feel. She urges me to never feel bad for the way I feel, that I am a strong, beautiful and smart woman. Not a girl. A woman.
I want to gain my independence back, but, unfortunately, I am afraid that this may never happen. I will never be able to live on my own again, especially with a male landlord because I will always be cautious of what I say and always wondering if my being nice will give them the wrong impression that I wanted something more than a tenant/landlord relationship. Unfortunately, this experience is something that I experienced when I lived in my first apartment. I want to trust men who are my age and older without fearing that they want to use me. I want to be in love, but these walls are high. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have love in my heart, but I don’t give my heart freely.
So with this heart that is full of love, but inhibited by distrust, fear and hurt, I take these words that my therapist reminds me of every session, and make sure that I remember them. That I may have had a past where I have been used for my body, and my intelligence has been belittled and my emotions shoved aside, I am still a woman.
And I can do anything.
My strength may not be where I want it to be, and I may not be me anymore, but that is the thing. I am me. I have healthy goals of someday having a positive, loving, and trust filled relationship with someone who takes, but also gives as much as I take and give. An equality within a companion.
So with me, I keep hope, strength, friends who offer support of my journey and my healthy goals.