Hello Dearest Reader,
Better late than never this edition!
With so much media around the Metoo topic – that historically has been subconscious and suppressed – its now been plunged to the collective surface. Most every woman (and many men) I know personally, and have worked with, have experienced some form of violation. Myself included from conception through childhood, and on… until I gained enough hard earned awareness to end the cycle.
Yes, you too, me too, and all of us. It is quite rare to encounter someone (especially a woman), who hasn’t been victimized, violated, and then found herself in a role of saving others. This age-old pain has plagued humanity forever. Karpmans Triangle details this cycle – https://www.karpmandramatriangle.com
Is this to suggest abdication of the perpetrators responsibility, or diminishment of the victim’s pain?
Not at all, actually the opposite. It’s to highlight how abusive behavior is learned and repeated – and to empower ourselves to step out the victim, villain, victor cycle. And in this context, as a naturopath, it’s to take account how this issue affects our health, self-worth, and how we use food and substance… especially when stressed.
A few mornings ago I was juicing on our porch – as I do every day – in the warm Ibiza sun. Being at the end of a very isolated mountain road that has zero traffic, and only the odd hiker, I feel very safe and expect absolutely no one, as I juice naked.
On this particular day, 2 men came out of nowhere – no sound of a car to warn – and smiled at me as they stridently walked towards the edge of our property that drops down to expansive sea. The view is mind-blowingly beautiful… and on a private road, on private property. The uninvited didn’t ask permission to enter, or acknowledge my nakedness. This instantly ignited and infuriated me. Wrapping a sarong around myself, Luna barked full blast on their heels. I felt my fury grow as I walked towards them.
The younger of the two seemed to understand that I was angry, while the older attempted arguing with me in broken English. Basically saying he wouldn’t leave. Outraged, and surprising myself, I stood my ground, shouting at the top of my lungs, pointing towards the exit repeatedly yelling, “OUT!!!” Lingering a few moments as if nothing had happened, they began to leave, not acknowledging their trespass.
Astonished, I didn’t feel victimized. On the contrary, I felt incredibly empowered as I did a few things I hadn’t always done in the past when feeling violated.
This is what I learned:
-letting another feel my fury in an appropriate way, on the spot, is my responsibility… and that may feel intense, AND It’s one way I can take care of myself.
-I can’t control another’s actions or reactions, though I can make choices (such as instantly facing violation and speaking out) that help me to step out of the perpetrators path – and end perpetrating myself. What I don’t stop continues.
-holding another accountable doesn’t wrong them (unless blame is involved)… it actually creates boundaries, and the opportunity for respect.
-Even if another doesn’t honor boundaries, I still can.
-Speak up and out, use your voice. No one else can do that for us. I learn to take care of myself by letting others know what’s ok and what’s not – even when it’s painful, or not popular.
-to thyself be true; speak my truth, especially when I feel awkward, uncomfortable or fear confrontation. Do it anyway.
-be there for myself… sometimes that means calling a situation – ON THE SPOT – for what it is and expressing your wrath. Often we are the only one who can truly protect self. Anger is a warning sign.
-even if the violator continues when you’ve expressed a boundary, don’t waiver. Stand by what’s ok with you and what’s not.
-the more I take care of myself, the less I crave and act out with food, being self-destructive, etc.…
Is self-care just about eating healthy, exercising, meditation, etc? Not, it’s also about facing uncomfortable feelings and being fully present to them, especially when we resist or shy away from it.
Here’s to welcoming all parts of our self, humanity, and being willing to take care – no matter the situation.
Love & Support,