Why 2018 Can Kiss My Ass
By: Autumn Morris
At the beginning of 2018, I made a vision board. On this board, I have magazine clippings of powerful women, symbolic words and pictures that I wanted to focus on in 2018. In big bold letters in the middle of the board I put the words “Sexual Healing”. I had only recently begun exploring my sexuality after four years of celibacy induced by assault. I knew that as I stepped back into sex, there was a lot to unpack. What I didn’t know was how this would morph from a goal on a vision board, to a lesson that I had to relearn over and over throughout 2018.
Three weeks after I made my beautiful board, I was raped. My years of growth towards wholeness were erased. I went from hopeful to crushed. While I’d like to say I handled it with grace, that was simply not the case. Sexual healing was the last thing on my mind as I did the only thing I knew to do at the time: ignore it. I didn’t talk about it afterwards to anyone. I went back to my daily life and blocked out the trauma. I even returned to sexual intercourse with trusted partner as soon as my STD screening came back clear. This worked for my headspace for a while, but my body could not keep up.
As stated in one of my favorite books/movies, The Fault in Our Stars, “pain demands to be felt.”
I spent months in and out of the hospital after that with unexplained, crippling pain in my womb, my center. Not allowing myself or my body the space to truly heal did nothing but more deeply destroy my relationship with my body and my sexuality.
After months of being stubborn, I rediscovered my board. I acknowledged that I DESERVE to heal, something I had refused to do up until this point. I broke down. I cried for days. I stopped writing. I stopped reading. I stopped living. I just existed and felt pain. After a week of this, my pain, both physical and spiritual, began to scab over. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was nowhere close to wholeness, but I was finally at a place where I could see myself being whole again one day. Allowing myself space to be vulnerable and broken gave me space to grow from that.
I was raped again. One would think that because I JUST experienced the importance of healing, that I would allow myself space to do just that. However, trauma throws off your balance and distorts your logic. So, I did the practical thing and drowned myself in Xanax until the doctor refused to give me anymore. Again, I kept it to myself for a few weeks and tried to go about my life as if I was totally fine. I went and got tested for STDs again with a lack of genuine concern for my body. But, pain demands to be felt. When I began to get the same pain in my center as before, I knew that it would remain that way until I dealt with the manifestation of trauma that lay in my uterus. I ignored it. My right eye began to twitch every few seconds and a rash broke out on my neck. My body was screaming to be heard, to be allowed the space to heal. But by this point, I was shattered. I had initially set the intention of “Sexual Healing” with hopes of finishing the healing process that I was navigating at the beginning of the year. Never was it my intention to restart the healing process…twice.
As scared as I was to surrender to stillness again, I slowly began to allow myself to heal. I broke down. I cried for days. I stopped writing. I stopped reading. I stopped living. I just existed and felt pain. But this time, I knew my body needed more than that. In order to be resilient and recover, my body needed attention. As my pain began to scab over I supplemented it with intentional and radical self-care.
And that is where I am at currently. Day by day, growing from brokenness, seeking to mend my sexuality, and treating my body like the temple that it is.
When I set my intentions at the beginning of the year, I had no idea what the year had in store for me. But, choosing to be intentional with my healing forced me to be cognizant of my lack of personal healing as the year unfolded. Trials and tribulations pushed me to navigate healing in the most vulnerable way.
I can’t lie, as I began pondering what to put on my 2019 vision board, fear brewed as I realized sexual healing should probably still be on it. Pasting words on a piece of cardboard is a lot easier than holding myself accountable for them. What if my intentions are doing nothing but attracting trauma? But I had to get real with myself. Shit happens, and if next year unfolded the same way, I am now prepared to heal. I am a badass, living my truth, and setting bomb ass intentions that are pushing me to be my best self despite the obstacles I face.
So, as you set your intentions for 2019, I hope that you, too, prioritize your healing in whatever facet of life you feel you need. Life is difficult, shit happens, we cry, we cope, but then, we get up and start again.
Is “healing” on your vision board?