It’s been a while since I’ve written anything. Not because I haven’t had anything to say but because I’ve been allowing myself to operate from a place of Fear rather than a place of Love.
Both the great energies of Fear and Love are equally crucial. Our free will gives us the option to choose at any time which to tap into. It has been my experience the best use of Fear is as an instrument of survival but nothing grows there. Love is the energy from which all things flourish but you need to make yourself vulnerable first. I don’t like that…but the alternative is no better.
In recovery, every day is kind of like Throwback Thursday. In the examination of events that occurred in the past and how you participated in or responded to them, we recover. Until we do that, those events are never quite over and the destruction is kept alive in the behaviors we display.
In May of 2014, I was invited to be the Special Guest Speaker on the Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) internet radio show. It’s a podcast that broadcasts live. The shows are archived so you can listen to a vast array of special guests, adult survivors of a variety of child abuse, speaking about their experiences, strength and hope. Prior to my first appearance, I listened to several archived podcasts. I highly recommend doing so to any fellow survivors, victims trying to transition into survivors or any civilians who want to learn more about the lasting effects child abuse has.
While during recovery, I shared my story with others in groups and in this blog, I was scared last year to hear those words leave my mouth and hit the airwaves. Some of those feelings were expected; telling these stories make us extremely vulnerable and one of the common threads we have is that our vulnerability was exploited, to be used as a weapon against us. Some of those feelings were unexpected; what if they hear my story and say I don’t belong? That would be the ultimate rejection, wouldn’t it? I was accepted immediately and welcomed into The Family. That acceptance is something my upbringing has always left me yearning for. Even though I’ve never met anyone in the SCAN Family in person, the kinship is strong. I learned that night, as I have throughout my recovery, the vulnerability of sharing our experience, strength and hope is no longer an instrument of exploitation. In our hands, it gives us strength. It was an emotional experience but indescribably empowering.
A great deal has happened in my life from May 2014 to May 2015. Breakthroughs in my recovery occurred and because of that, I am finally able to truly fix the wreckage. I’m still me. But today, I look at myself differently than I did. My eyes are adjusting so that I see myself more like the people who love me do rather than succumbing to the power of suggestion the sick and damaged people in charge of me had over me. It’s a process. It’s all about progress and not perfection. I am the first person to tell you I am far from perfect, but today I am making steady progress. So to celebrate the anniversary of this catalyst, I was the Special Guest once again on the show. The link to it is below.
Be warned…nothing I say is graphic but it is very personal. You might not want to know quite that much about me. That’s more than fine if that’s the case. And the show is 90 minutes long. I don’t know if I would be able to listen to me talk for 90 minutes (although the panelists and callers do engage in a lot of the exchange so — thankfully — it’s not all me).
Each of us has our own past. Many of us enjoy the weekly opportunity to throw ourselves back into nostalgia. Some of us prefer to throw it all away, as if it never existed. In all cases, the past is done…but it’s only truly over when you move on. That choice is yours. Choose wisely.
“This chapter of my life will close here, today. I will walk out of this courtroom and not look back. I will do everything in my power to have my story be one of triumph over adversity, not victimization, because that is how I will become whole again. I hereby transfer my suffering to [the convicted rapist] as he receives his sentence today and begins paying the price for his demonic actions on that day.”
~~ Long Island Rape Survivor address to the court at her perpetrator’s sentencing hearing today. He received 25 years for first-degree rape, criminal sexual act, first-degree burglary, first-degree sexual abuse during the initial attack and two counts of second degree conspiracy, as he subsequently tried to hire someone to have her killed.
As a fellow survivor, her statement truly moved me. Although I have undergone the metamorphosis from victim to survivor, I accepted that the acts that were perpetrated upon me would keep me entombed in my own internal prison to some degree for the rest of my natural life. It never occurred to me until I read her statement today that I have the power to “transfer my suffering” away from me by my own “triumph over adversity,” making me “whole again”.
Thank you, fellow survivor…fellow Long Islander…live by these words…don’t look back but to see the faces of the others you inspire to be triumphant and whole.
This is something that I struggle deeply with and work on every day. I’ve made strides, successfully forgiving some who haven’t asked for it, some who don’t feel they’ve done me wrong. When I realize that’s on them and the choice between resentment/hurt and forgiveness/release is on me and I follow through, I am astounded by the good it does for my well-being.
I’m not sure if I will ever be able to forgive those who have hurt me the most. I know that I need to if I am ever going to truly heal. Already about midway through my life, time is running out for me to reap the rewards of that liberation. I’ll keep working on it. I’m worth it.
It’s been a long time since I’ve written a personal blog. I am incredibly blessed to have a few people ask me when the heck I’m going to get back to it. All my life I’ve felt like the-thing-that-nobody-wanted-but-was-stuck-with-anyway. (There are reasons for this and I’ll get to a lot of them in this blog.) To know that people are affected by my words and actually look forward to reading more validates me. You know who you are. I know who you are. I thank you so much. Please keep that feedback coming — the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t be shy!
It’s not for lack of material that I’ve been gone. Quite the contrary; my life has been filled with new experiences, recovered memories and several epiphanies. (Again, I will get to a lot of that later in the blog.) I’ve actually been busy writing a professional blog for both Netter Real Estate and my own professional blog, Judy Cangemi Your Friend in Real Estate. Both are hosted on WordPress so I decided to move my personal blog here, too. I was able to move my posts here from my last site so nothing got lost in the move either. The only thing I dislike is the appearance (just like life, huh?) because I don’t think it reflects me very accurately. But I’m not going to get too hung up on appearance now (just like life).
With this new location, it is a new beginning in many ways. I altered the name of the blog slightly. It’s now called “One Woman’s Adventure Through Life and Recovery.” I’m still having adventures through this economy but it has taken a backseat to my recovery at this point…and that is yet another blessing.
So it is with a open heart that I welcome you here. Consider yourself warned that I will get quite personal. My writing has always afforded me a vulnerability that I deny myself in face-to-face contact…and after all, effective writing is always grounded in truth. Many people throughout my life have told me that my words made them feel less alone and the more of myself that I offer in black & white, the deeper I connect with others. Read, write, share. We are all in this life together. Let’s help each other through.