I have been wanting to blog, but have been so unsure what to write about as my life is in a bit of chaos at the moment. Today however, I have so much to finally share about my experiences last week in Utah. No I did not become a Mormon and choose to become an American; I did make some great friends who are Mormon though and can proudly say I have learnt to stop judging and start learning. Judging is something I don’t like done to me, yet I catch myself doing to others. Lesson one, you don’t know unless you know and now I have a couple of wonderful friends who have a faith different than mine. Geez, could you imagine if we were all the same? That would be pretty boring wouldn’t it.
I spent 4 days at TYF (The Younique Foundation) retreat for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse; say that 4 times fast lol. I walked in knowing that I had begun my healing when I got sober 458 days ago, but knew I was stuck. Like how do I move on, how do I Forgive, how do I stop fearing life, how am I different because of the trauma, and how can I become whole again?
There was only one rule while we were at this retreat. “Don’t do dishes” well isn’t that perfect. We actually were not expected to do anything. If I wanted to skip a class because I FELT I needed a nap then nap I did. On the first day I wrote this down “do you know what it is like to sit in a room full of women who have been through the same things as you? It is powerful, like walking into a smokehouse and hearing the drumming and it consumes your chest because it is like finally coming home. That’s how I feel right now sitting in a room with 23 women who have all survived a form of sexual abuse. Wow. Speechless. My tribe just got bigger, and it proves to me that I am on the right path of awareness. I am not alone. We are not alone. We are a bigger percentage than we think.”
For those wondering how beautiful this place was here is a preview.
As soon as I arrived I went to my room (called empowered) and saw all our gifts, and instantly our day started. Aside from my ah-ha moment above we embarked on a journey of Kintsugi. I say journey because for me it was. I broke my beautifully perfect bowl with a hammer and felt it break under my hand, but it wasn’t broken enough in my eyes so I smashed it some more. If this bowl was going to represent me then it needed to be in a million pieces!!! Now when I break something (which I have lost count on the amount of stuff I have broken over the years) I toss it. Kind of like how I felt about me; tossed aside. Nope, I am at a healing retreat lol so we put it back together with epoxy and gold powder to make it whole again. It was broken, and then I put it back together piece by piece. Guess what! It doesn’t even leak. It is a fully functional bowl but with pizazz now. It is actually more beautiful now than it was before.
How about food! Yell heck yea right now if you LOVE food!!! “Heck Yea!!!!” The food was amazing, and partly because I did not have to cook a darn thing. I only had to toast my bread if I wanted it. Big deal. At home I pass right through the most important meal of the day because I don’t want to cook. Not very good choices Bonnie. The best surprise would probably be the gummy bear jar and the downstairs fridge. Every night my roomie Crystle and I would go get a can of pop and marvel at how full it was and then giggle our way back upstairs after grabbing some gummy bears (okay maybe only I indulged a ton on the gummy bears) but in the morning low and behold the jar and fridge were full again!! Spoiled is an understatement!! Here I thought I would only get water because that is healthy, boy I was in heaven.
Next huge accomplishment is learning what I love and do not love. First, let me say this. If you love something but don’t think your good at it who gives a fuck! Do it anyways!! I love art. Yep you wouldn’t know it about me, but I love looking at it, respecting it, making my own assumptions about it and…… making it!!! I never participated in art because well I’m not artistic. This retreat opened my mind to accepting who I am and not caring what others think. I also realized I am triggered by touch and men. This is something I will need to work on immensely and plan on taking therapy to overcome my fears. Here is my art I choose to share with you.
Even though this foundation kept giving me tools, lightbulb moments, a makeover, and so much more they kept giving, so in return I gave back by participating in painting a slide for their video that will represent a child of abuse becoming empowered. This necklace is my reminder of where I have been and what I got from this experience.
Now to share with you my tribe. These women come from all parts of America and I was their Canadian trooper and if we were all put together in a different circumstance I’m pretty sure we would not have became so close, but because we were all Group A and in each other’s spaces we meshed. Day 1, we awkwardly got to know each other. Night 1, some of us stayed up laughing all night. Day 2, we shared our truths and tragedies. Day 3, we were a pact and we were sisters. Night 3, some of us stayed up for hours talking of our mistakes, our hardships, our relationships. We shared insight and gave each other strength! Day 4, this was the sad part, we had to say good bye. In 4 days we became a tribe stronger than any tribe I have ever known. We would stand up for each other in ANY situation because we are a sisterhood. There has not been a day that has gone by since last Thursday where we haven’t talked. I wake up to messages first thing in the morning and their the last people who text at night. Now if that isn’t powerful I don’t know what is. If your reading this and wondering if you should apply for this retreat the answer is yes!! Go for it!! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And so, meet my tribe including our house mom and therapists.
I may not be completely healed, and I am most definitely not perfect, but thanks to this experience I know I can change my mind, that “NO” is a complete sentence, and that I fucking matter!
And now ill leave you with a quote and my favourite pictures of myself during my stay.
“You took away my innocence but you can never take away my spirit to survive” Author unknown- a survivor
P.S. My grammar sucks as it should being a drop out by 14. I am taking applications for editors that work for high fives and coffee. ✌?