Broken Wings: Triumph through Tragedy
Hapi 2022 family!
Last year was an emotional year, to be honest. When the pandemic first hit, I felt prepared for it. I decided introspection was best, soon to grow weary of discovering myself...as if I could get away from myself. 2021 was tough and the deeper I go on my journey of self-healing, the more I see how wounded my inner child is.
I read a book recently that gave me more peace of mind. Broken Wings by Sergine Trazile, a recount of a life plagued by abuse in what are supposed to be the most enjoyable years of one's life. Sergine begins her story by recalling when she first realized she had been raped at six. I don't remember if she recalled this at age fourteen or some years after. But imagine going through sexual abuse for years, and the ignorance and innocence of being a child keep you wrapped in confusion, pain, and silence, suffering. I am so grateful for this story because I often wonder when I will find it in me to share my own without fear of judgment.
I was not raped as a child, but I was molested. It left me confused and anxious about my sexuality, while the memories haunted me. I experienced rape at eighteen. At that time, my no's meant nothing to my predator, leading me to suppress my voice more than I already had been. When you finally gain the courage to speak up for yourself, only for it to be disregarded, without good support, you can become afraid of saying no or being the source of anyone's displeasure. God forbid they retaliate.
The fear of using one's voice was certainly a recurring message throughout the book, the ability to advocate for yourself after experiencing such violations. This is a challenge that I also struggle with. It's been close to six years since my last sexually traumatic experience, and I realize how challenging it is to overcome these traumas. One of my favorite things about this book is that it is so vulnerable while admitting the struggle to be vulnerable. If that's not relatable, I don't know what is.
Sergine speaks about how it is often stated that our body is a temple, but these experiences made her feel the opposite. It made her feel as if her body was not her own. It reminded me of slave stories. Mothers, wives, daughters, and sisters were not safe due to the master's lust, but mostly the desire to emasculate the Black man by conquering his woman. I believe that's how Sergine may have felt, like a slave to her own body, like it didn't matter what she wanted for it because someone else already decided.
Imagine the mental and emotional disease of internalized self-hate in the form of shame and guilt, all because of what someone else did to you. Imagine the intense desire to take your truth to the grave because you would never dare let anyone know that this happened to you, and you were somehow helpless to it. Imagine trying to run from your past. Trying to run from people, places, or things that remind you of it, but realizing that the experience lives within your mind and you cannot escape your own mind. It is all there in the pages of this heartfelt memoir.
It made me think, how do you confront your relationship with sex and intimacy when it's been tainted by sexual trauma?
I have been seeking the courage to express this to my loved ones, yet it seems daunting. I want to be received, but my imagination convinces me that I won't be, at least not kindly or without some kind of blame for my own trauma, so I keep it to myself. Nonetheless, Broken Wings inspired me to repair my own wings. I pushed myself to share these revelations with my partner and abstain from sex to understand my relationship with sex and intimacy. It ultimately led to the end of my relationship as I realized that sex for my partner was a source of control and manipulation needed to keep me engaged.
Had it not been for this book as one of the signs that I needed to reclaim my power through my womb, then maybe I would've continued to give my power away. Ultimately, this book contributed to many messages God gave me to break a generational curse of womb abuse. Unfortunately, I was in too deep to see that I was reliving a pattern of sexual abuse, and it was covert. Being molested and raped skewed my perspective of love and relationships. I realized I coped with this trauma by believing that others had a right to my body instead of a privilege.
I don't know when, but my mind conceived the notion that I'm supposed to give of myself in this way, even if some part of it doesn't feel right. That can be tough to put your finger on when you've grown numb to your emotions. I doubt I've lived long enough to say that this healing process is a lifelong journey, but I know that Sergine's story has inspired me to continue my own journey with a fresh pair of eyes.
I recommend Broken Wings if you have experienced abuse of any kind or want to understand what goes on in the mind of someone who has. Although we have different experiences, I can relate to most of Sergine's thoughts and emotions. We tend to forget that we are not alone when we go through trauma. Sergine's pen pal turned friend was a lovely reminder that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. We just have to keep going to see it!
Nonetheless, if anyone is experiencing abuse of any kind, please seek help, don't try to fix or stay with your abuser in hopes that it will get better. Here is the link to National Domestic Violence Hotline: Domestic Violence Support | The National Domestic Violence Hotline (thehotline.org)
Peace, Love & Revolution,