Assaulted: Metamorphosis from Victim to Warrior

 

Throughout our lifetime, we face all sorts of situations that wake us up, alter our perception of the world, and lend us guidance as we navigate the waters of who we truly believe we are.

Then there are the experiences we are forced to take into our “learning repertoire” as we are thrown into icy cold waters without a life vest, challenging us beyond comprehension. Floating alone in the deep end, we realize we are faced with three options: we either flee, freeze, or fight. Do you sink to the bottom, slowly drowning? Swim for your life without any sense of direction? Or are you prepared to raise your chin and your fists and take the challenge head-on?

Up to a certain point, I had gained a sort of cockiness - believing I had experienced enough to really be able to handle anything without being too violently shaken. I was wrong. Obtaining sexual assault into my training arsenal was not something I was prepared to collect. There was a certain Garden of Eden I had obliviously existed within that I hadn't realized was a part of me until I was robbed of it.

I was wrong. I was raped.

Just typing that word allows the floodgates to burst open. Every fiber of my being instantly imagines it all again as though it’s a current memory. My throat is tightening… insides clench into themselves…  a quiver is sent from my fingertips to the base of my neck…  stomach descends into oblivion. I can feel it all again: the fear taking over, until the assiduously trained lion-heart courage steps in to take over, proudly interjecting, “Strength, darling one. Strength is your choice. Own it now. Believe it.”

CourageLionHeart

 

I have the distinct theory and understanding that this incident was no coincidence. It was not the wrong place wrong time, though it would be something I happily would exchange with a great many other participations.

Through this, I recognize that I have a voice. I have a platform through rapidly paced typing, expansive syntax, and indestructible wit by virtue of the art of storytelling.

I have identified my role to relay this story to the cosmos, powerfully and nonjudgmentally with a rejection to succumb to another’s interjection of my personal boundaries.

I present myself open-heartedly through honest vulnerability in order for other girls to bloom and flourish.

To manifest women the ability to recognize the colossal strength within to reclaim ownership over their bodies, their spirits, their lives.

To free the space in their mind for greater things.

To encourage empowerment through learning, progressing, accepting and above-all: refusing to be controlled by any man through the perception of power.

The greatest power we all own and obtain exists within. It is innate. It is tough and magnificent and resolute and fucking fierce because it is personal. It is ours. It can only be given away by choice, not taken away by force.

Through this, I vow to share my story, encouraging the empowerment of all empresses across the ether, near and far, to choose to keep their power through the acknowledgment and understanding that they are supported, they are loved, and they are each a unique goddess with a vigorous, inextinguishable flame which can never be dismissed or diminished.

 

 

For weeks I had been stalked. Followed, by a seemingly friendly face simply tagging along. Hunted deliberately, by someone perceivably harmless to a celebratory going away party before I embarked on my journey to another country to explore and have many adventures with my new love. Many of us were scheduled to arrive together at our old piano bar to make memories and share laughs over drinks to make up for the upcoming absence. He joined in, as anyone within our shared courtyard was welcome to enjoy the festivities.

The night was wrapping up, tabs were closed, gradually they left, one by one, until only a small handful remained. Roommate number one went home in a cab. Roommate number two took her scooter home with all the belongings in my purse aside from my keys. My car remained in the nearby parking lot where I left it before my work-shift. “I’ll walk with you,” he said, “My car is there, too.”

But that’s not what happened. He preyed on the moment that I created from a series of stacked dominos which one-by-one cumulated into the perfect storm of vulnerability.

Forcing me onto him, into my own car, he assaulted me. Shoving himself into me, he assaulted me. Growling and gripping and digging and pinning and trapping and biting, he violated me. A seemingly friendly face, morphed just as quickly as he came, into that of a monster. With a villainous smirk, he left me cold and shivering and alone in the back of my car, my bruised and abused body. I didn’t want it anymore. I wanted to curl inside myself and die. To perish away as I heaved and sobbed in the backseat of my freshly tampered safe space. I vomited, two or three times, cursing myself, hating myself, wondering how I let this happen to me. How a beautiful night mutated so violently.

 

I didn’t see him for four years.

Four years I managed to never brush shoulders or bump elbows in this big city.

Enough for the bruises to recover and my mind to rest assured.

I didn’t see him for four years, until last week.

I walked into the grocery store with my man, briskly dividing and conquering, eager to grab some food for lunch, when I spotted him.

There he was.

Carrying his shopping bags out the door - with her. Her who. It didn’t matter who. I didn’t need to know her to want to help her. To sprint out the door, shouting stay away, stay away - he’s a barbarian, stay the fuck away. I wanted to help her. My first instinct was to help.

 

Instead I froze, ducking slightly behind the fruit-stand. He didn’t see me.

I became aware of myself. My head spun. Black splotches coated my vision as I whirled around, frantically searching for my sea-legs. All of the feelings rushed back, all at once. Violated. Afraid. Nauseated. Pins, needles, cold sweats.

I felt my body shutting down, debating whether to faint, vomit or cry. I felt the hysterics welling up.

Where was my man? Where was Iain? Frantically I reached around, grabbing at any surface nearby, navigating blindly through the store. Avoiding strangers, I bumped a little too close into a display, sending a sea of vegetables onto the aisle floor. I left my body for a minute, watching above as the frantic, discombobulated girl on the ground helped a stranger pick the tomatoes up, making muddled conversation, hectically searching for my soul one. I needed help.

He was there - grabbing a bottle of water. There he was: the love of my life - my light, my rock. In all his gentle, protective glory, with fear in his eyes as he saw my pale, shaken face. It’s nothing, it’s nothing, we have to go, I said. We have to go to the car. A new car. A new car without imprinted memories of assault. The same car I fearfully lost my virginity in ten years prior. A new car, representing safety and a fresh start.

I collapsed in his arms, shivering as a tsunami of tears erupted into his sleeves. What happened? What happened? He wondered, quickly shifting to Where is he? Where the fuck is he?

It wasn’t worth it. The jail time. The deportation. The energy. The vibration. He let me cry in his arms as he channeled as much loving strength as he could, pumping it from his lion heart to mine. You must be brave, he said, lifting my chin. You are strong. You are. You choose where your strength lives - in there. Nobody owns that but you.

I gathered myself, refusing to give in again. Refusing to admit fault, blame, or shame.

 

WeAreOne

 

Sinister, creepy, weak men often prey on those they see as the weak to seek revenge for their own shortcomings. The smallest. The one with low self esteem. The oblivious. The sad. The sweet.

Utilizing the soonest opportunity, they use whatever power they feel they have to forcefully violate an innocent victim’s personal, mental and emotional boundaries and basic human rights.

How do they feel once they finish and walk away? Victorious? Proud? Is there any sliver of guilt?

And what are the side effects for women crawling away? Shame. Self-loathing. Depression. Psychological damage. Psychotherapy. Physical pain, bruising, bleeding. A doctor’s visit, tests, emergency costs. Antibiotics. Pain relievers. Taking work off. Becoming introverted through self-loathing depression. Fear.

So. Much. Fear.

Again we face the demon of fear. It creeps in like a cancer, venomously shutting down our sense of freedom. Are we safe in a parking lot? At a bar? When it’s dark? In our own car? In our own home? Without the protection of someone else? One by one, our independence fades to phobia, questioning and second guessing every move we make, every desire we have, every choice we take.

The fear is the problem. The fear is paralysis. The fear is optional.

Fear is a choice. Any state of being in which we exist, is a conscious decision we can either live within, or go without. We choose if we wish to seek strength to step outside of the worry and dismay and revulsion.

Fear is a space in which we decide we live, by capitulating to its allure through rapid-release firecrackers and stress bombs.

But fear is an illusion of being, which is built by the ego in our mind, when we feel the brunt of trauma and don’t want to get burned again. What we must choose in these moments of panic is the mirror modality; the mirror modality is a defense mechanism against our own psyche to draw attention to our thought patterns, with the intent of simply recognizing where and how we’re going off the rails through objectification. There is no judgment involved, here - only understanding. By being sympathetic to our own thoughts, and acknowledging the growth we intended for our deepest soul through the initial cosmic choices set out by our Highest Self before coming into this skin suit, we acknowledge that we are not victim to our thoughts.

We are not suffering because of something that has happened to us.

We are not pawns in someone else’s playfield.

Every day we are faced with choices. The option to go left, right, here, there, stay home, be productive, interact or ignore, step-up or run for the hills. Telling yourself repeatedly that this is something you did not choose, it happened to you uninvitedly, is an affirmation of denial that you are in control.

Let me be clear, I am not stating that assault is something you had control over but you let it happen to you anyway. What I am saying, is that whatever choices you make post-trauma, are your choices. That is your power. That is where your dynamism lies - not in docile, yielding behaviors that only serve to drill you further into the pity-pit. This is the tough stuff. This is where that feeling of difficulty really arises and tempts you to sink instead of swim.

 

 

I once read that gratitude and fear are not capable of coexisting.

While I am definitely not grateful for the brute who fucked me against my will, I find gratitude within the grace of how I have allowed it to propel and inspire me to be bigger with my energy and my intentions. To quit thinking, seeing, acting and playing small.

To transform something hideous into something of encouraging gallantry.

To overcome and outgrow the habitual pattern of playing victim and launch into the role of warrior of my own presence. We consistently have interactions whereby we consciously choose how we are affected in one way or another; we also have the means to decide who we are through those choices, and live with how those choices define the subsequent days every day. Others may interact with us, but we have the opportunity of good fortune to live with ourselves in every moment. It is a blessing to be able to have a mind whereby we can designate how we remain affected by something or someone, and in which direction we launch ourselves.

 

I would rather live in a state of gratitude through appreciation of understanding how and why my experiences and choices have evolved my soul.

I feel thankful and more peaceful through taking those learnings and appropriating them to expand my consciousness.

I vow to accept my choices as learnings which have no other purpose but to benefit and expand my spirit to the greatest good and not through fear.

Choosing fear is actively doing yourself a disservice through insult to what you deserve and what you feel you are ready to accept.

I vow to accept, respect, appreciate, acknowledge and understand myself, no matter how much time, tenacity, control or concentration it takes. Because I deserve only love, positivity and respect - from myself, first and foremost. Everything and everyone else is secondary.

Throughout our lifetime, we face all sorts of situations that wake us up, alter our perception of the world, and lend us guidance as we navigate the waters of who we truly believe we are.

 

I believe I am

Courageous + Deserving + Invaluable

Powerful + Magnificent + Radiant

Magic + Luminous + Gifted

Prolific + Unstoppable + Infinite

 

Through our words, we affirm our worth.

Through our beliefs, we confirm our story.

Through our intentions, we define our identity.

Word I am word, through my intentions, word I am word.

 

Revolutionary Evolution

I chose to take my own advice. Take a leap. Make a change. Create the reality I’d like to experience each day. Experience passion through pain and failure. Aim for my goals and take them head-first and exit my comfort cushion… abandon it in the dust with all the other favors that aren’t doing anything for me. To fight for my life. A life? What’s that?

I live in a city of dreamers, artists, inspired beings, working harder than most people to feel that joy for what they love to do. I held a mirror up to myself and asked – why am I reliant on this crutch? Simply: because it’s easy. Brainless. Stable. Since when is that a reason to exist? Where is the passion and joie de vivre? I should live a life of excitement and panic and unknown instead of waking up day to day going through calculated, premeditated motions like a lobotomized machine with no thrill to hop out of bed in the morning. I should be DO-ing. WRITE-ing. READ-ing. TRAVEL-ing. EXPLORE-ing. I should stop saying SHOULD and just DO.

I have worked in retail and within the fashion industry nearly eleven years.

I have learned as much of it as I have the capacity to; been introduced to many different companies, become fluent in the vocabulary of the sales person, acted as a manager, trained a team from two to ten, received free clothing, worked among racism, solved customer service issues, shipped hundreds of packages, survived managerial bullying, styled the average joe to a-list celebrities, built client books, worked twelve hour days, opened several stores, processed hundreds of loads of shipment, sensored thousands of items, suggested countless additional pieces to people, topped store sales goals, been featured as employee of the month, won several contests, made connections with stylists, assisted photographers, steamed thousands of articles of clothing, constructed events, sample sales, and parties, built window displays, remerchandised color stories to tables to entire storefronts, invented an inventory system, networked with fashion professionals, charmed corporate heads, served in several walk-throughs, put together weekly paperwork, boosted self confidence of women who felt uncomfortable in their own skin, taken verbal beatings from clients and superiors, smiled through customer complaints, fought for the dignity of my teammates, saved a junkie from a heroin overdose in a fitting room, survived a stray bullet through the glass window, called security multiple times in one day, met strangers who became coworkers, made coworkers into friends, turned friends into roommates, and laughed about it all after work with drinks.

I have been incredibly fortunate. I feel grateful, thankful, and lucky to have mastered a realm of work to the point where I can’t envision myself learning anything more. I have met so many incredible people who have all given me support, love, gratitude, appreciation, and well-wishes. It allowed me the comfortability to move away from a small bubble to a living, breathing, energetic city of angels. I have to show for all the hard work a set of life skills and a killer resume.

I have learned patience, responsibility, level-headedness, and strength. I have learned cooperation, compromise, and psychology. I have learned honesty, bravery, and communication. I have learned compassion, understanding, and dedication.

I have learned that boredom is an unacceptable way to live. Without personal freedom you create a personal prison around your willpower, and you constrict your dreams until they are unrecognizably scary. I have learned that when you feel that slight heating of the inner flame that ignites when you think about your dreams --- what it is you could do, for the rest of your life and feel eager and excited to do each and every day --- you must nurture it,  and not let it fan out, or it may be months, or even years, until you get the courage to recognize its warmth again.

I am a writer, and I must write. I don’t care where the text goes, I don’t care where or how I start – all I care about, is that I start. And I have mustered the strength and the courage to call a cease fire of all distractions – to quit what I am doing, what steals my strength away and deadens my soul, and to give that strength back to it. To nurture the flame, until it’s burning so hot I can’t sleep at night for fear I’ll forget to write something down. I have big plans and achievable goals – with a children’s book on the way, a novel, a screenplay, and the borders of National Geographic framing the outline for the target, I have much work ahead.

It is important that I share this lesson and this teaching to you. You mustn’t doubt or question your power. I have learned that inside myself, as it is inside of you --- there is an unstoppable force that refuses to quiet itself when focused on the thing it most wants. That force propels that energy full speed ahead, and the Universe allows it the path to get there. So if your energy is living in a space of worry, fear, anxiety, stress, or doubt, becoming the focus of your path --- that is the direction you’re heading. But if you choose to shift those thoughts into confidence, belief, excitement, anticipation, and you visualize it all just working out, and you imagine yourself achieving – living, breathing, experiencing, everything you want--- that is when your thoughts become things, and those things become actions, and those actions literally follow the road map the direction you want it to go. You are unstoppable. You have that in you. Whether you are working a corporate job and you can’t imagine being able to quit and travel : you can. Whether you are in an unhealthy relationship and fear you aren’t worthy to find someone better : you can. Whether you are afraid you may fail at experimenting to find what you love to do so you just don’t do it : not choosing is still a choice. Choosing to stay put, to continue that momentum you are currently living, perpetuates what you have been living day to day. We must change our actions and our way of thinking if we want a different outcome. Expecting a different outcome from doing the same thing over and over again is naïve, ignorant, and useless. Not choosing is still a choice.

Life is too short, my friends. It could all end tomorrow, it could all be over. If you were to look back on your life today, right now, in this moment, truly --- what would your first thought be? Your first feeling? Would you feel proud? Excited? Accomplished? Would you feel you fought for yourself? For your life? Would you wish you had started sooner? Would you start a list of things you could start now, tonight, tomorrow, that would take steps in the direction of changing your path and changing your life? You can, and you are worthy. Treat yourself as you would treat your favorite friend. Coach yourself as you would a sibling. Without your own happiness, you aren’t capable of fulfilling someone else’s happiness. We are all in charge of ourselves, and our own happiness. Without nurturing that flame and minding your own soul, you cannot possibly nurture another.

And let me tell you, it is better late than never – because you can always sit back and examine the past and choose the lessons you’ve learned and admire your strength and courage in order to breed more strength and courage moving forward toward new challenges. Courage, dear lion heart – you are worthy, you can do it. It’s a revolutionary evolution, and you have to change your mindset to change your life, change your life to change your mindset.

I am ready, I am leaping, I have jumped.

Goodbye, last day of retail.

Hello, first day of writing for the rest of my life.

perrierolivetti