I finally broke the ice after 26 years and reported to the police that I had been abused & molested by a close family member when I was really young. Back then, my life did a 180 when my parents divorced & other influences entered my life. I was traumatised by also experiencing domestic violence, poor education, poverty, suicide in my family, drugs & alcohol, unemployment, emotional abuse, swearing daily, etc. Even though this was happening all around me & also directly to me, I chose not to get involved in a lot of those activities myself. Hence I left home at 15 & attended 11 schools total. I had to emotionally disconnect myself in order to survive all those traumas. It was like living in a “Once Were Warriors” family war zone – still witnessing abuse happen to close family members, even though I had left home. This was as well as having up to 4 epilepsy seizures every week also.
After having a Left Temporal Lobectomy Surgery for my epilepsy in 2013, a lot of my memory was restored – the good, the bad, & the ugly. This was something that was not explained by my medical doctors. All those flashback memories of traumas haunted me after the surgery, even to the extent of wanting to take my life. I was getting constant flash backs of suicide attempts that I tried as a teenager not long after I got abused.
Even though my police case was closed due to not enough evidence, I have already experienced much more peace of mind since it did so. In fact, I followed my own intuition & visited the person that abused me face-to-face in January 2019. It was all for me – not him, not anyone else. When me & a friend got to his home, we said a prayer, then I told him “I forgive you” - I hugged him & burst out crying – happy tears for finally choosing to forgive him & close this chapter of life!! He told me, if he could take reverse time, he’d take it all back what he did. I’m just grateful that I gave myself peace of mind by going through this whole experience. I had to go backwards & relive my past, in order to properly forgive the person & move on.
It definitely takes courage to open up about & also to abusers – especially when your life has been threatened for years! But I share from experience that it beats living in fear all of your life! Opening up about my stories to important parties was the best kind of medicine for me. Courage is being afraid of doing something and doing it anyway.
I take pride in all my scars I have gained from these experiences – depression, anxiety, hypomania, & C-PTSD. I see C-PTSD as Courage – Proud To Stand Determined!! And that I am!! Like my epilepsy surgery which was a physical health surgery, this forgiveness experience was an emotional/psychological surgery. Having the ability to truly feel feelings again; sleeping much better; eating less; more energy & motivation to do things; brain fog clearing & thinking better; flashbacks reduced immensely; & finally feeling the ‘inner child’ me that was trapped inside me for years from those traumas, starting to grow & heal. It will be a forever healing & learning experience. But look forward with hope.
As a Maori wahine, I promised in my teens that I would break these cycles of abuse, & start positive cycles also. College degrees, business awards – those are all extra external factors. But true beauty & character come from within. Self-confidence, self-care, self-love is what’s essential. It affects how you treat other people – including those you truly love. As Zig Ziglar said “Take pride in how far you’ve come. Have faith in how far you can go”. Be beautiful. Be kind. Be you! Mauri ora!
Hapaitia te ara tika pumau ai te rangatiratanga mo nga uri whakatipu - Foster the pathway of knowledge to strength, independence and growth for future generations.