When it Isn't Your Fault
I have written a LOT of articles over the past month, but I haven’t published any of them. And I don’t really know why. Maybe it is because sometimes I feel like I need to take a step back from reflecting on life so I can actually live. Reasonable. I also do not enjoy publishing or posting just for the sake of remaining relevant. Something about that feels awful and icky and inauthentic. I would rather wait until inspiration strikes, and I know my words have weight because they ring true to my heart. And this morning, I read a quote from, yes you guessed it, Humble the Poet, that said “everything that happens to you is your responsibility. It may not be your fault, but it is your responsibility.”
WHEW that one HIT DIFFERENT. I read it and immediately knew it was going to piss people off, especially ones who have experienced trauma – like losing a loved one, rape, domestic violence, a car accident that resulted in paralysis, or really anything that seems cruel and unfair. How in the hell could becoming paralyzed be YOUR responsibility?
Let me see if I can add some context.
In July of 2017, I was raped. By a person I trusted, and quite frankly, really cared for. And then, I was completely and totally violated at the clinic by nurses probing the same parts of my body that had been ransacked barely 2 days before. I was horrified. I couldn’t speak for days. All I did was cry, incessantly. And once I could speak again, I still experienced intermittent bouts of tears. And over the next two years, I experienced horrific episodes of PTSD any time I visited the gynecologist’s office, felt even slightly overpowered during an intimate experience, or saw something on TV that showed a victim telling their story. I felt like I was trapped. And I was blaming all the pain on the rape. Not even the man who raped me, just the rape itself. Blame. Blame. Blame. On the outside I was telling everyone I was “working through it,” but internally I still felt like a victim. And victims are helpless. They can’t help themselves. All they can do is look for outward sources of blame, validation and healing.
Somewhere along the way though, the knowledge dropped from my head to my heart that I cannot be a victim and find healing at the same time. What happened to me may not have been my fault, but accepting responsibility for its aftermath was absolutely necessary to move forward. And what does that look like? Accepting responsibility for the aftermath I mean.
It looks like having a panic attack, and then taking my shit back to the drawing board. AKA my meditation spot, where I acknowledge the presence of trauma in my body, let it go, and replace it with truth. “I am safe.” And repeat until this is programmed into my subconscious mind and a part of my every day behavior. Do you see what I mean? I never blamed myself for the rape or the PTSD episode, I just recognized how it was affecting my life, recognized that the person who did it was not going to fix it for me, and accepted responsibility for fixing it myself. I mean, it’s kind of the equivalent of a reality check. “No one is going to fix your shit for you. No one owes you anything.” That includes your healing. You have to go and seek that out yourself.
Otherwise, if you stay blaming the rapist, the drunk driver, the surgeon who fucked up your spinal operation, the teacher who gave you an F in a class you needed to pass to graduate, you’ll be stuck. Like forever. Because that person is NEVER going to come and fix your pain for you. It is just reality. If you want to fix it, you have to figure out how to do it yourself. You may have to get really creative, like how Dr. Joe Dispenza healed his own NINE broken vertebrae with three months of mediation. Or how Nelson Mandela got out of prison and became the fucking president intsead of staying pissed at the people who locked him away. Or how any rape survivor picks him or herself off the floor, goes to therapy, finds healing, and lives a happy freaking life.
You can do this. It may not be your fault, but it is your responsibility.
Well, let me rephrase that..
“What happened to you may not be your fault. But it is YOUR responsibility to find healing.”