I am sharing a piece of my story because I truly believe if more people would do so then maybe people would see it’s more the norm than taboo.
When I was in High School I basically had the world in the palm of my hand, at least that was my perception. I was an academic scholar athlete. I excelled at everything I did and anything I tried seemed to come very naturally to me. I had a photographic memory which meant I never had to study or take notes to ace tests. I loved math, I completed most math classes offered in high school by teaching myself. In fact, I only missed two questions on my math SAT. I played field hockey, softball, track and field, tried to play football but my mother wouldn’t hear of it, and by my sophomore year I earned my black belt in Tae Kwon Do. My senior year, I opened my own DoJo and taught over 100 children and adults. In high school, I was a business owner.
Between my academics and athletics, I earned scholarships to MIT and UC Berkley, not to mention the ARMY and Marine Corps were heavily recruiting me for their TKD Teams. The summer after graduating I went to Korea to test for my 2nd-degree black belt and to train for the 88 Olympics. I truly had the world in the palm of my hand…
In the fall of 87, the parents of one of my favorite students, an 8-year-old girl, full of spirit and life, that reminded me so much of myself, pulled me aside and told me they needed a huge favor from me. I immediately said anything you need, what’s going on, thinking to myself they probably want me to babysit or something.
The mom proceeds to tell me that she has been having some troubles and they have been going to counseling. They’ve hit a roadblock and the counselor asked her if there was anyone that she felt she could talk to about anything. She said yes, Sabanim, which is the Korean name for a teacher.
So they wanted to know if I would go to a counseling appt with her. I could feel the heartbreak and sorrow in this mothers eyes and right away I said yes, of course. The mom then said well let me tell you what's been going on. Two months ago we discovered that our neighbor has been touching her inappropriately you know, in a sexual manner.
Tears began streaming down this mothers cheeks and through tears were also flowing from her father’s eyes I could feel the rage boiling inside of him as he clenched his fists. The mom kept talking, describing in detail a few times that they knew about because the man was also abusing his own 8 yo daughter, while she is speaking her peace, her husband is unloading his own rage, explaining how lucky the man is that he doesn’t own a gun and describing the things he would like to do to him…
At some point, I stopped hearing anything either of them were saying and all of a sudden this download started going on in my head. You know when you're watching a show and someone is downloading files off a computer and you see them all flash on the screen?? That’s what was happening to me,
All of these images, feelings and moments in my life where these things were also happening to me and had started when I was also around 8.
At that very moment, my perfect world imploded.
The memories I thought were normal…
-At 8 years old I began being sexually molested by a family member. This went on until I was 16.
-At 10 years old I was blackmailed and sexually exploited by a neighborhood boy 5 years older than me. This went on for an entire year.
-At 10 years old I began drinking - HEAVY
-At the age of 12 I was drinking hard liquor too often
-At the age of 13 I was raped at a Jr High party
-At the age of 14 I started smoking pot
-At the age of 15 I was drinking, smoking pot and doing cocaine almost daily. My sophomore year I went to school with OJ and Vodka
-At the age of 17 I was raped again at a High School Party. This is the year I also decided to ad Acid to my drug and alcohol use.
-At the age of 18 I was gang-raped by 3 police officers that I thought were my friends. I partied with them all the time and they even bought alcohol for my friends and I. A month later I realized I was pregnant and had an abortion.
-At 19 I I thought I was broken. I thought there was something terribly wrong with me. How could I think all of the things that happened to me over the years be normal? I was so confused and in so much pain. I didn’t trust anyone especially myself. People were telling me it was wrong and awful and yes there were parts that were unbearable to think about, but there were also parts that I liked. I liked feeling special. What did all of this say about me as a person? I couldn’t take the pain and confusion any longer. I was convinced that I was a horrible person and that no one wanted anything to do with me…I decided I was no longer worthy of being on this earth and I chose to take my own life. By the grace of my angels, I was saved but the next 2 years I found myself drinking, doing cocaine, acid and smoking pot daily all day and night.
I thought it was an appropriate time to share this since it is “suicide awareness” month. We have to stop treating some of our feelings like they are taboo. Depression is real, sadness is real, anger is real… we have these emotions for a reason. Pretending that they are not there will not make them go away. WE need to teach our next generation that every feeling they have is real and valid. They feel it so they can grow and learn something from it. Having the feeling is nothing to be ashamed of its staying in that feeling that becomes a problem.
-At the age of 20 I became pregnant with my first child and stopped everything. I truly believe becoming pregnant saved my life.
I grew up in a family where everything had to be perfect and if it wasn’t well… let’s pretend it was. I’m not mad at my parents, I certainly would have done things differently but they did the best job they could and what they thought was right. I know they loved me and the decisions they made were out of love.
I have so many more “chapters” that I would love to share with you but I think that is more than enough for now.
In closing, I want to say… We all have chapters in our lives that have had huge impacts on who we are. It is our choice what impact we allow them to have. I could be bitter, angry, depressed still over the events that shaped my childhood, but what good would it do? How would it serve me today? Today, I choose to look for the positive in all things, even the ugly things that have happened.
What parts of your life are you still holding a negative vibration for? How is that helping who you want to be today? Are you ready to let it go and grow through it? Trust me, there is a beautiful lightness on the other side.
Celeste 🙏🏻💕🙏🏻. (@motheringhealing)