Atlanta felt like home this time. It’s been years since I visited for during my break and actually felt completely at peace, at home, in the right place. This was the best break home to date. I reconnected and had open conversations with figures in my life that I hadn’t really spoken to since high school, realized how I have become more accepting of my parents, found more of a balance in current relationships, (as opposed to me exerting a bunch of energy into a void, which is something I seek to become stronger about) AND not dwell on/ think about much about not seeing my former partner.
One of the super most exciting parts was when my sister-queen and I organized a game night for a friend of our’s birthday. Just so happens that he’s friend with my ex-boyfriend, and my ex came to game night and stayed the entire time. And I was okay. In fact, I was beyond okay, I thrived. I knew he was there, (thank goddess for my friends who told me in advance) before I got there. I did a little meditation to check within myself and decided that I knew I was in a place that I felt safe enough to go. After all, it was an event that I helped organize. And after 5 years, therapy, countless hours of meditation, months of therapeutic dance, lots of tears and hugs and more tears, a drunken cry on a bathroom floor at a party about it, countless confused, angry, sad words strewn across notebooks and laptops and my brain, confronting him about it 2 years ago, and amazinggg friends (who were indeed ready to fight him in the street if that’s what I wanted) who were beyond supportive/ get away car if I felt like I needed to leave, while currently being on a spiritual cleanse (the cleanse being about cutting and releasing ties/ hurts/ etc. to a former partner). I knew I was going to be okay.
There was something about coexisting in the same space, (something I’ve dreaded for years, and knew would happen eventually since we share friends) and continuing to be. Continuing to maintain the peace I’ve found within myself, the strength, the joy and indulging in that, while he sat quietly in a corner. I pranced about, made mini pizzas for everyone and set up pinatas filled with candy and little bottles of Smirnoff, and danced. I danced and pranced about and laughed so freely that it was impossible for him not recognize my lack of defeat. I don’t think that if I even told him, it could not have been clearer. You did not defeat me.
There is probably no other time that I’ve felt more empowered? Do I wanna do this shit every weekend? Certainly not. But it was a very strong indicator that healing is possible. It happens.
It’s slow and sometimes feels impossible. But it’s attainable. Healing is possible. I promise it is. I write this with tears in my eyes. Usually when I write about my sexual assault, it’s with tears of frustration, but this time, it is with tears of joy. Because I know it is possible. I would never, ever encourage survivors to see the perpetrator as means of the healing journey if it’s something that aligns with your spirit. If you wouldn’t feel safe (whether that be physically, emotionally, or spiritually) but continue to take of yourself. This does not mark the end of my journey, by any means, but it’s a marker of progress. And it happens, healing happens. But you can’t give up. You can’t give up on yourself. You owe it yourself. I love you.