I went to Hawaii just this past March for 18 days. I have not written about it. I have not been able to. I wanted to sit on the plane on my flight home to Vancouver and write in my journal, spell out the entire adventure so that I could type it out and share with you, my story of Hawaii. I wanted to spell out the beauty and magic and learning that was my trip. I couldn't. So many things happened there, in such a short amount of time. It was one of the most potent experiences of my life.
I am shaking as I sit down and begin to write this, becuase I'm not sure yet what part of the story is going to come out first.
I met my parents at the airport in Kailua - I loved the simplicity of the space, there were very few walls, and as soon as I got off the plane I could see the night sky, the stars. I could smell the flora and I could taste the moisture in my mouth. It was absolutely amazing. To have my parents welcome me to their annual sanctuary was such a blessing, one I am soon not to forget. I fell asleep with ease and I woke early the next morning. The birds, the sun my fathers strong coffee brewing down the cabana stairs. I was in heaven.
Hawaii is the birth place of new earth. You can go to the volcano, you can travel to the city where active lava flows you can feel her heat in the depths of your lungs - she calls you to change, to give birth to a newness within yourself. If you settle enough to sense, to notice, to feel.
The neighbours invited their son to come join them for a week. I thought it would be nice to have another late twenties being around - here is were I have the impulse to stop this story. Why would I tell it? What good is it going to do? This is self indulgent and unnecessary. My head has gone light, and my stomach is flipping upon itself.
I suffer from ptsd. In my normal day to day life in Vancouver it is not something I experience very often, if ever. I have cultivated a community of incredible hearts and a diverse array of life experience. I am safe here. I know where my safety lives, and I live and act and breath within it. I am safe.
I didn't feel safe in Hawaii. I became aware very quickly that my femininity and my softness was of interest to many men. It was easy enough to remain safe when traveling about with my parents, and thank god for them. But the doctors son soon came. I immediately felt a distinct distaste for him. It was clear that he was struggling in his world and his mind, and that he used women to feel ok. Because we were neighbours and our parents are friends for that week of time there was numerous times of shared space, and for me of held breath.
On the last night of his visit, (and this is where I start to get hard on myself, its my fault I found myself in this situation) I was invited to his parents condo to have a glass of wine. He then asked me if I wanted to go to the beach and share more wine, this is where my panic sets in this is where I experience my ptsd in a way I have not for a few years. Here emerges the plan.
1. its dark, keep your eyes open, notice everything
2. anna you wont have more wine, you need to be fully aware of your surroundings
3. I'm in flipflops, I can take them off and run if I need to
4. stay close to the entry of the beach for a fast exit
5. don't sit within reach of him
9. its ok. it wont happen again. anna don't worry you are ok.
10. I cant feel my body.
We go to the beach, I have less than a glass of wine. I sit as far from him as is reasonable in a social situation. He talks, and talks. Asking my sage advice as if he cared to hear my answers. After a time I say that I have to go. I stand up. With his left hand he grabs my right arm between the shoulder and the elbow, and pulls me closer to him. I can barely breath. he says ' all I want to do right now is stick my tongue as far down your throat as I can'. I pull myself away from him and he grabs my left wrist with his right hand, as my entire body is pulling away from him in total and complete fear my mind racing - how on earth can this be happening again? what have I done, again? he grabs tighter this time, and forces stillness in my body, as I am looking away he says 'but I wont, because I respect you too much'. I wrench my arm away, and he says ' I didn't get want I wanted, but I probably got what I needed'. I quickly walk back to my parents cabana and find my beautiful mother awake, on her computer thank god - and she is there for me.
Sexual assault is my past. It is there, loud and clear. I have worked through its side affects many times, through many relationships and lots of self work. Hawaii, took me there again. Since that night on March 12th I have been through all of my survival mechanisms. Control, isolation, anger, food issues, body issues, guilt, fear, blame and shame. How could I have let this happen again, why did I put myself in that situation, why didn't I listen to my body.
At the time I remember deciding that I didn't want to give into my fear, I didn't want to be controlled by ptsd, I remember wanting to trust a human. I wanted to have red wine on the beach, to feel safe, to be a woman and to not be threatened by the ego of man.
My trauma is something I will live with my entire life, but it is not something I will be controlled by. I'm sharing this with you because we all have darkness, we all have pain, we all have demons and lessons.
There is darkness now in the heart of someone I love more than words can say, he, is a great man with a huge heart and potential beyond this realm. In his darkness he is not alone, and I felt compelled to share my most recent experience with my shadow. I can say that this time I didn't have to go so far away, I didn't have to get as lost, and didn't leave myself completely - and I am so blessed and grateful.
We heal through story, here is one of mine.
may my pain be of service