Praying isn't something I do very often.
Let's be real - I never do it anymore.
My kind of prayer is reflection and unity.
My kind of prayer is reflection and unity.
This post is a little more personal than my usual fire and brimstone posts.
I'm not one to relish in my weaknesses and I'm especially not a fan of broadcasting them, but if there's a single person that can relate to this post, that can find some sort of validation from it, it makes revealing myself worthwhile.
We have to learn that it isn't about us. Our pain can be empowerment for someone else, and some of us that are able should offer ourselves up to this cause.
This is my attempt to do that.
I'm going to assume everyone has heard Kesha's "Praying" and I'm going to go out even further on that limb and assume we all know what that song is related to. For the sake of clarification, it's in response to the lawsuit against her former producer that sexually assaulted her - at least, that's the assumption in regards to the meaning of the song. This song was the first song she released since the lawsuit began in 2014 and it seems to be targeting me lately, which is the reason for this seemingly random post. If you haven't heard it:
The emotion in this song is so obvious it's almost tangible and most often, I think, the emotions this song spurs in others may be sadness or sympathy, maybe even inspiration or empowerment. This is where my post takes its turn:
This song makes me angry. Don't get me wrong - I love this song. It hurts every time I hear it and I still want to replay it. Let me explain my crazy to you.
"Praying" exemplifies Kesha's ability to move beyond, to empathize with her assailant. It shows her generosity and her forgiveness even as she details her pain. This is fantastic. You fucking go, girl.
I am not Kesha.It has been years, more than triple the amount of years that Kesha has had since her attack(s), and I do not feel forgiveness. I do not feel empathy. I do not feel anything besides anger and hatred.
And you know what? I think that is perfectly okay. I go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning knowing if I were given the opportunity, I could end an individual's life and feel zero remorse. For someone who is against the death penalty, regardless of the crime, and doesn't support war, that's monumental to come to terms with. Maybe I'd wimp out. Maybe I'd lose my fury in the moment, but I have felt this way for over a decade, so maybe not.
I am in awe of the words in this song. While some of them completely resonate with me, she loses me at the softness - hoping her perpetrator finds peace, praying for him. WHAT? HOW?
It. Does. Not. Compute.
I have moved past my shit in the most thorough way that I know how, without therapy. Plenty of people volunteer the idea that therapy makes everything better, and maybe, with immediate contribution and in a timely fashion it can. In my experience, that was not an option. I grappled and struggled with it silently and eventually, ever so slowly, I pushed myself past it - sometimes to the detriment of my relationships with others. And I am not interested in opening that can of worms years after the fact for the sake of saying therapy helped me forget all about it. For my survival and desire to thrive, not just exist, this is not possible. For the sake of a sliver of relief from the dark nature of this post, here are a few pieces of progress I am proud of:
+ On most occasions, I can sleep with my bedroom door open and the light off.
+ I can be active in my house and leave the front door unlocked for a short period of time to test myself.+ I do not have to immediately leave a location, because a particular type of person has entered the vicinity and gives me a bad feeling.
+ I do not constantly fear running into a particular individual while just living everyday life.
+ I can sleep.
+ I can function day-to-day in the most seemingly normal way possible.
These are triumphs compared to who I was some years ago. It's hard to believe how difficult sleeping, or showering in a house, or having your back to a door or just separated from a wall can be when you have not experienced something that makes everything seem unsafe. It is a constant battle, and the battle is fucking exhausting.
To live through that and feel the way Kesha's song describes, is unfathomable to me. To look back and remember who you were before and then to analyze the change in you, the downward spiral, and the unexpected stall and plateau that comes instead of complete reformation, is jolting. And to know how hard you had to fight to even reach that plateau is even more sobering. It's almost laughable to be proud of where you are, knowing who you were. But you are here. You are still here.
This is what keeps the anger fresh, brewing, ready to boil over when faced with a song like "Praying". To know that my whole life has been altered - the things I choose to do or not do, the places I feel comfortable going and not going, the way I perceive things, the way certain things/people make me feel - because of the unwarranted actions of someone else, is infuriating.
I'm happy with where I've gotten myself with this issue. It will never stop being a struggle, a haunting experience that makes my hair stand on end, something that's fresh on my mind when countless things happen including when I hear "Praying" blare through the speakers, even though others are able to say it's just another song. I don't think it's possible for that part of my life to be anything else beyond something I struggle with, especially not something I reflect on with forgiveness in mind.
I'm here to say that if you are where I am - if you're damn angry and intent on staying that way, if you haven't moved past it, if you have, but you still suffer, if you're where I am and want to progress even further - I see you. You are valid. You can survive first, and you can fucking thrive. Whatever you choose to do, however you choose to channel the bullshit you deal/dealt with, it is okay. And if that coping tool is harmful, I hope that you can move past that too, for yourself, but it does not make you any less whole, any less worthy. You are a warrior and I stand with you.
[To all you motherfuckers thinking I need Jesus to find my way out of the darkness or some shit, keep walking and don't spout your bullshit at me. I say that with all the love and sincerity in my heart.]