POETRY & SHORT WORKS
select poetry, op eds & other yummy food for thought
January 17, 2018. An open letter about healing, sexual violence, and our shared responsibility to change our culture.
CW: sexual violence, trauma, accounts of sexual violence, self-harm, mental health, eating disorders
A piece written for Live Your Dream, a network that provides advocacy and action opportunities to spread awareness about causes such as action to education, empowering girls and ending violence against women. Live Your Dream is a project of Soroptomist International of the Americas.
Earlier this week I spoke on a panel about interpersonal violence. Each practitioner was asked to introduce themselves to a room full of soon-to-be lawyers interested in learning more about working with folks who have experienced trauma. I fumbled my way through introductions, highlighting past job experiences and responsibilities--probably some of the least exciting things about myself. I'm relatively certain I've never charmed someone with a witty intro and have always had more luck offering a warm smile, easy laughs and making space for the occasional awkward silence. Intros are hard. When your days are filled with work that is both deeply personal and political, it's not always clear where your own narrative stops and where another's begins. It's not always clear where to place your own survivorship. Or how to talk about the gift/weight of the stories people entrust in you. In my work with students I'm always trying to keep it real while still maintaining some level of credibility when offering a really authentic, "Y'all, we're in this together. I'm still trying to figure it out too" --to questions about healing and self-love--about finding your voice--about navigating and finding your place in the world." ---and so came this little piece about identity and truths.