How healing is a revolution and a declaration of war and why I am crazy enough to show you my healing process

day 3 of hardcore blogging. six people have already told me it’s moved them. I’m humbled.

I began this blog for my own healing. The public journaling leaves me feeling exposed but at least I am feeling something. I will never put my emotions at bay because they make me or someone else uncomfortable.

Maybe the most important conversation I have had about this blog was today at 1am, like most good conversations, to be honest. Someone asked my why I am doing this.

Because healing is revolutionary.

No one is whole. I am tired of living half a life. I will be part of the overthrowing of a society that promotes emotional numbness as success. To heal is to deny the power that society has over me and to understand power and not seek to hold power is in and of itself power. It gives us the ability to take it from those abusing it.

Because healing is not pretty.

Too often people want to see the “success stories” cops and reporters and funders ask my organization that works with survivors of sexual assault and human trafficking all the time for success stories. They never ask for case studies on where our labor and services is going. Generally society does not want to see the ugly side of life, most people do not want to witness the evolution of healing. It’s not pretty and it doesn’t fit neatly and nicely in a box with a bow. It’s painful and difficult and in your face. I want people to have to see it. This is reality. It’s real and raw. This is the reality society has constructed for itself. It doesn’t get to pick and choose what parts to bear witness to.

It’s a declaration of war.

I declare war on people who dare to silence others trying to heal and advocate for themselves. I will upset the status quo. I will be part of a movement and generation that empowers each other. That supports each other. For every Brock Turner, we will empower Maya Angelous, and Rupi Kaurs, and Bell Hooks, and Gloria Anzalduas, and Oleta Abrams. We will be our own Rosa Parks refusing to move to make others happy.

Because it is honest.

It is exposed, unabashed, and unapologetic. For people not to feel alone. For people to find space for their healing. For people to read things no one is telling them. It’s my healing in real time for the world to see whether it wants to or not, whether it’s ready or not. It’s as much for me to look back on weeks and months from now memorialized as much as it’s for people to read and feel in the moment tonight or years from tonight. To be a resource for myself and others where there is no bullshit. I remember being 13 years old and feeling alone because no one had told me anything about anything. I remember being 16 years old and googling “was i raped.” i came across a feminist blog. Here I am at 21 with my own blog. That’s a powerful moment of full circle. Maybe some sixteen year old will read this one day. The world needs this. I want to remind people what it is like to be honest with yourself. Watch me as i embark on this journey. Take my hand and we can do it together. We’ll find that it is not easy. It is not picture perfect. watch me struggle and back track and jump ahead and rise and fall and sway and swing and flail and be still. Be human with me.

For my sanity

I hope I inspire people to heal from their traumas in their own way. Take your picture, draw your sketches, paint your portraits. make your sculptures, perform your music, write your poetry, be your art. Heal. Be beautiful in all of its pain. Bask in its glorious. Let yourself have this. This has to be my legacy. I have to believe for every awful person there is one who is empowered. I hope to be part of this.  I have to have hope that as a human species we will heal. I hope my daughters and their daughters and their daughters see a different world. I hope you will be part of that with me. I need you. As a reader with a life and thoughts and traumas and anxieties and hopes and dreams and fears and day dreams and sighs and laughs as complex and nuanced as mine, I need your inspiration.

– Arieana


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