Several years ago, while living in Ohio, I found a bent tree branch to use for an Instagram post. I have always admired trees for their confidence, elegance, and natural beauty regardless of their color, shape, and other differences. Every year, they endured blazing summers, windy storms, freezing temperatures, and everything else in between to sprout their beautiful leaves even more glamorous than the year before.
The tree branch I found led me to the current title of my memoir which is about my personal experience with abuse and healing from the inside out. Although two male family members led me into the dark wilderness of sexual abuse, one by force and the other with affection, I held on to the belief that my life is more than what happened between us.
Before my experience with abuse, my mother left our father who was emotionally and physically abusive. We had very minimal contact with my father’s side of the family, until in 2001, when I decided to learn more about him and the other side of my family (another story, another memoir).
As a child, I wondered if my father’s presence would have prevented the abuse from happening. Within a few seconds of this thought, I realized that there was no guarantee that his presence would have changed the past, for my father had his own battles to fight.
Shortly, after the secret was out, I stood at the crossroads, wondering what to do. One day, I looked out my bedroom window and spoke to the universe. “I want to be aligned with nature.” As with any pure heartfelt desire, a series of events took place. I took my mother’s advice and sought a personal relationship with God.
A commitment is a choice, and choices lead to a destination. Timika Chambers
I learned about Jesus, the Lord’s prayer, and read the entire King James Bible. I wanted the truth. I learned to listen and trust the voice within that I denied when it urged me to tell the Truth about my abuse.
My journey as a student of life has tested my faith in a higher power even returning to the dark and lonely wilderness reclaiming what I left there. For over 20 years, I struggled to find my way back to my Truth while living my mother’s dream to be a nurse, partly because I was looking for an identity and I was enraged by my father interference with my mother as she tried to pursue a career in nursing.
The detour I took via nursing led me to concepts such as resiliency, the young old, growing old gracefully, Pavlov’s conditioning, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and men and women who overcame odds to make this world a better place and confirmed that I can have the life I desired.
Bent Not Broken evolved to sharing the lessons I learned from my sexual abuse and being the theme of my memoir.
My longed desire to reunite with my purpose led my family and me to a place similar to my childhood environment, with a lot more trees and year-round beautiful foliage. I have used the coronavirus shutdown to align with a spark that ignited years ago(when I was approximately 14 years old) watching my mother decorated a white page in black ink, with my name.
I do not claim to understand everything that happens in the world, but I believe in a good God, miracles, healing, and there is a reason for everything. I believe that sometimes we experience things to help others, and God does not give us more than we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13).
I believe that every experience builds on the next as in the curriculum for a certain program. My curriculum is designed to help me achieve the highest version of myself, which is my purpose.
No one can tell us how to heal, but I know that healing is available if that is what we truly desire and believe is possible.
I am not broken. I have my eyes on who knows all, sees all, and is everywhere, including in my heart, mind, and soul.
Over the next few months, I will share my insights, including excerpts from working memoir, Bent Not Broken. I will cover such things as how was I able to: focus on my studies throughout my education journey? preserve my body, mind, spirit, and my pride? veer away from alcohol, drugs, and other potentially harmful things? sought how to take care of my body and live with integrity? and kept the desire to fulfill my purpose?
Over the years, I received many visitors such as anger, fear, doubt, guilt, jealousy, shame, resentment, and vengeance, but I knew that there was more. I leaned more on the flame within me that refused to go out.
I learned when I focus on the specifics of my pain, get stuck in the why’s, I open myself to darkness for that’s where anger, fear, guilt and vengeance roam; they do not discriminate on color, race, religion, or gender. Even when I allowed such emotions to enter, I realized that my beliefs and thoughts set my navigation. And my foundation as a child, my beliefs, desire to know the truth and to be aligned with nature, helped me along the way.
When I focused on what I had (my mind, body, choices, gratitude, and the people who loved me for me, and what I wanted, I received more of the good things.
I may not have all the others, but I know there is something out there that loves me and wants the best for me.
I believe that when we open our hearts, we help open others to the possibilities of healing and living life, and the heart is at the core of everything we do.
I hope that everyone who experienced abuse, in any form, realizes that your life has purpose. You are more than the confusion and pain that others tried to give you. I hope you find your healing path and reunite with your purpose, because you deserve nothing less than being your True Self.
May you heal from the inside out,