Update 1/19/19: My memoir, Angels in the OR: What Dying Taught Me About Healing, Survival, and Transformation, can be pre-ordered now. It is a #1 new release in several categories. I would love it if you helped me make near-death experiences more mainstream.
I’ve written about harassment, stalking, and rape before, but with everything in the news from the recent Time article about silence breakers, I wanted to address these topics again, and ultimately from the perspective of healing, both personally and socially.
I had a slightly different experience from some older near-death experiencers because I returned to the body of a woman in her early twenties. Navigating this culture and another culture in South Korea proved challenging.
However, in the end, we are not defined by what we experience but by how we overcome these moments, how dedicated we are to focusing on creating a brighter future for ourselves despite the harrowing aftereffects, and how we are able to help other heal. I also believe we all–male and female—have a responsibility to create safer power structures.
My healing came from group therapy, many types of therapies and healing modalities, many types of self-defense classes, community, helping others, energetic healing, meditation, yoga, writing, speaking about these topics, safe relationships, and time spent creating many beautiful, peaceful moments.
Ultimately, the near-death experience and the beauty of that event returned to me fully, but there were some dark years of living with some of the aftereffects of harassment, stalking and rape when I all I could do was survive.
I believe that love is a transformer of darkness in society. I found a way to love all the many students I met who suffered in ways similar to me or in much more horrifying ways. Supporting them in the ways I wanted to be supported made me feel as if I was working to create a better world. In the end, isn’t that what we are trying to do on a soul level–create greater connection, greater understanding, and greater healing for everyone?
I reiterate time and time again that no victim is ever required to formally forgive, engage with, or talk with anyone who has harmed them, but it is also important to let go and focus one’s energy and time on goals, dreams, and beauty in the world. Writing helps me let go of these moments even more.
It is no longer just my story. As I am connected to countless stories from my students and may have worked to eliminate some of their sorrow, or at least pointed them in the direction of a brighter future, anyone who reads my story also helps me let go even more. You lessen my burden. You help me carry it, and set me a little freer.
I know our spirits long to fly. Our spirits do not identify with this form–the PTSD or the pain. We are the love that we give.
3 thoughts on “Harassment, Stalking, and Rape Almost Destroyed the Beauty of a Near-Death Experience But in the Long Run Spirit and Love Wins”
How wonderful it was to read your blog post, but most especially to see your bright, shining beautiful self on your YouTube video speaking to so many things that are near and dear to my heart. Thank you!!!
I had been wondering how you were doing with the media finally exposing the rape and sexual harassment of so very many women and finally admitting we have a rape culture. I myself was greatly affected by it so much so that I had to ask my family to change the channel or put headphones on to listen to the news. Or sometimes I’d put my own headphones on.
While I am so very heartened to see so many women sharing their experiences, I’m also heartened to see men stepping forward too. In my family, several of us, females and males, have either been raped or sexually assaulted and/or harassed.
Your added voice to this very important dialog was a balm to my soul and I’m sure will be to many others. Your sharing was so loving, understanding and healing.
My own experiences began as a young child, as well as several times throughout my adolescence and young adulthood, and even up until 2008 when I was assaulted by a fellow artist and initially froze but regained “consciousness” to be able to fight the person off of me before it became rape.
I’m 51 now. When I was younger, up until my mid-30s, I had so much gumption, energy and most importantly, hope, that I was able to “survive” being back in my body. My own personal experience with the Light occurred at the age of 7 during one traumatic event. As the rape occurred, I had left my body. Outside of my body, I witnessed the horror of what I saw happening to me, and I fled the scene. I was then in the Light. I don’t recall what was said to me in the Light, but I remember feeling safe and comforted by the Light Who presented Itself to me as God in male form. I remember he was hooded and I couldn’t see his face clearly. I remember him feeling safe. I recall that we communicated telepathically, but I cannot recall anything that was said. Probably within 15 minutes or so of my attack, I returned to my body as we exited the apartment complex where Felix (a worker at the children’s summer lunch program) raped me. I was quite disconcerted being back in my body looking at this young man (16 years old) and stood there outside the building as he told me to tell no one and that I belonged to him. I never ever saw him again. And I hadn’t told anyone what happened to me until I was 13 years old.
From a very early age I recall becoming a warrior, a protector, a social activist, and lots more. After my traumatic experience in the monastery in my early thirties, I had acquired Complex PTSD. This time around, I wasn’t as resilient as I was up until that point. I tried so much to get back to that amazing fireball I was even in spite of the sadness and depression that would sometimes try to rob me in my early years up until my late 20s. When the most recent attack happened in 2008, I had nothing much left inside of me and have practically withered away since then. Oh, I’ve tried long and hard to get back my light, funny, amazing self, but I no longer have the strength or desire. I don’t even recognize who I am. Nor do I even know what I really want from my life anymore except to finally return home. In the meantime, I do what I can to be as supportive as possible to those who remain in my life.
I imagine this must all sound so very depressing. I don’t mean it to be but I also cannot be something I am not. Perhaps those reading this will think I have given up, and perhaps on some level I have. I just cannot see any other way through, being in the world the way it continually chooses to be, whilst not having much life energy left in me, even in spite of all the healing and energy work I’ve done
While I do not have hope for humanity as a whole, I do have hope in the many souls coming to this planet who will come across someone like you and be all the more better for it. You’ve touched so many young people and being one who was greatly influenced by teachers like yourself, that means the world to a young person.
Bless you for all that you are doing and sharing. Bless you for your light, your love and your hope!
Sending you blessings, light and love…always!!!
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Your story is a profound one. Thank you for sharing it with me. I have been so busy grading final exams and didn’t even look at these comments. I will email you privately, but you are not alone in how you feel. I encounter many women who express the same thing as you. I believe that healing is always possible. There is so much I have to say….but it is late…let’s connect soon! Much love and many, many blessing to you too!
Thank you for bravely sharing your story, as that takes a lot of courage. You mention in this post that a victim of trauma can never be required to forgive. I totally agree, since forcing forgiveness on someone will ultimately just re-victimize them. One question that’s been on my mind, though, is whether we can balance this perspective with a perspective that still values forgiveness. I know that many NDEs teach about the importance of forgiveness and how this is an important part of love, so what are your thoughts on balancing between these perspectives? Can we value forgiveness without pushing it on others?