Monday, February 19, 2007

Contact Boxing, Contact Healing

I just came out of my first boxing class. I contemplated for about 30 minutes whether or not I was going to write this entry. How do you put an experience so personal out for the world to read? And I thought of silence and how it kills more people than any gun ever does. How deadly passivity is. I know too many survivors to not put my thoughts into the world. I honor other survivors with my words and our struggle is so communal, my sisters and brothers, I understand the feelings attached.

I have been assaulted/violated 5 different times. At varying degrees of intensity. The most violent being the last, June 29 of 2005. As early as age 5, small and unknowing of the world, I carried with me scars of another persons illness. Then, at every stage in my life, as if to remind me of the wounds, I was violated again. I have never known a world where I felt safe in my own body. I have not known a time in my life of memories where this passive imprisonment did not exist. And I did not realize or accept until now, how that was a choice.

I say that only to tell you how amazed I am that tonight was my first night taking a class that had any element of self-defense. As I walked in, I felt the feelings of a child going to their first day of school. Naively unaware of the reasons for my own apprehensiveness.

I am very much a novice at this, so forgive the crudeness of my explanations on this sport...

There, with a bag and a set of gloves, I claimed my right to be the goddess I was born to be. I learned basics tonight. A jab and a hook. My instructor said his goal was to sweat us out. I knew from the instant that my gloved fist first touched that bag, that I was going to think of that man. I, of course, use the term man, loosely. I felt in my heart, the anger I usually suppress. You see, I am good at a lot of emotions. I am emotionally verbal in a way that is unique. Anger, for many reasons, has always been tough for me. But there, in a public space, with three other women and one male instructor. I was angry.

The jab was not the hardest part. The right and left hooks however, took me to another place. For a hook you need to place your body closer to a bag/opponent, it is the move you use when you have a lack of space. In my gym gear, near that bag, I was back in a dance club, backed against a corner. But this time, I did not struggle to defend myself. This time was different. I think my instructor saw it. He encouraged me "Who ever it is, keep going, let it push you, not stop you." Over and over again, past my physical limitations I beat the shit out of a predator.

Tonight was so many different things for me, I cannot possibly write them all down right now. I need clarity. What I will say is that I am in a different place then I have been. I would have needed to be to even place my hands into a pair of boxing gloves.

I will never allow someone to touch me like that again. How fucking dare he. I am a goddess and no one has a right to take my light like that. So here, in my fifth go around of surviving trauma. I come to peace. I will not be a prisoner to my own body. I will celebrate it for its utility. How could I ever find beauty in myself if I felt like a prisoner. I am light and strength. To hell with the people that used their size and physical dominance to try and take my gifts. How dare you take your gifts and use them as weapons to disempower. That is it. Never again will I allow it to happen.

Brothers and sisters, you are sheer brilliance. We are worth the fight. Our path will lead us to happiness and that will lead us to freedom. As I sit here and cry rivers of redemption, know that i understand the pain that is attached to all of this, but the prison is self-imposed. You may know the world in a completely different way than you "should" but it does not mean you have to settle for a life that is devoid of your own beauty. Find ways to let go of the anger instead of trying to defeat it. The deep pockets of discomfort will dissapate and you will be left with the truest version of yourself.

I will feel safe.

I wish you peace.

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