Potential trigger warning – mentions child sexual abuse.
Antanika from Adjust Remembered posted this picture a few days ago on her Facebook page with this comment “Life after abuse goes much like this…. Sometimes you can glue the bits back together but it’s never the same.”
A little bit of background. I recently discovered Antanika I am not sure how I came across her writing, what I know now is that she has become a staple in my daily reading! I have her blog followed so I don’t miss anything. Her Facebook page is marked as a favourite so I see her updates first and I have notifications set to on in the hope that I can I avoid missing anything with the Facebook algorithms.
Antanika is amazing! She is so strong and courageous. She is a survivor. Antanika was sexually abused by her step-father for many years. She kept this secret for even longer, like so many other survivors. Antanika pulls no punches, she has hidden her secret and tried to avoid it for far to long. She writes to give a voice to her story, she writes to give a voice to those who can’t, she writes to help herself heal if that is ever truly possibly.
Antanika does not want her past to define who she is, most definitely it is a part of who she is today but she is so much more than a survivor. She has tried to get justice for herself but this is not possible. She went to the police three times but they tell her there is nothing they can do about it. Which means her abuser still walks in the community. He has many supporters who refuse to believe that it is true.
“So I have to make peace with this. My abuser, the man responsible for my depression, anxiety, PTSD and horrible flashbacks gets to have a life, unpunished for the ways he couldn’t control himself around me.
I am a mother of 3 and a wife to a musician.
I am a lioness, a fairy queen, a survivor and a warrior.
I also do not like lollies or Gravy.”
I honestly cannot comprehend her childhood. I can understand her PTSD, depression and anxiety. I like Antanika do not want them to define who I am, sure they are a part of me but that are only a small part of who I am. My experiences that got me to where I am are so vastly different to Antanika’s. I had a very happy and carefree childhood, our lives are very different, I am in awe of her ability to survive in the face of adversity. I believe she is truly amazing.
I saw this image and thought of something I learnt of years and years ago. Kintsugi is a form of Wabi-Sabi – the Japanese world view centred around the acceptance that life is imperfect and impermanent. It is through the imperfections, impermanence, and incompleteness of life that we find beauty.
Is the art of restoring a damaged object/thing/person. It is predominantly used for things say broken bowls or pottery. The object is then put back together, highlighting the imperfections, breaks and repairs. The breaks and repairs are then seen as things of beauty.
I am the first to admit I do not have for one moment any understanding of the feelings and damage that is done through sexual assault or even more so child sexual assault. When I think of Antanika I just see beauty and all of the damage as something amazing. I see it as an beautiful strengthening process that has happened. I see the most incredible, exquisite yet so delicate new creation.
Antanika I am in awe. You are right when you say you can put something back together but it is never the same. In your case while I didn’t ever know you in the before, I am certain you have been put back together and you are better! You are truly a survivor but more than that you have thrived through your adversity and you are exquisite!
Linking up with Essentially Jess for #ibot