I felt like I belonged to an ancient tradition of all young people given this same task of finding their own ways through to the futures they wanted for themselves.
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APAAspen Matis Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=i-felt-like-i-belonged-to-ancient-tradition-all-young-people-given-this-same-task-finding-their-own-ways-through-to-futures-they-wanted-for-themselves-aspen-matis
ChicagoAspen Matis Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=i-felt-like-i-belonged-to-ancient-tradition-all-young-people-given-this-same-task-finding-their-own-ways-through-to-futures-they-wanted-for-themselves-aspen-matis, accessed .
MLA"Aspen Matis Quotes." Jar of Quotes, 2019. . https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=i-felt-like-i-belonged-to-ancient-tradition-all-young-people-given-this-same-task-finding-their-own-ways-through-to-futures-they-wanted-for-themselves-aspen-matis
Somewhere in the sun-washed space between Southern California's hills of sand and the present desolate volcanic sprawl I was crossing, my legs had strengthened, but - invisibly - so had my will. The wisdom of my body had cultivated vibrantly since those sadness-drunken months after the rape when I'd felt so numbed by the hurt and shame that I didn't move further. No longer.
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I saw now that bad men existed who would take advantage of any weakness and insecurity they found when violating a victim. I saw it was not my fault; I did not choose to be raped or kidnapped. But now I was learning how to protect myself from the predators, to trust my No and my instinct and my strength. I was learning I was not to blame, I couldn't prevent men from trying to hurt me, but I could definitely fight back. And sometimes fighting back worked.
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In the power of my newfound strength, I saw clearly-even though I'd been empowered to have my old college finally address my 'horrific trauma, ' make me finally feel heard, this event would never have happened had I not first given myself my own voice, the permission to call my rape rape and not shame. In telling, I forced the school that silenced me, that minimized my trauma, that blamed me for the rape, to finally respect my voice and give me the platform they should have given me in the first place. I did not need the school to call it by its name; I did it myself, and they listened. I was the powerful party that brought the closure and empowerment I'd hoped, in first finding their invitation, that Colorado College would bring.
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The harsh dimness that follows loss isn't static, but charged with the energy of immanent change. Hurt, I was left with a choice: wallow and stay in the dark, or seek light and fight to reach it. These two paths emerged. I had this choice to make. Loss is the shocking catalyst of transformation. I saw that this mountain valley, haunted by senseless murders, darker, had absorbed unthinkable violence and turned it into mesmerizing light. My rape became my catalyst. Rape gave me cause to flee the muteness - forced me into making a bold and forceful change. I chose to fight to find a way to leave to seek my own strength and beauty. I was searching to find the way to make light.
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It finally had to. I understood that it wouldn't be easy, it would be very hard; I'd need to resist the habit I had developed long ago - with conviction. I'd have to be impolite, an inconvenience, and sometimes awkward. But if I could commit, all that discomfort would add up to zap predatory threats like a Taser gun. I'd stun them. They'd bow to me. I'd let my no echo against the mountains.
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For all my life, I had been passive when faced with dangers. I was stunned as I swam to find that I had, for the first time in my history, asserted myself and been truly heard-respected. It felt monumental, I was buzzing with adrenaline. It was as if I'd become someone else entirely. I had escaped a kidnapper. It finally felt real. My body unclenched tension in the balmy pool. I was proud of the strength I'd found. I was the one who asserted he take me back; I caused him to listen. I was no longer a passive Doll Girl, trapped. This was me learning I could trust my voice-I'd used it, and it finally worked! I was triumphant. This escape showed me: I had grown, and grown vividly.
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All I could think as he was speaking was that, if he touched me at all, all the miles I'd walked, the pain I'd felt, the beauty I'd drunken like milk, like good wine making me happy, the four million steps I'd taken, would all add up to nothing. They'd be stolen. They'd vanish like the teeth children lose when they get hit. Only after the blood was washed away would I see that they were gone.
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