We did not consent to being silenced, to having the thoughts and feelings of others projected on to us, to the point where we believed they were our own.
You did not consent to others touching you without asking permission, making decisions about your life without your input, convincing you that you were ‘too sensitive’ when you tried to object.
I did not consent to becoming the foreign body, the most dispensable, the one who was separated from the pack, the sacrificial lamb.
We did not consent to becoming the embodiment of the shadow – the scapegoat, the liar, the one to blame – when we tried to reclaim our bodies and fight for our lives.
You did not consent to being unfavourably compared, to being asked to be something you weren’t in order to gain acceptance and have your most basic needs met.
I did not consent to growing up with the belief that I would never matter to anyone, that I did not generate care from others.
Today I know these things to be untrue. They are not even faulty beliefs. They are embodied stories that I had no alternatives for with which to challenge them.
But they are ours. My loss, your pain, our grief. I let myself have the whole experience, despite the many who tried to take that from me as well, through denial.
It didn’t happen, you misunderstood, you should try harder, I’m sure that’s not true, there are always two sides, you never had a hand laid on you, lying little bitch, stop wallowing, get over it, move on, it was a long time ago, it’s over, you think about it too much.
They didn’t believe us because it was unbelievable. There is no place for these experiences, they are disenfranchised, too unpleasant. But I believe you. I believe me,
We have always known the truth. It is not changeable. It is what it is. And still they want to take this from us as well.
We are the embodiment of all that happened, the unspeakable truth that they turn away from and try to bury, clinging to their fairytales of how it was so they can feel better.
These are my stories and yours, and I own them even as I seek to embody new stories of being enough, of being safe, of being valued, and feel those truths rise in me as well.
I live my whole story without needing to rewrite the tainted parts, I live it so I can reach out to others, so they can see their stories reflected in mine, so they will know don’t have to betray themselves to stay here.
We are the truthtellers, and we don’t need anyone’s consent for that.