I Know the Truth of Who I Am.
I did not come here to be confused.
I did not come here to lose sleep at night, to wonder what his feelings are for me, to cry the tears of a victim and to write scathing letters at all hours.
I did not come here to be invisible and voiceless.
I did not come here to sit in mediocrity, feeling as if I am not enough.
I did not come here to dwell and live in the past, in the pain and in the violations of the tiny child that was me.
I did not come here to create in him the same dead eyes I see in childhood pictures of me.
I did not come here to hurt others with harsh words.
I did not come here to lash out and intimidate from my place of pain.
I did not come here to put my selfishness before her need to be held by her mommy.
I did not come here to sit in my suffering, a victim choosing to stay small, without the strength to rise.
I know the truth.
I know who I am.
When I stand in front of an audience, vulnerably, transparently, authentically telling the story of rising above what many consider insurmountable obstacles, when I share and I stop in silence bringing them to the stillness of healing with me if only for a moment, looking out over the faces, recognizing the eyes of other survivors and perpetrators, also in truth survivors themselves, with the deepest of knowing that the pain at our core is what makes us all the same, it is in that moment that I know who I am.
When my baby comes to me at 10 years old with the same words I taught her to use during her terrible twos, when instead of struggling with pre-pubescent hormones and angst, she simply says “Mommy, may I have your attention, please?” expressing her wants, needs and desires in a way that will serve her for the rest of her life, it is in that moment that I know who I am.
When held in the safety of his arms, feeling him honoring all of me for both my strengths and my weaknesses, no longer voiceless and invisible, but truly seen and heard if only for a moment, allowing me to fully and completely embrace me and my truth, the complete goddess that I am, holding space, just cradling me, not kissing me, not caressing me, just allowing me to bring myself to the highest place of heavenly pleasure, consent of the holiest order, bearing witness to my sacred release over and over and over again, telling me he has never seen anything so beautiful, it is in that moment that I know who I am.
When I look into his angelic eyes to see forgiveness that he doesn’t yet understand, can’t begin to have words for, when we share a private joke that no one else follows and only the two of us think is funny, when I wake him for school in the morning and he reaches out to hold my hand before he even opens his eyes, it is in that moment that I know who I am.
When we plan our future home together — one story, no stairs, a garage, a little backyard for our organic garden, painting their rooms in their minds any color they want, all-tile for the comfort of our kittens — finally freeing me of all the karmic sins of my past, of the remaining shackles holding me prisoner to every prior debt — those I earned and those I inherited — starting the process, responsibly planning, moving forward, setting goals to accomplish sooner rather than later, it is in that moment that I know who I am.
When my deepest truth, my fears, my pleasure, my pain, my shame and my strengths flow freely from my fingers onto the keyboard, when I question nothing, just expressing from the place of healing first and foremost for myself, with 100% unwavering faith that it will touch those who need it, so I hit Send even when almost paralyzed in fear of what people think, yet those same people respond with “Me too!” “Yes!” “Your story is my story!” and “We are the same!” it is in that moment that I know who I am.
When you say I have the strength to try anything, the talent to succeed, the courage to fail, the wisdom to learn, and the resilience to bounce back stronger even though it is through a Hallmark card, I can hear your parental voice honoring who I have become, seeing, hearing and valuing my journey in the best and only way you know how, it is in that moment that I know who I am.
When I giant-stride off the back of a boat, dropping 100 feet to the bottom of the sea, when my students quote me back to me, following me to my car after class to tell me I changed their life, when I freely say I love you to people in my world not expecting an I love you in return or any response at all, it is in these moments that I know who I am.
I understand this journey and what I am supposed to accomplish here. I understand that the moments when I know who I am should not be fleeting and should not be derived from external sources, yet I am still grateful for every single reminder that moves me more and more every day towards my deepest truth and my inner knowing.
I came here to get unconfused. I get better and better at it every single day.
I came here to return to the truth of all that is. I know the truth.
My heart knows. My soul speaks. I listen and I know who I am.
I came here to be an open, living, loving, vibrant, perfect expression of the Divine.
That is who I am.
I know who I am, and so do you.
Christie Del Vesco is a College Administrator and Professor, a Universalist Minister, a member of the RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) Speakers Bureau and single mom. She’s a children’s advocate, a survivor of many forms of sexual violence, and a voice for the survivors who have yet to find their own. Chris is a firm believer that we go through what we do, to help others when they go through the same. She also believes if we would all just “be the change,” we can change the world.