I Claim the Right to Own My Truth.
We are not victims or survivors. Fuck both of those words. They don’t apply to any of us.
And I will tell you why, but first, in order to tell you why we are absolutely none of those words, let me tell you my story.
I was born with a disability. On my medical records, it was labelled a ‘gross deformity’. Yes, such touching words.
I was taken off my mother at birth, and by the time I was seven days old, I had already had my first operation. You see, I needed to be ‘fixed’. I was broken, and all broken things must be fixed. Is that not the way of this world?
We live in a world that always fails to see the beauty in the imperfections, the sanity amongst the craziness. But I saw it, and I inherently knew that I was not broken and I certainly could not be ‘fixed’.
And so I spent a large part of my childhood growing up in the world of that hospital. The doctor that was ‘fixing’ me was one of the first in the world to try that type of ‘fixing’ that he was endeavoring to do, and so for the first 12 years of my life I was his medical test dummy.
The countless experiments went on and on for 12 years, as the doctor tried various things, and when none of them worked, just tried and tried again. He would write in his notes that somehow my body fought against the changes he would make, and would miraculously refuse to cooperate.
But that fact never stopped him from trying. After all, he had become renowned all around the world for the ‘fixing’ he was doing on me. So of course, he was determined to keep going.
And maybe those times would not have been so hard for me if I had believed that what they were doing was right. That they were actually helping me. But from as early on as I can remember, as a small child who had been dropped into the depths of hell, I knew I was never broken, I knew I did not need fixing. I knew I was as perfect as God intended me to be. I was, purely and simply, me.
I knew they could not fix me, and sadly, that belief played out to be true.
So I fought them. As a child, I stood up and I told them over and over that I was not broken, and that I could not be fixed. And as I grew up, I started to refuse to cooperate, and the fights I put up even got physical, as I lashed out in my pure frustration from my utter powerlessness, and so they resorted to strapping me to the bed and keeping me sedated.
For 12 years, I existed in that loveless, powerless place, and I fought my battles all alone. But I never gave up.
In a twist of fate, at the age of 12 I was finally able to escape from that lonely, empty life. My parents’ lives fell apart and a divorce ensued, and under this chaos I was able to tell them both that I would not go back to that life, and they did not have the strength to stop me.
So I was free. Or so I thought. And I put my past behind me, and I buried it under the thing I called my life.
And for so long I was so confused about what had happened to me. Was it good or was it bad? I couldn’t decide, because everyone always told me it was for my own good. And so I downplayed it in my own mind. After all, hadn’t much worse things happened to other people?
I consciously made the choice not to speak about what happened to me, until one day all the pain bubbled up from deep down inside me, and I knew that these truths I carried would not stay hidden for one day more. In my healing process, I started to talk about what happened to me, and yet, every time, deep down in my heart, I still downplayed everything, and I didn’t fully claim my right to own my truth.
As a result, I cried every time I mentioned my childhood and I didn’t know why. I asked myself: Why can’t I get over this? Why can’t I heal?
Then suddenly a flash of light illuminated my darkness, kindled by the spark from another. I finally realized that I needed to claim my right to own what happened to me.
Every time I downplayed what happened, that small child inside of me, the one who had fought so ferociously, so bravely every step of the way, who knew so deep down that all of that was so wrong, who knew she was not broken, who knew in her core she did not need to be fixed, I failed to honor her, and she died a little, and she cried. And because she was still me, I cried too. We both cried.
So now, today, I claim what happened to me. I claim that what happened to me was wrong. It was so fucking wrong. I claim my right to not be born like everyone else and still be perfect. I claim my right to be ‘horribly deformed’ and still be able to exist as a part of the normal diversity present within the human experience.
And this is also what I claim.
I was not a victim or a survivor. Because fuck that. I did not just survive that shit, I emerged victorious. I let that crappy experience become my power and make me who I am today.
I claim that I am a soul who was forged in that fire.
I claim that I am a goddamned Phoenix that rose from the ashes, better, stronger, and that I harnessed that heat in order to become someone I could never have been otherwise.
I own that. I claim that. I am that.
So yes, we are not victims and we are certainly not survivors. Claim that fire that forged who you are, and remember you are a goddamned Phoenix.
Kim Turfrey is a mother and lover of life who lives in New Zealand and has spent a lifetime working with plants as well as Earth and Spiritual energies in order to find healing for herself and others. Being born with the gift of disability has enabled her to see the world through different eyes, and develop a deep love and gratitude for life. She works with people all around the world through the vehicle of her business Confirmations of Self, and empowers them with sets of tools that enable them to identify and move through the current and future challenges they face in the unification process. If you would like to contact Kim for enquiries about this work, you can get hold of her via email or Facebook.