By Robin Rivera
I’m lucky lately when I don’t go immediately back to bed after giving a morning stroll through the kitchen wondering aimlessly. My hormones are raging, I’m exhausted, and my bed is the safest place for me. I’m a month and a half pregnant, scared, insecure, and experiencing chronic depression, which I previously thought would never happen to me. I thought my darkest days had been left long ago in the beautifully deceptive streets of Beverly Hills. Oh, my glamorous alcoholic porn star days were hellish tainted with sex trafficking, corruption, and spirit crushers. I thought those were my darkest days.
I was wrong. That darkness, that gut wrenching pain, that out of control lost feeling is back, and I am fighting everything and everyone like a cat clawing its way up and out of danger. One day, I literally felt like I was drowning in hell with no one to turn to. While screaming in my car after being turned away from some self-help meeting for being late, I crazily broke my phone hoping the rage would somehow exit my body this way. I was in overwhelming emotional pain. I was so desperate for relief from the trauma I was reliving somatically. My partner couldn’t support me for whatever reason, and I felt so alone and abandoned. Like what it might feel like to watch your child be murdered in broad day light & your screaming for help and everyone sees you, but no one lifts a finger. Yes, that’s how I felt a couple weeks ago, but about my own self. I’m still recovering from that day with embarrassing scars to prove what I am going through is deep enough to penetrate all layers of my happiness and hope. I’ve been searching for the lesson in this all… feeling paralyzed with fear and exhausted by anxiety. There are people screaming they love me, but it sounds like the faintest pen drop only muffled by my debilitating resentment for this experience.
I have everything good in my life I thought I’d never have. A really handsome, brave man trying to love me, my chance at stopping the cycle of abuse in my family, a prestigious college degree, a magical relationship with my six-year-old daughter…yet my self-destructive patterns have shown their ugly face again. This time with vengeance.
Tonight I dragged my gloomy ass to a restorative yoga class once and for all with the intension to experience God. As I placed the eye covers over my face to help me relax, I felt my heart calling me home immediately.
On my way home, I was driving and listening to my own thoughts. I had thought to myself, “Jeez, I don’t even know what it feels like to feel loved. Have I ever felt loved before? I must have, right? … It’s just been a while. I’ must be so depressed that I can’t remember.” I was searching my memory of feelings trying to remember what it felt like to be loved, and I was having such a hard time jogging that feeling. Until all of a sudden, the voice inside myself said so loud, strong and clear, “I LOVE YOU ROBIN. THAT’S WHY I AM STILL HERE FIGHTING FOR YOU.” I felt it all at once. It was the feeling of being loved deeply beyond measure.
It was strange. Had I thought that thought & then told it to myself? Was it God? I don’t know, but I felt it like a ton of bricks made up of truth and fell in my lap. I thought to myself, “Whoa, that really resonates with me. I get it… and this is true. Something inside myself loves me so much that throughout my whole chaotic, traumatic, beautiful, ugly, crazy life, something keeps putting up the fight for me. Something drives my body to a yoga class, or a nut house, or a therapist. Something fights to heal me. Something empowers me to overcome addiction, bulimia, and society’s ridicule of my exploitation. Something stopped me from taking my life more than once. Something keeps me hanging on to hope because it believes in my worthiness, freedom & happiness. That something is inside of me, and even if I can’t feel the love of anything else… I can know and feel the love I have for myself to keep fighting for my life.
This time my strategy is not self-harm, but to actually make friends with my inner demons and to see what the motherfuckers wanted from me my whole life. I’m done pussy-footing around.
I’m a warrior.
Robin is a spirit centered writer, consultant, yoga teacher. She holds a BA in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley and is a candidate for a MA in Consciousness & Transformative Studies with a specialization in Healing. Being an overcomer, Robin thrives by sharing her experiences with trauma and how she has transformed her life. She is a true warrior being a survivor of child trafficking/harboring, sexual exploitation, sexual violence, institutionalization and all the repercussions that go along with those experiences. She believes in the freedom of the human spirit. She can be found online at www.robinriveraignites.com and on FaceBook here.