May 17, 2017
These are the words from Jenna Taylor, who empowers women all around the world through her business YogiNest (@theyoginest) that develops wellness plans specifically for people who are struggling with PTSD, drug and alcohol addiction, anxiety, depression, as well as terminal and chronic illness. She will be also launching a community event business that focuses on wellness education later this year.
This is real talk from survivors of abuse. Inspiration from one survivor to another.
SURVIVOR TALKS - NO. 0002
AUTHOR: JENNA TAYLOR
I was 8, it actually happened on my 8th birthday… and that’s about all I remember. I know I was at school, I know the incident occurred because I wasn’t interested in another student my age and he told his older brothers. I know that it was punishment for not being interested in their brother. I know they all took turns. The rest is a bit of a fog. To this day I still have flashbacks and nightmares and I’m 32 now. My birthday is always a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. Of course I still celebrate and feel loved and happy, but weeks prior to my birthday I begin to feel a bit sluggish, sad, and anxious as memories find their way to the surface. Memories of that horrible day 24 years ago.
The incident itself is a bit of a mystery but the effect it has had on me is nothing short of a nightmare. The things I remember the most were the days following the incident. I was quiet, scared, confused, lost! I didn’t say anything to anyone until that was no longer an option. It was a visit to the bathroom that made the incident the most real, the most alive, the most painful. My mom heard the screams and rushed to find her daughter in tears, and then she saw the blood. I was rushed off to the doctor where after a short exam everyone was asked to leave the room except for me and my mother. The words poured out of his mouth in slow motion, the room got smaller, darker, and I couldn’t breath anymore. I remember sound and light coming back slowly, and then I saw my mother, I’ll never forget the look on her face. Then I remembered his question and wished I could disappear instead of having to answer. Insteading of speaking the words that would make it real, that would make it true.
Did someone touch you? Did someone hurt you? Who was it? When? Where? Jenna? Jenna? Jenna?
I whispered “yes” and then watched my mom’s heart crumble and fall to pieces on the floor in front of her. I feel like we all just sat there in silence for hours, days, weeks… it just would never end! I was no longer Jenna! I was the girl who was no longer innocent, no longer a child, no longer happy… a shell of who I once was and was meant to be. That was the day my life changed forever.
That would not be the last time a man decided he could do whatever he wanted to me, say whatever he wanted to me, look at me how he wanted, touch me if he wanted… but it would be the last time he would win! Those are stories for another time, and I am not those stories, I am the outcome of those stories!
Today I am a survivor! Today I am the strongest version of Jenna to ever exist! Don’t get me wrong, I have my days, I have lots of bad days. I have days where the thought of getting in my car, driving to the beach, getting out to walk around by myself makes me feel like I’m suffocating, like I’m paralyzed. I get mad and throw things! I scream and cry. WHY! Why did this happen to me? Why is it still controlling my life? Then I take a breath, pull myself together and realize that it’s not, I won’t let it. I’m getting in that car, I’m driving to that beach, I might not get out of the car today but I am going! I am going!!!
Everything that I have experienced in my life has brought me to where I am today, and I am exactly where I belong. Today I am a successful business owner. Today I empower women all over the world to be the healthiest, happiest versions of themselves. I own a business called YogiNest that develops wellness plans specifically for people who are struggling with PTSD, drug and alcohol addiction, anxiety, depression, as well as terminal and chronic illness. All those messy stories that are admittedly part of my history have given me all the tools that I needed to start this business so that I can help others. I’m even launching a new business later this year that will provide wellness to the masses through local community events, helping even more people than I can on my own now. It was my struggle, my pain, pushing through these tragedies and coming out the other side that have allowed me to hold space for those who need it most. I am here to tell you that you CAN and WILL survive this! I am here to tell you that this will make you stronger. I am here to tell you that it won’t be easy but I have faith in you and I know you can do it! You WILL NOT let them win! You are stronger than that and the world needs to hear your story so they have someone to relate to. So they know someone understands, and that they too will survive. Together we are stronger than all who have caused us pain. Together we will come out the other side a better, stronger, more beautiful being than they ever will. Together we CAN and WILL survive.
If you would like your story to be featured on Duvet Days Survivor Talks please say hello via email to learn more.