“Holding on is believing that there’s only a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future.”
- Daphne Rose Kingma
How metaphorically perfect. There it all was hiding in a box within a box within another box at the back of a dark storage area in the attic. If we weren’t moving, it could have stayed there forever. I hadn’t seen the contents in over twenty-five years, but when I saw the box, I knew exactly what it was.
It contained newspaper clippings, journals, and some artwork from one of the toughest periods of my life… the time when I was brutally sexually assaulted by a stranger and the ensuing months and years of recovery.
For many years now, I have shared my own story and my recovery and healing process, and have been a vocal advocate for sexual abuse survivors. Just like mine, their voices are often silenced. And, because the crime is so horrific and brings up feelings of shame, guilt and judgment, it makes others uncomfortable to talk about it or to try to offer comfort.
The healing process can be long and seem out of reach for many survivors. I am one of the fortunate ones. I have grown from the process, found my voice and work to help others. I know that the violent act of rape and that event in my life does not define me. It was something that happened to me. It’s not who I am.
But, in one brief moment this week, that box of stuff brought it all back just like it was yesterday… but in a different way. It was as if I was watching a movie as I sorted through the mementos. A sad, hurtful, painful movie.
I gave myself some time to weep and feel it and not be judgmental because I thought I was over it. You don’t get over it. You don’t ever forget it. What you do is learn that life is about so much more than that one event and you learn to love yourself and know you have a life before you that you can live with hope and grace.
That’s where I’m at. And, just like going through so many of the other mementos I had saved including the prom corsages, the love notes from old boyfriends and sorority paraphernalia that must have been important at one time, I decided that this was one box I could let go of, too. No need to take it to Vermont. I’ve hauled it around long enough.
I know there’s a future
Five provocative questions answered by an inspiring and fabulous woman – a woman with something to say.
Meet Dorit Sasson
Dorit Sasson is the founder of Giving Voice to Your Story website and Blog Talk Radio show. Her passion and dream is to help entrepreneurs and authors give voice to their most compelling story to help engage a larger audience.
Since 2012, Dorit has interviewed several individual authors for her radio show, Giving Voice to Your Story. In addition, she has coached several businesses, organizations and authors on telling their compelling stories.
People would be surprised to know that: I am currently writing a memoir about the years when I left New York City to volunteer for the Israeli Defense Forces. I intend to self-publish my memoir in 2015. Another thing nobody knows about me…Vin Diesel used to babysit for me when I lived in New York City.
The WomanTalk Live 5:
What’s the conversation that changed your life?
It would have to be an inner conversation after my mother passed away. It is one thing to write a memoir about self-empowerment like I’m doing, but it’s another to not follow my mom’s footsteps in terms of how she managed her life.
One day, as I was writing, I very clearly saw that vulnerable 18 year-old trying to feel at peace. I didn’t want the memories to become me. Even with my daredevil approach to life, I had still managed to live according to limiting beliefs and doubts. Through the writing, I saw what was possible.
What are you most conscious of today?
I’m very conscious of how I give voice to my story so I can build a deeper more impactful connection. There’s a lot of “noise” plastered all over the Internet. People are very good at telling what and how they do what they do. Most aren’t aware of the need to make a connection where a good story feeds into their souls and emotions. I want to be the one to educate people of this need. Storytelling is part of our human DNA and it is the “secret sauce” we need to make that connection.
What part of you have you yet to give voice to?
I have yet to physically manifest my memoir of self-empowerment as one who left New York City to volunteer for the Israeli Defense Forces. In the military, I gave voice to a higher power I didn’t even know existed. Since I’m currently writing my memoir, each day I am given yet another chance to listen to the wisdom of those twenty-five year old memories and their lessons.
I’m in the process of helping businesses use the power of story with their clients. They have yet to catch up with the understanding of storytelling as a business and human endeavor.
What’s the conversation women need to be having collectively?
I know I am not alone when I say women want to experience a much deeper connection with themselves and with others and without judgment. Life is moving at an awesome and frightening pace. We’ve forgotten this connection. It’s beautiful I’m witnessing “mini-conversations” here and there on social media, but Facebook can only take you so far and it is not enough. Women, especially, want to experience a deeper emotional connection and many crave for it to be the face-to-face connection that we seem to have lost.
What needs to be said bigger, louder, stronger?
Many of us women still feel shame (I know I still do) about certain things from our past. We are afraid to expose our “dirty laundry.” I’m not saying you have to tell every daemon from the closet. But people want permission to see their own vulnerability in your story. When we give permission, we allow them to shine. Even a business brand can speak to that vulnerable place. That’s where a marketing message can play out… big time.
We still need to speak from that vulnerable and authentic place without holding back.
Thank you, Dorit, for sharing your powerful voice
with WomanTalk Live.