Trigger warning the following contains a discussion of sexual harassment.
It was an ordinary Monday. I arrived at work like every other week. The day began with the usual stuff, meeting clients ,making coffee and chatting with people. A friend of mine was there with me as she was waiting to catch the train later that day. There was a client that has been giving us weird feelings for sometime. I did not want to believe anything bad about him because most people are good.
Anyways, later that day i saw my friend in the doorway and something did not feel right. Those two were way too close to each other considering that they were complete strangers at that point, there also seemed to be some touching involved. At first, I had no idea what I saw. Also, my friend had to leave soon after. The seriousness of everything was revealed to me later that day. I wont share every single detail because i do have to protect peoples privacy in case someone involved stumbles across this post.
The unexpected and shocking nature of everything turned my world upside down. During the first few days I was constantly on edge, jumpy and freaked out by everything and everyone. I was looking over my shoulder every time i needed to go outside to do something. This impacted my sleep and I did not feel hungry. Every muscle of my being felt stiff and i experienced a wide range of physical symptoms including an upset stomach,shakiness,inability to focus and dissociation.
The dance workshop
Last Sunday, i had an opportunity to join a workshop where we did different exercises using our voices,bodies and movement in many different ways. The workshop was lead by a danger but there were also people involved that had a background in psychology. So we as a students where offered a safe space to challenge our-self`s.
Multiple of these exercises involved either touch or closing our eyes. Because of the previous incident i was quite jumpy and had to take some breaks to just be and breathe in between the exercises.
During one exercise we were split into pairs. The other person took the role of a listener. The listeners job was to gently place their hand to the other persons back and use it to listen,while their pair was turning inwards and moving themselves around the room. Something about the combination of movement with safe and gentle touch made this moment so special.
In the beginning, I was so nervous about being the one whose being touched due to my nervous system being overwhelmed by the aftershock. But then something happened, I began to trust my partner and my body relaxed making me able to surrender fully to the moment.
This workshop was so healing in multiple ways. Even tho i didn't talk about the incident at all some energy and emotions were released during the movement. I was able to get back some of that trust that was lost earlier in the week. The journey of processing everything is only in the beginning. Going outside does still make me feel nervous. I worry about stumbling across the person who disrespected my friends boundaries.
Mental health support has been offered to us and we both have people in our lives who can help us to move tru this challenging chapter. It will take time in order to be fully able to trust everyone again. Talking about this or writing poetry does help me with the healing process. As well as getting back to the very basics, eating regularly,exercising , making sure that you get plenty of sleep and most importantly doing everything that will bring you joy. Human beings are resilient and we will survive even the most challenging circumstances. Time heals❤