The first time I ever met my friend Sherry, she looked at me and asked pointedly, “When are you going to talk about it?”
My heart hit my stomach, a bass drum booming loudly there in my gut, even as I gave her the confused what-are-you-talking-about look.
She gave me the Sherry-side eye (patent pending) and just answered,”Un huh.”
But it was clear to me that she knew. SHE KNEW! That deepest ugliest thing I had buried beyond reach. But how? Just how?
She would share her story. In response, my own would tumble out and that is how it would begin.
I would ask her later how she knew that first day. She would shrug and say, “You can read it on their faces.” I grilled her and she came to the conclusion that it’s an energy that people carry around, an energy that other survivors respond to and recognize. I noticed how many women were drawn to her, how many she coaxed to share their secrets and I pondered if she could see it on my face, might someone else, someone less well-intentioned also be able to read it?
Was that energy signature a magnet to abusers? Did that explain why they always knew who to choose? Did my rapist choose me because of that signature? More importantly – how might I get rid of that energy stamp?
That question would occupy my life for the next twenty years, would brutalize me as I pushed through boundary after boundary. But today, looking back, I see how far I have come. I am proud of that journey - every motherfucking step of it. And I am grateful to Sherry for seeing through me to the truth and helping me begin.