I am a Survivor. With a big ol’ capital S. Why the big S? Because being a Survivor requires the acknowledgment of something stronger than just a name or description. It’s not who I am totally, but a big portion of my heart, soul and body. - Shani Kenny 2015

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A letter of love to my younger self.....

This will be one of two posts that addresses some of the abuse from my past. Some I've shared, some I've never really talked about. I want to thank Brooklyn Taylor for being an amazing story teller and sharing the lives of Elise and Ford "Finding Me". It spoke volumes to me and oddly enough, helped me find a little bit of peace. Brooklyn you and I have talked a tiny bit about this, and I wish I could give you a ginormous hug of thanks and understanding. Finishing that book helped me to make the decision to share one particular moment in my life. You are very much appreciated and loved. Your friendship has meant a lot to me. Don't ever stop sharing and giving a voice for all Survivors out there. <3

Please go to this link HERE to find out how to connect with Brooklyn and purchase her books. Tell her hey and that I sent you!

- Shani

Dear Shannon Banana,

I love you. I wish that you had known that at age 13. If I had only known then what I know now…..

What you have gone through is not your fault. You didn’t ask for the fighting, hitting, emotionally damaging words. You didn’t ask to be violated over and over again. You didn’t decide one day to walk up to someone and ask them to rip out a part of your soul. I repeat, it is NOT your fault. Ever. You will Survive this, I promise you that. It’s ok to not be strong all the time. No matter what someone has told you, it’s ok to be weak sometimes.

I have two important things to share with you. First, my new definition of the word Survivor: I am a Survivor. With a big ol’ capital S. Why the big S? Because being a Survivor requires the acknowledgment of something stronger than just a name or description. It’s not who I am totally, but a big portion of my heart, soul and body. - Shani Kenny 2015

The second thing is this, it’s time for me to share. To give you the voice you didn’t think you had. It’s time for me to help you to heal. The reason I decide to do this was not an easy decision. I had been contemplating it for quite awhile but constantly erased the words I typed out with such care. It never mattered how far I got, I erased it. I recently won a book from an amazing author, Brooklyn Taylor. The book is called “Finding Me” and it follows the story of two young people who face hardships in life that alter their path in huge ways. I laughed, I cried, I felt anger, sadness, loss and love. I cried my eyes out until I couldn’t anymore. I cried for US, for Elise and Ford, for all of us who have become Survivors. It was a very powerful story for me. That night, the nightmares did come. Just not as severely. I dream of coming face to face with the man who abused us. Just like in previous versions, I told him he could no longer hurt us. It was different this time, and I think I know why. Because this time, it included the people who hurt me in this incident.

Remember, you’re going to come through this and so much more. You will find strength you never knew you had. You’ll accept that being weak is ok and you’ll learn to be ok with the love from others. I love you so much more now as an adult, than I did.

With all of my love and more,

Shani Banani - your adult self.



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