I started writing this book about seven years ago, well before I knew the half of it. It is different from the way I first envisioned it, much different. I recently realized that, though they are inextricably entwined, what I've written is actually two books. One is complete, ready for publication, has been for a good year now.
I submitted book proposals to publishing companies. All but one responded and all of those with rejection, although several were personal and kind and left me feeling heartened. I think my writing is ok. The subject matter is sensitive and I did check a few yes boxes on an "Avoiding Trouble: a Checklist for Authors", checklist. Some of the statements I make could "harm the reputation of an individual thereby putting myself and a publishing company at legal risk". I understand. I don't want hassles either. I want peace and calm and quiet to permeate my days. But I must tell my story. In fact that is part of my point. We have to tell.
Four years ago I went to the police. There wasn't much they could do without evidence or corroboration. I knew that would be the case. For some reason I am the only one to come forward, even though I know of at least a dozen of my fathers victims, and it's common knowledge among family. I was taken seriously. The police have on record, statements of complaint against my father and another male relative from my father's side. I've corroborated their statements, should anyone else come forward.
I've decided to stop flogging and start blogging my "book". I've disguised my name, and the names of others. I cannot deny that in the beginning, vengence motivated me to write. I wanted to expose these men, my family, my protectors. Now I just want people to know that yoga heals, that when we practice hatha yoga, the limb of yoga with which I am most familiar, we enter through the door marked physical, but every aspect of our being, emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, has the potential of being lovingly touched by our practice. It's all in the approach. Create peace within the body within each pose. It's as simple as that and rage quiets as weakness turns to strength, pain to pleasure, grief to joy.
Yoga Heals is a story of healing and hope, harsh at times but worse situations are being endured as I write and as you read.
In an effort to ease it, I intuitively focused on yoga poses that took me to chronic pain that existed in my body. Over time this practice rooted out and brought to the surface, memory of sexual abuse. My adult body relived assaults that my child self had experienced. Each reliving left me with a knowing, and relieved my body of the pain where memory had seemingly been walled up in tissue and bone.
The Committee on Sexual Offences Against Children and Youth conducted a study in 1984 which found that among adult Canadians, 54% of women and 31% of men had experienced sexual abuse as children. And they only represent the population who remember, and are willing to talk. A stastic that shocked me, although it shouldn't have considering the most deadly and terrifying assault I endured somewhere around the age of five, is that "nationally, nearly one quarter of all sexual offences are perpetrated by adolescents" and that "almost one third of suspected or known child sex offenders were under the age of 21".
How widespread is the ability to bury traumatic memory? I don't believe that I am unique. Where I may differ is that I, in my own way remember. Now I know where my valuelessness, rage, fear,... originated and they don't have the same hold over me.
Healing the epidemic cycle of sexual abuse is an imperative step on our peace path. We begin with ourselves. Yoga is a way. Create peace within your body, within each pose, and peace spills over into all areas of life and ripples out into the world. I haven't decided yet whether to start or end with the chapter called Rainbow Warriors. Tomorrow will tell. In that chapter I tie prophecy and the phenomenal spread of yoga "like a prairie wildfire" to predictions of the dawning age of peace.
I love writing. I'm often at a loss for words in real time. The perfect words occur to me hours later, usually in the middle of the night. Finding these words and recording them has been empowering, cathartic and healing. I recommend the process.
For the good of all beings.