Meet Our Muse: Hannah
What is your story?
My story is one that does not begin with sexual violence. My story is one that starts with ignorance. Believing it could never happen to me. Not understanding the impact an incident can have on many aspects of your life. Not understanding the magnitude of institutions that will devalue your experience and tell you that you are a liar. However, my story does not end with sexual violence. It continues with healthy relationships, goal setting, empowerment, important conversations, fear, resistance, bad days, amazing days, anxiety, learning, unlearning, hope, and healing. My story is continuous.
You are so brave to share your story with others, and I can only imagine how difficult it is to speak up. What do you do to feel confident when sharing your experience?
Sharing my experience is actually an integral part of my healing. Practicing self care and surrounding myself with folks that value the experience of others and listen fuels my abilities to speak out.
What is your relationship with your body like?
My relationship with my body is evolving. The concept of unapologetic self love really resonates with me. I am beginning to appreciate more the body that my mind and soul calls home. I know that my body is an extension of my mind and I put great efforts into treating it with tenderness.
What was/is your healing process like?
My healing process has been a rocky one. It began with my realization that I had a lot of blame for my body. Whether it was the reason the assault happened or its inability to physically protect myself, I had a lot of blame and didn’t know where to place it. This realization came with my understanding of not feeling safe in my own skin. I began to apologize to my body. I apologized to every inch of my body. This apology came with many self care practices that built my relationship with my body to be a positive one.
If you could tell women one thing in regards to self-love and healing, what would it be?
I would say that healing comes in many different forms. For the longest time I thought my healing would begin when I received justice from the legal system. This never came. When I took healing on as an individual experience, I began to understand what I needed. For me, healing and self-love is an ongoing project. My process sometimes needs changing and adjusting. My outcome is somedays just getting out of bed in the morning. I would say to other women that healing can look and feel different for everyone and to not hold yourself to a standard of where you should be in the process.
Which of your physical attributes do you love the most?
My freckles because they are like my natural makeup!