If i were asked to demarcate my life, id slice it into two neat little halves, like an apple. Both sides would look alike and taste the same but they sure as heck wouldn’t be the same anymore if you peeled the skin off.

Beneath the surface are two “me’s” ; the one before Barbados, and the one after.

 

Tori [Amos] and Shannon walked into my life virtually one afternoon while i was browsing through the then-new “world wide web”. I don’t quite recall how it happened, or what possessed me to visit this site, but i did. It changed my life forever. 

www.welcometobarbados.org is the site that kept me stuck to my seat for an entire day, and the next too. People whom i didn’t know shared stories of rape, childhood sexual abuse, incest, date rape, gang rape, sodomy, college initiations gone wrong, and other experiences of violence too horrible to even think of, let alone endure. 

I began to shake uncontrollably, tears spilled out of my eyes non-stop, and i reached for the shard of glass by my desk [i was a self-mutilator then, but have recovered since]. I stopped. 

I dared to hope. I dared to think, that i, an insignificant, non-descript little girl from a city in India, could and would survive the trauma of sexual abuse and would fight the forces that prevented victims of sexual trauma from wriggling out of their societal cocoons. 

Tori helped. Shannon helped. A friend from an online forum provided support for the times when i thought it was pointless. 

I wouldn’t be where i am without them, and a few others. 

These photographs and this post is a tribute to Tori and the super survivors. 101319541gwbhjs_fs1300px-maya_angelouoprahwinfrey

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