Survivor Stories – Maya Demri

Surviving years of sexual abuse is not an easy task. It takes courage, strength, and a lot of faith. My story of victimhood goes back to age 4 when I was already beaten in kindergarten, but the real horror started at age 6 when one of my male cousins started to sexually abuse me. That lasted for 9 torturous years. During these years there were a few times that my other male cousins joined my abuser and played the 9 years old girl they have perceived as a toy. I was frozen at these threatening moments, being that young and small in size for my age I felt even more powerless but also simply unaware to what it was. I didn’t know it was abuse until I was 18 when my acting teacher at the time informed me that what it was.

Growing up in a house that was dysfunctional, being bullied in school, at home, and everywhere I was made me believe I m unworthy and deserved bad treatment. That all changed when I grew up and got closer to my dance teachers and other adopted family member from my artistic life whom I shared my story with, and was embraced for it rather than rejected. My family on the other hand didn’t know how to deal with my truth and they tried to burry it for years which made me feel more shame, however time and prayers did their work and some of my family members׳ hearts opened up and became more supportive of my recovery.

The effects of the abuse

9 years of rape definitely leave their mark. When I was 12 years old I felt uncomfortable with my body which is a common feeling for a young teen, however because of my sexual trauma that stage of growing up became unhealthy for me as I felt so much shame and disgust with my body I became obsessed and desperate to change and make it perfect. I wanted to look thin, toned, and glamorous as the women in the magazines I read were. I was sure that when my body will look perfect all my pain will simply disappear. It is ironic that as this obsession developed to full blown anorexia I nearly disappeared physically, mentally, and spiritually as well. I was not present anymore. All that mattered was ” how to make myself perfect”, lose more weight, and feel more control over my life. As a kid I didn’t understand the connection between what happened to me and the eating disorder but as I grew up and was able to face the monsters from my past I was also able to face my mental monster, anorexia which was the manifestation of the abuse in my body and mind. At the age of 15 I discovered purging and it quickly became another unhealthy coping mechanism with my traumas. Purging allowed me to metaphorically purge all that my abuser has done to me. I was not able to speak about it and that poison had to come out some way. I starved myself and purged for years circling around my own illusion that being thin will take away my pain, restore my sense of pureness, and control over my life. That illusion broke as my health began to fail as my bones, my heart, and other organs became weak and didn’t work properly. At that point as a young adult I searched and found the help that I needed through a mix of medical help and a lot of spiritual practice and guidance.

As a kid sadly all the therapists my parents took me too as a child never even once asked me if anyone has or is hurting me, not even once!

I have let that go when I realized everything happened the way it was supposed to happen, meaning I knew in my heart i was not able to deal with what happened as I kid but I m as an adult.

Till this day I see my drama therapist and my spiritual mentor who became a part of my spiritual family as well as board members in the new non profit organization Peace Again I have started this year and wish to help many women in NY area and other states and countries in the future. I have also wrote a biography/ spiritual book about my life that is called Peace Again as well, and I m currently working on my second book.

It is easy as a survivor to be too hard on yourself and judge your progress of healing. Survivors of sexual abuse can hold so much anger and haters towards send for years. I used to blame myself for not healing sooner and I m not yet fully healed, however I am spiritually awakened enough now to see there is no TIME or race to win. I have been told many times ” you are just where you ‘r supposed to be” and I finally can capture and embrace this phrase as the truth.

I know that I m protected and guided by divine force and I don’t need to fight the universe anymore. I just need to be and flow in it.
I’m sharing my story here now, to give hope, to remind anyone who reads it that they are not alone, and that their voice matter.

The biggest part of my healing was and still is in the power of my voice. Breaking the silence about rape and abuse as well as helping other survivors speak, heal, and feel empowered are the most important thing when it comes to fulfill my life mission on earth.  Sharing your story has a tremendous effect on your soul, it simply heals it. Silence kills and it is really not just a statement on a sticker or a poster. It is real. During my years of silence I was killing myself with my eating disorder, and I was continuing to die inside every time I felt shame of my past . That made me feel suicidal many times and it comes hand and hand with anorexia as well for the fact it is basically slow suicide. In tough times with the eating disorder my heart was struggling and not just spiritually, but my physical heart was barely beating and I suffered cardiac symptoms for months until I got free! Until I was ready and courageous enough to place the guilt and shame where they belong with the abuser and anyone else that has hurt me.

I released myself and I spoke.

Rape and abuse are unacceptable and I wish to live in a society that doesn’t accept hide, and ignores it. Whether you were sexually assaulted or not, sexual violence is an issue that must be fully and daily addressed. I refuse to be silent anymore. I believe in justice and transformation of society to a system that fully respect women and doesn’t neglect the global prevalent issue of abuse.

There is a way to live better in this world and I wish to dedicate my life to be one of the light workers who help make that happen through my arts and my organization ” Peace Again” as well as being involved with other organization who work for the same cause such as Rainn.

I humbly encourage you other survivors out there to speak up if you feel safe enough to do so and know always that you have my love and support always big hugs and many blessings with healing light maya .Recovery is possible, Namaste.

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