By Pamela Ng

It feels like the sound of one hand clapping.

A sound that reverberates through a muffled night.

Except, it does not feel like there is anything to celebrate.

The clap feels like a slap.

You wonder what the point is anymore.

When your power has been taken away from you, against your will, it completely changes your life.

Your relationship with yourself changes. You stop trusting yourself, you taste fear in new ways.

Because you did not feel strong enough to fight or maybe you feel you did not shout loud enough or maybe you were told you did not dress conservatively enough. You are left feeling an overwhelming not-enough-ness. It hurts. It is numb.

Hollowed out, you escape yourself further. So you can forget and deny the pain. Your body knows, so you fall sick, so you need alcohol or drugs or cigarettes as emotional crutches. Sometimes you want to end it all. When you stare at a lap full of pills or down at the ground from the 24th storey of flats and just want to get it over with.

The blame and shame society projects on you, that you have internalised.

This is not truth.

Sisters, the truth is in your heart. Waiting for you to remember.

You are beautiful, you are whole, you are complete.

The more you escape your pain, the more it becomes your hidden identity.

Your wounds are how the light comes in.

I have sat with mine and continue sitting with them.

It has taken what feels like a lifetime; I have actually forgiven my attackers.

I love myself more and more each day.

It feels like a revolution, choosing love.

I never thought this was possible.

But it is sister, it is.

And I want you too to expand and grow into loving yourself.

I am you. You are me. We are. I love you.