Alishah Khan

Wed Jul 22 2020 04:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

44034A K

“I was 9 years old when I was told: ‘It’s okay, you can trust them.’ That’s how I was introduced to all my abusers. A family member, a friend, a lover. I never learned to take control of my body, so they saw me as unconquered territory. After each encounter, they took a part of me with them. Like a stolen trophy, I felt wrongfully displayed for the world to see. It takes me time to trust someone, and when I do, it takes even longer to break down the walls I’ve put up. I had been harboring years of trauma. I couldn’t communicate my fears without negatively projecting my emotions. I pushed loved ones away and fell into a depression. Ashamed of my body, I stopped taking care of it by eating too much or not at all. I spent every day in my bathtub trying to rub off the unseen marks they left behind.

Healing isn’t linear. It involves a daily rising and falling, much like a Phoenix that rises from its ashes. The Phoenix symbolizes strength and renewal; its tears can heal wounds. Inspired, I birthed my first series for @thephoenixriising—Four Seasons Of Love. Doubt filled my mind. Were my words good enough? Were they too raw? Too dark? While writing the second part of my series, ‘Relapse’, I realized I had to grow through this. Each piece came to me at times of distress, but growth came from releasing my pain. I had written poetry before, but this time I used it intentionally to overcome my past.

I began caring for myself both physically and mentally. That meant reminding myself that I’m in control of my body and must give it love. Through shadow work and introspect, I understood my triggers and the root of my pain. I envisioned my younger self, determined to be the woman that she needed—forgiving, gentle, and compassionate. Although people have put me in the dark, it only enhanced my radiance. I knew my story was a light that could guide myself and others through this endless tunnel. I ache in places that have no physical scars and remind myself of the battles I’ve fought. Despite it all, I carry hope, the source of my strength and resilience. With hope, I continue to heal the sanctuary of my soul—my body.”