Why I Don’t Dance on Graves.

I thought I would happily dance on his grave. I had the quote all ready for this year’s calendar.

“Every step I take for survivors feels like I’m dancing on his grave.”

Jena and I lined up the shot. I was going to walk like a bad ass between some headstones in an old cemetery. The lighting was perfect and I asked Heather to use her hair and makeup artistry to make me look like I wanted to get into a fight.

Whatever that means.

It was in this moment that I realized that I am not the kind of girl that goes dancing on graves. I don’t make a habit of adding insult to injury. I love restoration, healing and connection. I wish the bad guys well in their fight against their personal demons.

Every year, the Soulfire Project brings new revelations. This is why I have decided to honor the stories of survivors through the online collaborative story telling series of Why I told again this year.

RSVP on Facebook!

Last year, many of you shared what inspired you to disclose the sexual trauma you endured. You spread the word across every social media platform. You inspired and encouraged survivors and allies to break the silence.

Let’s do it again!

Where: Share your #WhyItold story on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

When: Midnight on October 20th until Midnight on October 21st.

How: Join me on Sunday, October 18th at 4 p.m. EST in a Google Hangout. Click here to sign up. I’ll be there with ideas, prompts and guidelines. You must be over 18 to participate.

For those of you who have never shared your story before, I’ll be there to encourage you. I’ll also likely have a glass of wine, some light snacks and a comfy place to sit. I suggest you do the same.

Can’t make it? Sign up anyway and I’ll send you some sweet info to get you started.

The Twist: I will be turning this year’s collection into an Anthology! If you’re interested in contributing something you’ve written, you can check a box during sign up and I’ll send you guidelines shortly.

I will be reflecting on why I don’t dance on graves. What will you share?

Sincerely,

PS – Need some inspiration? Check out these powerful images from Soulfire 2015. These 12 Survivors All Battled Sexual Trauma with the Same Secret Weapon

#WhyItold: Solidarity

You did it.

#WhyItold flooded the world with your stories.

Everyone wants to know how I am. It can be a difficult thing to bear the weight of so many stories.

I had a little bit of tummy ache. I was anxious. I was bursting with pride, anger and sadness.

It’s like an emotional kaleidoscope. Brilliance and darkness tumbling together, inseparable and sadly gorgeous.

The stories make my heart ache but the thing that makes me shake in  my boots is worry.

Are you going to be okay?

You shared vulnerably, publicly and brazenly. You followed my example. You trusted me.

Thank you. I am honored.

Click here for some tips a Tumblr full of self-care tips.

Dear God, let them be loved. Let their family and friends believe them and hold them. Let their words be heard and their journey honored.

Days like this find me praying under my breath before I’m aware I’m doing it.

Because of you.

However, I watched. I read every word and then I read the comments. Holding my breath, I placed my faith in your community. I waited to see if I bet on the right horse.

I did.

Your friends posted little hearts, solidarity fists, kind words and offers of support. Your allies said they heard you and that they believed you. They congratulated your bravery and some stood with you by posting their own pledge in your honor.

Do you see?

Do you see how loved you are?

Of course, these were just the public responses. I am not naive enough to believe that the private response will always match.

If you were not met with compassion or if you just need a listening ear, check out this list of local and national resources.

Today, as I sit in my favorite coffee shop with a hot mocha in my hand, I choose to bask in the steady stream of tiny emoticon hearts posted underneath all of our storytelling.

I heard you. I believe you. I support your journey towards healing. #Solidarity

A few of you registered late and have been wondering if you can share.

You are in control of your own destiny and your wardrobe choices.

I do not own the idea of sharing.

Your story is like your silence; you don’t owe it to anyone.

You do what serves you. I’ll do the same.

Sincerely,

Tashmica

PS – Don’t forget the bonus prompt! Please help me spread the word about #Soulfire2015 by sharing this link: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/soulfire-2015-the-firecracker-foundation-calendar-project-tickets-13463998181