There I sat on the kitchen floor of my Rhode Island studio apartment ugly crying. The tears came out of nowhere (or so I thought) and the weight of the pain I felt pinned me to the floor. I tried to wipe away my tears with sudsy dishwater hands. Ouch! This only made the scene worse. 

Immense anger came over me. I was angry with myself for continuing to feel pain after 7 years, angry at the world for not allowing me the space to process, and angry with those damn dishes because they were not going to wash themselves. 

How did I end up on the kitchen floor? 

At the age of 20 a man raped me, in my own apartment, in my own bed. After I reported the rape I was encouraged not to talk to anyone about what happened. However, I could attend counseling and talk to the police and attorneys.  Beyond that… no one should know. It simply did not exist. End. Of. Story. 

Family members blamed me. Making comments like, “You let him into your bed, what did you expect.” They had to be right, right?! It was my fault. (Good lord, NO.) 

While going through the legal process most of my best friends and family did not know I was participating in numerous calls from attorneys and testifying as a character witness in court against a serial predator. 

My outer world appeared to be amazing and right on par with my peers.

  • Going to college on a full ride 
  • Working at the Bees
  • Plenty of friends on Facebook

Yet, my inner world was a scary place to live. I felt unsafe in my own skin and my thoughts only made my shame and self-hate worse. Thoughts similar to the ones below consumed my mind:

  • “I feel like I am soul outside my body, I’m crazy, but really if I could just escape this damaged body my life would be fulfilled.”
  • “I can’t look at myself. I’m disgusting.”
  • “How do I make this pain go away? I’ve talked and talked to a counselor. Why is this not going away?”

Let’s go back to sobbing Melissa on the kitchen floor…

As the anger turned to uncontrollable ugly crying and snot bubbles coming out my nose, I knew it was time for change. Once I caught my breath and found the strength to get up off the floor I made a promise to myself. A promise to learn to understand and communicate with the lingering pain. It was apparent I could no longer live like this.

And so I did. I dove deep into the practice of learning to understand my brilliant mind and why it appeared to be sabotaging my life. I chose to look deeply at what was serving me and what may need transformation. I did not allow myself to see things in black or white, good or bad. Instead I chose to see things as a continuum. Every action I made, every behavior, every everything was to be met with love. Some days this was easier said than done. On the days I was able to fully execute magic happened. 

When I was ready to acknowledge thoughts of “disgust” and “shame” served a great purpose in my life deep healing began to happen. The thoughts kept me from getting too close to anyone. Nobody wants to share their disgusting parts, therefore if being raped was disgusting, I didn’t have to share. Whoa! After learning the purpose disgust and shame were serving in my life I began to love them deeply. They were my protector. I was told not to tell, with disgust and shame by my side I would never tell.

As I met my thoughts with love and learned how greatly they had been serving me, I was then ready to change how I viewed being a rape victim. I wasn’t disgusting, nor was this something I should be ashamed of. I was a beautiful goddess who survived.

Your mind is brilliant and has created tools to help you navigate life. Meeting each tool with love you can learn what is serving you well and what may be ready for transformation. 

Dear reader, 

Please know… I see you. I hear you. I love you. I am you.


Melissa Ann

Melissa McDaniel
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