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Survivor

For some time now I have seen myself as a survivor. I survived sexual abuse. I survived being a teenage mom. And perhaps hardest of all I survived leaving an oppressive marriage. So for some years now I have understood that I am a survivor. But a leader? That idea is still taking root. Connecting on PulseWire with women across the globe who have taken their challenging circumstances and become agents of change has further awakened me. I can clearly see that these women are the leaders and healers of our world. And they have provided a mirror, showing me that I can use the strength and wisdom I have gained on my my path to be a leader, too.

To me this is the most exciting aspect of Web 2.0. The fact that it allows us to connect, and hear each other’s stories of courage and resilience. We can then start seeing ourselves as leaders in our communities and the world. This “new media” truly affirms the words of poet June Jordan, “we are the ones we have been waiting for.” If true equality for women is to happen, then we are the ones need to make it happen. Web 2.0 is a powerful way to rally, to learn from each other, and to gather resources. On the blog Feministing, I recently saw a video by vlogger 9teenpercent in which she delivers a scathing critique of pop artist Beyonce’s recent song, “Girls Rule the World”. 9teenpercent breaks down Beyonce’s song and provides powerful truths that show that, in fact, not only do girls not rule the world, they are still very much oppressed and held back by patriarchy. To date, 9teenpercent’s video has been watched by 572,586 people. This is a compelling example of how “new media” tools can provide a platform for us to speak our truths and how potentially this can then be heard by thousands of people.

Personally, these tools have empowered me to share some of my story through inspirational autobiographical reflections which I share with other women through HTML emails. As a daughter of Mexican immigrants growing up in Chicago, I often felt like an outsider and didn’t feel that my perspective was of value. Sending these newsletters and reading how they have touched others has encouraged me to keep sharing my story. As a holistic healer and mother of five, I am passionate about helping women and children heal from trauma. It is my vision to help women of color, especially those facing teenage pregnancy and domestic violence, become empowered and mobilized to heal themselves and our community. Already my mind is opening to the various ways that Web 2.0 can help me create a platform for women to break the isolation that so often accompanies these issues. It can also help me garner support and resources to bring healing to an area in the city which has very few holistic healing resources.

I am a survivor, and I am ready to lead.

Comments

MaDube's picture

Dear Soulhavenlisa

Whenever I read testimonies like yours I feel that I am ungrateful and I should not be asking for more because I have already received more than others. I escaped sexual abuse as a child, I escaped teenage pregnancy and so far I have escaped an oppressive marriage and I do not know if would have emerged as strong as you did from it all. Women like you are phenomenal and I hope you draw more strength from knowing that I look up to you for having stood firm against all these things.

Best,
MaDube

soulhavenlisa's picture

Thank You!

Thank you so much MaDube for commenting. Your words touch me.

Sending you blessings from Chicago!
Lisa

Shefaa's picture

Dear

You are a true fighter and a bold survivor indeed.
In a world where fight for basic freedoms and rights for women is endless we need leaders like you lady.

Keep the spirit.

Regards

Shefaa

soulhavenlisa's picture

Thank you

Shefaa,
Thanks for your encouragement and strength. You are a leader as well and I am inspired to be connecting with so many others across the globe.

Much love to you,
Lisa

BlueSky's picture

My Surviving Sister

Your story is inspirational to me. In Africa, especially in the region where I live, the largest percentage of women would have a similarly tragic story, but are still in a period where it is unacceptable to give voice to those horrendous experiences. On top of that, a very large percentage do not know how to read and therefore write their stories. But it is these beginnings, and these forums as you mention, that will cause the 'time' to change. Thank you.

soulhavenlisa's picture

Thank you

BlueSky,
Thank you for reading and commenting. You reminded me how blessed I am that I am not at a place in my life where I can speak my truth. I am so grateful for that. Thanks for the work you do and your solidarity.

Blessings and light on your journey!
Lisa

Soulhavenlisa,
Your first assignment is strong and moving -- with a very thoughtful lead about how surviving may take enormous work and courage but the steps toward leadership are the real goal and can demand even greater courage. And what a deft job you've done of moving from personal to universal as well as describing both the emotional power and the multiplying metrics of the Web. Clearly, "one of the ones we're waiting for," is hanging on PulseWire. Great job!
Joanna

soulhavenlisa's picture

Just what I needed to hear.

Thanks Joanna. Your words came just in time. Sitting here working through my second assignment I am finding that going through the story of my life is bringing up a lot for me and I get to this place of paralysis and insecurity. I know I will move through this process and come out stronger on the other end but it was so helpful to hear your words. Thanks for reaching out.

Warmly,
Lisa

neffy's picture

nicely done

The piece was personal and inspiring. Clearly you are personally inspired by online media! I love your commitment
and your vision. I love your passion. I would have liked to have also seen more depth in bringing in your personal experience to draw us in further. Overall nicely done.

Deborah L. Neff aka "Neffy"

soulhavenlisa's picture

Thanks!

Neffy,
Your feedback was motivating and helpful. Thanks for reaching out.
Warmly,
Lisa

mvmagellan's picture

Hi!

Hi Lisa,
Thank you for this personal story. It is hard to acknowledge doubts about being a leader, and I am excited to hear more about what it means to be a leader to you. I too am interested in trauma healing and reconciliation and wonder how Web 2.0 can help as a healer for women that have experienced painful and traumatic events. The need to express individual opinions more often than not is what seems to come up as the empowering tool in Web 2.0, but I think that the creation of a space for listening is equally, if not more important.

Mary

soulhavenlisa's picture

Thanks

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree that a safe space for expressing opinions is important. I also know that listening is such an important gift we can give each other. Spaces for compassionate listening using web 2.0 sounds beautiful to me.

Thanks again for reaching out!

Lisa

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