A deep inner call beckoned me to relinquish the robes I wore as a criminal prosecutor and attorney. My soul had other plans. In just a few months, I let go of all I worked so hard to obtain and jumped into the abyss. The identity to which I clung disappeared. No longer could I find definition through my title, position or possessions. Months later, I met a man while hiking the sacred mountain of La Sainte Baume in France. It was allegedly the home of Mary Magdalene the last 30 years of her life. What followed took me into the underworld, a place where darkness reigns.
Our dream encounter quickly turned into a nightmare. Having been an ardent feminist and women’s rights advocate for many years, it took me by surprise when he called me a “whore” the day we moved in together. My sexuality threatened him because I was not a virgin. Soon, I was “too intelligent” or “too good” or “too charismatic.” I found myself constantly apologizing as I grew smaller and smaller. Eventually, I asked the question, “Where did I go? What happened to me?” Prior to our encounter, I never felt guilty for enjoying my own pleasure. Yet, a woman who is sexually free cannot be controlled.
He treated me like his Eve, who was fashioned from the rib of Adam to serve as his helper and companion. It was her duty to remain silent and submissive. Like Eve, I mistakenly confused self-denial with love. When we arrived in Greece, the land of Gaia, the waters of the Aegean Sea helped me separate my feelings from his. The rage of invisibility rose to the surface, as my inner voice screamed, “See me! Hear me!” My eyes turned inward as I rooted into my body and allowed its wisdom to guide me to freedom. The women who came before Eve reminded me of my power. They helped me open my eyes and taste the fruit of my own sovereignty. It left me no choice but to flutter my wings and fly away.
***The book is in its final editing stage, soon to be prepared for publication.***
Much of my life’s work has revolved around ending violence against women. My honors thesis was on domestic violence policy. I founded an organization against sexual and relationship violence that shaped university policies and created educational tools. During and after law school, my passion drove me to answer hotline calls, meet with abused women in the hospital and speak at rallies.
How then could I find myself in an abusive relationship? It forced me to reckon with the unconscious beliefs at the root of inequality. Several years were spent researching ancient civilizations and religious history as it relates to suppression of the feminine. Woman was denied her divinity when the earth was denied its divinity. It is time we reunite with our roots and remember our power.