AwareNow: Issue 28: The Mental Edition

Page 49



I know it’s been a lot, Honey… not sure if it was OK to dump all this on you, given it’s only the fifth date we’re on, right? Now you know (from my previous stories in my AwareNow column) that… I’m good at feeling guilty, I get “authenticity hangovers” really often, and I make my visions my reality. You also know that I found my voice after being sexually assaulted. Thankfully. Yes, thankfully, I have found my voice. People sometimes ask me how I can be so happy all the time, so resilient. Truth is, I am not. What’s funny is that my first name is actually a double name. Coco-Laetitia. Laetitia means ‘joy’ in Latin. Truth is… I am not joyful all the time. I have just perfected the mask I have been painting with my pain. Only now I am learning to drop this mask and embrace myself——personally, spiritually, creatively—-fully. Light and shadow. Only now am I learning to listen to Little Coco. Only now I am learning to parent this inner child better.

The day Little Coco raised her voice, the day I was harassed, I picked up my phone and reached out to George, TheTornSeamless, a photographer in Berlin I was in loose contact with over Instagram. “Hey George,” I wrote. I told him I was just being touched at a photo shoot and I needed professional advice. He immediately confirmed my concerns. Yup. Counts as sexual harassment. Professionals don’t do that.

“I picked myself up, along with pen and paper and wrote a poem dedicated to Little Coco who had known all along.” I took a breath and felt incredibly stupid. Little Coco had known it all along. I had not trust myself though. Shortly after, I picked myself up, along with pen and paper and wrote a poem dedicated to Little Coco who had known all along. The words just poured right out of me on my way home.

The core of my resilience is that I paint with my pain so others can see themselves in my masterpiece. It’s never finished, this work of art. Coco, you messed up. Again.——OK, what do we learn from this? I looked at the verses beneath… If I am ready to listen to Little Coco now… Can I inspire others to listen to their inner children, too?