To objectify another person requires self-objectification. Anyone who is fully in touch with their own humanity sees it reflected in all. Anyone who carries the burden of self-objectification sees others as tools to take on some of that burden. The exploitative mindset that is suffocating the world, and the lies that have long comforted the middle class in reaching for a purely materialistic heaven, are coming to an end as we wake up to our humanity and feel the pain of the earth and all suffering beings as our own. To return to the places where I was trafficked is a great way to check on my personal progress.Read More
At the age of 19 I was living in Paris, and after someone mentioned Shakespeare's Pericles, I read the play. From the very first verse, I was riveted.
Right in the prologue, Shakespeare addressed the subject that informed my entire life, yet was completely taboo. It was as if he had been writing just to reach me across the ages, speaking directly to my soul. I might have felt very lonely and isolated, but it was as if he was one who could truly understand me. From that moment on, I took comfort in the knowledge that Shakespeare, whose work's depth and breath touched on the truth of my tragic personal experiences, would have been able to hold the full weight of my story.Read More
Thus incest is the secret formula to keep families attached, to keep fear-based protection of authority figures alive, and to preserve the hierarchic structure of the capitalist system.
Victims of incest need to protect the secret, because if they don't, they will be kicked out of the family. Many of my fellow survivors who confronted their families have lost out on their share of the inheritance, often strategized by siblings faithful to the unhealthy family dynamic. This happened to me as well. This is why the wealthier and more powerful the family, the harder it is to deal with the reality of incest, the harder it is to move away from matter-bound consciousness, and the harder it is to find the courage to face the trauma.
These particular physical signs accentuated with make up were present when I was being abused. I was once given a police file with the faces of child victims of the Zandvoort CD Roms internet child porn scandal to help identify victims. The graphic parts had been cut out or covered, but it was still extremely triggering to see the images, and recognize my young self. The boys and young men in this fashion shoot look exactly like the victims of child porn, with a dead look in their eyes, or the sad arrogance that comes from feeling the power to arouse a man.Read More
In the moment of abuse in childhood, the first time, my natural reaction was one of indignant anger. In teaching in prisons, I like to mention anger a lot because it is a natural reaction to injustice, and yet when it is expressed to the abuser, it reflects their action back to them, and they will resort to intimidation so as not to be confronted with themselves. The prison system perpetuates the anger cycle. In my childhood, I was graphically threatened with death, and understood my anger and free expression would lead to death, and my silence and submission would keep me alive. The repression of anger led to all mental imbalances I struggled with for much of my adult life. After my mental health was restored, I continued to deal on subtler levels with repressed anger. I'm just getting in touch with how specifically I placated a certain type of man, who because of their wealth or status, reminded me of one perpetrator who had a great emotional impact.Read More
Severely mentally ill yet never diagnosed, she was unrelenting in her destructiveness towards the little girl in whom she saw the unloved little girl she had once been. She placated men with flirtation, submission and flattery, and on good days told me how troublesome they were, offering me a way to love her. This I did with all my heart, hoping she would one day receive my love, and begin to love me. But instead she would turn on me, starting by criticizing, jokingly, so I couldn't react.Read More
When broken people meet in romance, parts of the self hiding in the subconscious meet each other to play out trauma stories. The greater the similarity in underlying emotional issues, the greater the connection. In the game of love, partners are polarized in a power play, taking the role of either the child victim or the adult abuser. In the beginning of such a love cycle, there is admiration for the love object, so that person is lifted up, the way a child looks up to an authority figure.Read More
There were three men - a politician, a world leader who ruled over the politicians, and a gangster - who influenced my upbringing most. They formed my character, my personality, the way I think. I watched an hourlong video interview with the world leader and was stunned how much the way I express myself resembles his. Ironically, my code of ethics originates in his everyday behavior. These men gave me what I couldn't find at home and verbally affirmed qualities in me that I had never known about. Two of the three, the world leader and the gangster, were emotionally attached to me, and came as close to love as they ever would in their lives I'm sure.Read More
Saying goodbye for now to Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, a new place to call home with a beautiful, loving family awaiting. When I speak I never know how I will be received. I expected I might be asked to leave or ignored afterwards, because my story and the harsh truths it reveals is often hard to swallow. In the talk I also mentioned that I was once touched inappropriately by one of the Indian gurus who is highly revered in the West.Read More
Power gives the illusion of freedom. Self-empowerment is freedom. Freedom from what? From suffering. Preparing talk on forgiveness, it has not been easy to forgive these abusers, who are the darkest criminals on our planet, perpetrating the worst horror stories, in a calculated, organized way, skillfully hiding these crimes from the public, themselves above the law. It has been hard to overcome my envy, imagining my perpetrators in spectacular houses on the Mediterranean, on their yachts, respected and admired by the public, while I was struggling, feeling all the pain.Read More
Arriving in the US, everyone automatically assumed I was wealthy and educated. When I grew up in Belgium, people with working class jobs were proud of what they did, and while the class system was rigid, there was no great desire for most people to move up in society's echelon. This is not to say that there was no racism, of course. Remember the Belgians were the perpetrators of the greatest Holocaust on record, beginning during the reign of Leopold II, when we ravaged Congo and enslaved, tortured and killed 10 million of its inhabitants.Read More
I was born on Good Friday, and always felt its meaning because of the extreme violence and injustice of my past. Today is a day of resurrection. The New York Times published an article about my advocacy work. I'm in Philadelphia to speak at University of Pennsylvania about sex trafficking and healing. It's the start of a very industrious time of using what I learned to create change.Read More
True spirituality is grounded in true feeling, which equals consciousness. If we don’t understand psychopathy, we help create the platform for those responsible for wars, famine and the destruction of the earth. As we feel into our own pain, and open our eyes to our own shadow side, it invariably reveals itself as a young part of ourselves; shamed, hurt, afraid, and vulnerable - in need of acceptance, nurturing, understanding and love. That journey of healing towards our own integration, opens our eyes more fully to the pathology of the emotionally infantile men in power causing the destruction of the earth. The corporation executives, politicians, dictators and other plunderers need to be recognized for the infantile, sick people they are, because today, it is only our denial and disbelief about their destructiveness that keep them in power.Read More
I was 9 years old, wearing my favorite summer dress though it was getting too short, gifted by a perpetrator three months earlier, who took me with him on his private jet to go sailing the US East Coast for 2 weeks.Read More
One way to see if you are involved in such a dynamic, is when you focus excessively on the other. Once you stop speaking about yourself, you're off in projection land, and you can get so lost there you may never find your way back to the reality of the other person. Even if you think of yourself as the al-anon type, if you engage with a narcissist and focus on them and their actions, you are unconsciously setting yourself up to get your revenge.Read More
Looking at that inability, it's easy to see the world we live in runs according to it, as fear mongering thrives, toddler-level greed rules, and we are fed violence from childhood onward. At the helm are those who never entered into the first stage of healing, fighting off their own truth and pain, imposing their emotional sickness on all.Read More
Power can be a powerful addiction.
Many of the world leaders, the famous, gurus and most successful businesspeople have this addiction to power…in common with sex offenders and killers.
Though many stories are shocking, my early life experience in my home country was extreme. For five years I was sex-trafficked by politicians, business elite and aristocrats who provided their castles for orgies. I was used as a business negotiation prop or for political favors while my family accepted money to drive me wherever needed.
There were never more than a few children. We were valuable currency, until we were considered a threat—then we were eliminated.Read More