A piece of art that has affected my life in profound ways is the music scene we did in high school on sexual assault. We used the song The Sound of Silence by Disturbed. At this point in my life, I was extremely anxious because I was debating whether or not to tell someone about my past abuse. It so much consumed my life that I couldn’t focus on anything else.
During this particular scene, we got to choose at the end whether we decide to rip off the duct-tape or not.
Whether we faced those watching us.
Whether we spoke.
I was about to turn around. Never tell anyone, keep it all to myself; which would’ve been my choice and it would’ve been okay. But as I look to the faces of those watching, I felt a buzzing come over me. 7 years of silence. 7 years of pain. Do I even have the strength to speak? To stand?
A phrase came into my mind: don’t be afraid to call on those who love you most. So I stood there, many people had already ripped off their covers, many turned around. What about me? I raise my hand to my mouth, aware of my every move, and very slowly take off the tape. I’m crying, yet I smile.
I decided that day that I would tell my parents. Maybe I would’ve gotten there, to know to tell without the art to push me. Maybe not. All I knew in that moment was that this man would not take up any more seconds of my life. I am strong.
I can heal.
I can breathe.
I am free.
Now when I get up in the mornings there is not a weight of a boulder crushing down on my shoulders. It’s a small pebble that I keep in my pocket. I pull it out every now and then. It still hurts sometimes. I still cry sometimes. But often, i find myself not even remembering it’s there.
Through help, I have healed. Through the people I love, I have healed. Art is strength. Art is power. Art is freedom. Savannah Edwards