Title: Moonflower: A Memoir of Healing
Author: Tara Edin
Publisher: Tara Edin
Author: Tara Edin
Publisher: Tara Edin
Blooming was her Birthright. Darkness the Unexpected Catalyst.
Tara is an incest, rape and sexual abuse survivor, who suffered from PTSD for many years but was misdiagnosed with mental illnesses instead. This took her down a near-fatal path ultimately ending in an accident, which nearly claimed her life at age 29. Most only know the abridged version of the story, yet the real story holds many truths and miracles that must be shared. With a second lease on life, Tara faces the sexual abuse and betrayal from her younger years with support from a compassionate zen therapist. Tara begins to recreate her life with a new spirituality that feeds her soul and encompasses her painful past, giving life to the love that has always been her birthright. With lucid prose and powerful poetry, Tara details her soul’s transformation from darkness to light, offering her readers the gifts of honesty, empathy, and empowerment.
Moonflower is Part Memoir, Part Self-Help & Part Spiritual Odyssey.
Rape, incest and sexual assault are unspoken controversial topics that still fester behind closed doors in the 21st century as survivors are still being told to “Get over it,” or worse, “It didn’t even happen.” It takes years to heal from such life-altering, traumatic experiences, and many survivors are doing this work alone. There is a great need for testimonies from those who have emerged from their ordeals stronger.
This revealing story uncovers the aftermath of abuse that often leads to unstable relationships, repeated abuse, and mental or physical dis-ease. Although Moonflower covers difficult topics such as emotional and sexual abuse, the author sifts through these experiences to offer her readers the gifts and lessons that can be drawn from such setbacks.
There is no cookie-cutter journey to healing, but there is great power in sharing our stories. Moonflower exhibits the power of the self and spirit in the healing process. It stretches beyond what may be considered a “normal” path and braves a non-traditional spiritual road to wellness, inspiring others to broaden their perspectives of the healing experience. Readers will be inspired by Tara’s fiery spirit and deep reflective soul, cheering her on as she finds her way back to herself.
THE MOONFLOWER: IPOMOEA ALBA
Moonflowers are night blooming flowers that blossom in a matter of minutes. Their tight unicorn-like pods swirl open to five-pointed stars and then bloom into full five-petal flowers. Moonflowers turn their faces toward the moon and remain open until sunlight. Moonflower vines boast large, heart shaped leaves and gorgeous white blossoms. Their 4 to 6 inch fragrant white flowers grow on vines that can reach up to 20 feet in a season.
At first glance, I am an average upper middle class woman who goes to work in the morning and comes home to her family every evening. I delight in my children's sweet smiles and am thrilled when I can bake a delicious batch of vegan chocolate chip cookies. I am a teacher, a wife, and a mother.
What most people don't know about me is that I am a survivor, many times over. My experiences have defied many things considered rational. In fact, I would not be alive had my life followed a rational route. Like any living creation, I was born to grow and bloom, but darkness was the unexpected catalyst. On my darkest night, my greatest peace would begin to unfold into a journey that would lead me on an unconventional path of healing, a path of self-love.
The conviction to share my story has evolved over several years. At age 16, I had originally begun writing this account in a journal format. It was a cathartic vehicle for my emotional suffering after being raped. In the following years, I explored the idea of sharing it but stopped and started many times, still unsure of myself and my story's significance. Eventually, I stopped questioning the Universe's nudge to finish it and just resolved to see it through. If anything, I intended it for my children and their children to read much later in life as a record of where their mother/grandmother had been in her life. Sometimes I simply thought of tucking it away in a drawer indefinitely—completely safe but not very helpful.
We are all here on Earth to learn and to help each other heal through our work. This story is part of my contract on Earth, and this gift can only provide assistance when shared. Today it is my intention to lend healing to those in need. If just one poem or sentence creates a soulful "hit," I will have fulfilled a fraction of my purpose here on Earth. Thank you for gifting me with that opportunity. The chapters and poems in this text have been written over the past 22 years and reflect various stages of my life: from victim, to survivor, to healer. I have carefully sifted through these experiences to offer you the gifts and lessons I've drawn from them. My hopes for telling my story are two-fold: I hope to open an avenue of thought in you, as well as provide you with the unique comfort that lies in being able to identify with another's experience similar to your own.
Your journey will vary from mine, but my hope is that you will feel less alone, less crazy, and more hopeful. Moreover, that you will be inspired to keep going in life and seek your highest reality. Just as there are no two personal histories alike, there is no cookie-cutter road to healing. It can happen in a multitude of ways. Perhaps that's why there are various spiritual paths, philosophies and religions available to us. Although a religion can sometimes support a person on a healing path, it may not always create the healed. The spirit within the individual must initiate that process. Throughout the book, I often refer to the Universe, God or Infinite Spirit, as they are all terms I relate with spirit. If you do not relate with such references, please replace them with a term that embodies the higher power to you.
Healing is omnipresent, opening out in all directions of time—past, present and future. It is happening today at this very moment you are reading this page. The fact that you are seeking healing means that healing is already in motion. At times the momentum is slow, or seemingly still. Other times, it moves at the speed of light, diminishing black holes, lifetimes of darkness. You will sense this variation in movement as you progress on your path.
The opportunities to learn lessons in this life will not always be comfortable. Some of my most excruciating times have evolved into my most valuable lessons. Some days, months or even years, there may be suffering involved in getting better and feeling better. It's the intention to heal, which is the bridge to that higher spiritual plane. When I planted the intention to heal, the Universe supported me in the new creation of my life. By Cosmic Law, even in the darkest of places, love and light will always prevail when that is what one embodies.
Time does not heal all wounds. If we trust in the Universe's natural inclination to heal, we can be sure that illnesses will heal, wounds will smooth over. But some untreated wounds can fester and spread, causing more illness and even death.
For several years, there were only a few people who knew the truth of what happened to me, but even less knew why. The car accident was the abridged version of the story, the one my parents shrewdly advised me to tell. The one I still revert to when people inquire about the scars.
Would this incident have happened had I not been raped or misdiagnosed with a mental illness? At first, the answer may seem easy—an unequivocal no. However, knowing better now how the Universe works, my answer is an unwavering YES. The very cells in my body ordered a tragic culmination. A young lifetime laced with abuse, anger and shame would have manifested in a similar apocalyptic manner no matter how the outcome were packaged. As a young girl, I had subconsciously created a death wish. Through the years, this barrage of negative beliefs about myself had gathered dangerous momentum.
Who is to blame for this tragedy? My abusers? My parents? My doctors? Myself? The Universe? As with any unfortunate occurrence, there are a variety of factors that come in to play. No one person or situation can carry the entire burden of responsibility. In my case, people and circumstances conspired with my own subconscious to create the outcome. Therefore, it is not so much a question of who is to blame, as it is a question of how it could have been prevented and how I ultimately healed. As painful as it was, this incident opened the door to the upper floors in life.
Truth be told, I lost my mind, my legs, my hope and nearly my life. This downfall was much like a hurricane: there were warnings, its onset, its desolation, and its wake. Survivors, with nothing but the bodies they were born with, are left dazed and broken yet thankful to be alive. This loss was a gift because it squelched spirals of lifelong destructive cycles. It challenged me to pick up my own broken heart with the two hands that had long dismissed their power.
I am not mentally ill. I am no longer prescribed any pills. The doctor who prescribed them to me faded into oblivion; the hospital never sent any bills. To them, it never even happened; I was simply another casualty of their medical practice and the Big Pharmacy industry. Nevertheless, I decided it was better to move forward than backward, so I focused on my own healing: mind, body, and spirit, trusting that my life possessed a value that would reveal itself in time.
Since then my spirit has grown legs that ground me, and my mind is clear so I no longer wince at its depth. I heed the voices that speak to me knowing I am not psychotic but gifted. I fearlessly inhale the scent of roses or smoke, knowing there are messages from my angels attached. Through a fortuitous alchemy, all darkness, pain, and shame have been transformed into the beautiful life I indeed signed up for.