The Rising Feminine - The flowering feminine project

Michaela O'Driscoll
Posted December 8, 2019 from France
The Rising Feminine - The flowering feminine project
Healing violation and desecration of  women and the feminine

Dear Sisters, I write slowly and gently here and apologise I have not participated too much yet in world pulse and I know there are so many beautiful women speaking out.  I have an idea that is bubbling inside me. I am unsure if it will come to anything. I am very overwhelmed by social media so will try to be brief.  ​​​​​​The Flowering Feminine project, healing violation and desecration of  women and the feminine. The invitation : Let's talk, circles of women. No experts, lets talk. CLEAR BOUNDARIES - Healing NOW Goal to heal / deconstruct violence against women/against the feminine and bring forth community healing.  Conversations and meetings around the world. (held as an experiment so there is no failure) Deconstructing violence,  shame, blame, guilt, unworthiness and pain. Giving voice to the voiceless- ending silence and shame AND not getting stuck in the stories but providing deep listening and healing compassion for one another. The vision Circles of women gathering together (2 or more women) to begin with, (and later also women and men and men and men.) Calling on the Flowering Feminine - that place where a woman knows she is honoured, held, supported and safe. Calling in the Divine Mother. No-one is an expert, and yet we have some holding structure, like safe river banks that allow a river to flow. At the moment the closest analogy to describe what I am wishing to create is the model of the 12 step program, which originally was Alcoholics anonymous. This is all very much unfolding and creating as I write now. Where does this come from ? On December 2nd 2012 , I suffered a serious violation in a beautiful location by the sea, in the Eastern cape, South Africa. I wish to explore how we/ humanity/ women and men and all genders can more deeply heal this serious trauma that we are collectively facing. I feel we need to start with us women gathering to share and to deeply address the very damaged culture in which we are living. I have been on a big deep healing journey and investigation since this happened. Some of the time, the pain has been huge and I have felt alone, despairing and isolated. From this I wish to create, The Flowering feminine project. I am deliberately choosing to not use another 4 letter word to describe what happened to me. Soon after this experience I wrote a blog post which was very helpful as I was able to ask people to read it without having to relay the experience over and over, and also I was really clear I would not be silent about it.  Sadly the South African police force was woefully under resourced and the perpetrators did not face the consequences of their actions, even though they were caught. One went on to murder someone a year later in the same location. I noticed when I used this other word to describe what had happened, there was often a strong reaction in other people.Sometimes I was judged and avoided, or patronised. My sense is that we live in a very visual culture and when we speak this word, we face the imagined image of it. It can feel unspeakable and painful and somehow our culture that has so much shame and distortion around sex, then many have a reaction to 'blame' judge the receiver of this harm. I also experienced many 'new agers/ 'spiritually awake'  and smug people asking me, What did I do to create this ?  Huge spiritual bypassing (and yes perhaps at some level of healing this meta level of inquiry is valid)  My personal friend who was with me at the time of the event was a support to me but her privileged south African family had nothing more to do with me.  A common response in our world is to cast into the shadows and make outcast that which we do not wish to face. And unfortunately on numerous occasions this involved me experiencing further abuse.  On one occasion, a few months after this experience,  a 'respected' man who called himself a shaman said he would 'heal' me.  I was naive and open.  Later he proceeded to hurl verbal abuse at me whilst I was in an already very fragile and vulnerable state. I began to realise this is such a deep wound that it is very hard to speak about.  And many men cannot even begin to go there. The longer we do not deeply address these underlying issues the worse it gets. I was living in South Africa for 5 years, a country I love very much in spite of all this. (I am now based in France.)  And one where this desecration of the feminine is at a scale that is beyond tragic to think about. In 2010 when we were filming in Durban every single woman I interviewed out of about 30 women had experienced this first hand. The children was also hugely suffering and vulnerable to this. It began to seem more and more incredible to me. If we were to interview the men, Would they then say? Yes I have done this, or I know someone who has done this.  Why are those conversations not happening? so I am calling in healing,redemption and transformation to come forth. Much love and blessings

This story was submitted in response to #IStandWithHer.

Comments 19

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Jill Langhus
Dec 09, 2019
Dec 09, 2019

Hello Michaela,

Welcome back and congrats on your first post! I love your vision and purpose. I'm so sorry this happened to you. I can imagine that it would take a long time to recover and heal from this. I had childhood abuse, but I don't recall any of it. Needless to say, it has affected me.

I'm really looking forward to seeing this unfold and hearing more about it! You can private message me if you would like to brainstorm or need additional support. I think it's a great idea.

Also, it would be great if you have any French sisters that would also like to join World Pulse! There isn't much representation from France.

Hope you're having a good day, dear, and thanks for sharing your amazing idea.

Michaela O'Driscoll
Dec 09, 2019
Dec 09, 2019

Thanks so much for your wonderful encouragement Jill. I have only been in France 2 1/2 years so it is taking a while for me to find heart/ soul sisters here and I have met some and I am working on it.

Jill Langhus
Dec 11, 2019
Dec 11, 2019

You're welcome, dear. Oh, okay. Sounds great:-)

Hope you're doing well and having a great week!

XX

lizzymark
Dec 09, 2019
Dec 09, 2019

Welcome back sis,so sorry about all that happened, but its great that you have this vision,I hope you stay strong to bring this to realisation. Thanks for shearing

Michaela O'Driscoll
Dec 10, 2019
Dec 10, 2019

Thanks so much

lizzymark
Dec 10, 2019
Dec 10, 2019

Pleasure is my dear.

ANJ ANA
Dec 09, 2019
Dec 09, 2019

Dear Michaela,

Congratulations on your first post and proposed initiation. I am so eager to hear more about your project and its modality.
It's so much true and I agree that the people should not be judged and you are absolutely right that the inner voice of the bearer/survivor is much more important than any expert. S/he will have more clues or potential to overcome the problem if any. The project needs to facilitate to floroush the potential of the target group/women/girl. So much excited to hear more about your initiation.
Please keep continue to write, I look forward to read more about the findings for your interviews to 30 women.
I second to Jill for participating in the private disussion/additional support/brainstroming, if you may consider.
I am so sorry for hearing your violations but happy to see that you have overcomed and based on your experience you are making awarenss and initiating a proect for others.
love and regards,
anjana

Michaela O'Driscoll
Dec 10, 2019
Dec 10, 2019

Thanks so much Anjana

Anita Shrestha
Dec 10, 2019
Dec 10, 2019

Dear Sis
Thank you for sharing

Michaela O'Driscoll
Dec 10, 2019
Dec 10, 2019

Thank you

Lisbeth
Dec 10, 2019
Dec 10, 2019

Hi Mikeala,
We so glad to have you. You break brought out something great and amazing.
How are you doing personally? I am so sorry to hear about that your incident at South Africa. What incident was it? I mean what actually happened to you? Where you raped? Beaten?
Your project is good and I think you should pursue it. Please let me know if I could be of any help to you.
Have a great week ahead.
Regards
Lizzy

Michaela O'Driscoll
Dec 10, 2019
Dec 10, 2019

yes it was a gang rape. Here is a copy of the blog I wrote soon after it happened :
February 13, 2013
Rising from Pain to Power, Love and Healing
A very empowering event is taking place around our globe on Vday, this Valentines day, February 14th, 2013
The One Billion Rising Vday event is to end sexual violence and violence against women. One In Three Women On The Planet will be Raped or beaten in her life time.
One Billion Women Violated Is An Atrocity.
One Billion Women Dancing Is A Revolution.
One Billion rising is :A global strike, An invitation to dance, A call to men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends, An act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers, A refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given,A new time and a new way of being.
Well I am sorry to say it happened to me on December 2nd 2012. I was away with friends on holiday in the Eastern Cape, in a remote and beautiful location, Sinangwana, near Coffee bay. I was assaulted and raped at knife point by 4 men. It was bad-shocking but I am glad I was not injured or killed. Four men broke the door down where I was sleeping. They were carrying long curved knives and in the darkness shone bright lights in my face.
Throughout the experience I saw myself as a sacred being, I knew that deep in my core, I saw them as well as sacred beings. Somehow in the terror that kept me calm. I left my body probably much of the time but was aware- trying to create a field of peace.
There were 4 men – finally 2 left and then there was one. They had been angry there were not many valuables in my room- I told the final man, ‘I am from England, I came here to work for a charity, an NGO to help your people, for a HIV project’- all of which is true. He then said, ‘I feel very bad and sorry hearing this. It is very bad what I have done.’ He said, ‘You will never forgive me.’ I said, ‘It is bad what you have done, you cannot undo it but from NOW on, you can do goodness. I forgive you now.’ I felt he received my words and then he left.
It’s been quite a journey since that time- hard to write about yet somehow we must break the silence, the shame, on this terrible thing that sadly is happening far too often on our beautiful planet. It’s time to cut through all shame, fear and guilt. In Egypt if a woman is raped, she may then be murdered by her own family to protect her ‘honour’. This is madness.
There is a global uprising, emerging from the Congo, India, Philippines, and spreading all over the planet to end violence against women and girls, to end gang rape, incest and other violence. There will be a global flash mob of one billion people on Valentines Day.
Woman, the Divine Feminine is rising up, that includes the Divine feminine in Men too, this nightmare is horrific to both men and women and it has to stop.
We are now making an unstoppable river that says No, Enough!
After the rape, I was taken to the nearest township hospital and given Anti Retroviral medication (ARV’S) to take. The nightmare deepens when we remember that the incidence of HIV in many rural areas in SA is as high as 90%, with many people not bothering to get tested. I was told I needed to take ARV’s for 28 days. The standard practise is to give 3 lots to really ensure if there is any HIV that it gets zapped. In my heart I felt I was clear, but friends and family said it was not an option for me to not take them. I never take medication, as a homeopath and holistic health practitioner, so I am very sensitive to allopathic drugs. These ARV’s made me extremely sick and this was almost as much a trauma as the actual rape and attack itself. My body could not tolerate these drugs- I had extreme pain in my liver, kidneys , my whole body felt sick as a dog, and my brain was not able to function properly. I took many supplements, herbs and homeopathic remedies, to help but really I felt like I was being poisoned and could see and feel myself collapsing. I actually stopped them early and it still took me weeks to recover.
It took 10 days to get back to Cape Town; I was very vulnerable as I was actually between homes and so staying with friends. My daughter came from England to be with me for 2 1/2 weeks which was a great support. Friends from around the world and family were sending me so much love and healing which I gratefully received, am still receiving. However I did notice, in Cape Town, apart from a few incredible exceptions, there was a distinct lack of empathy or presence, about what had happened to me. I realised in South Africa there is so much trauma and crime there is a certain amount of desensitisation and overwhelm. I actually received most of my emotional support on Skype and phone with friends from overseas.
I was terrified of being alone. of the dark, of sharp knives, of loud bangs (they’d broken the door down) and alarms kept going off around me which really did not help. I really needed a home/sanctuary to retreat to with kind people. I was not really able to properly articulate my needs and look after myself.
Thankfully when I had tests for HIV and various diseases that could have been contracted, my results were negative apart from some of the effects of the ARV’s, bladder and kidney infection, anaemia and raised liver enzymes. I was having high fevers at night and finally took an antibiotic which did clear this. I was so grateful to have the negative HIV test results; it felt like a great weight had been lifted off me and I was getting my life back. I was still extremely weak from the shock, the trauma and from the effects of those strong drugs.
Another grace happened, a dear friend here in SA emailed her network about what had happened to me and they raised some money for me- so helpful to pay for the supplements and healing sessions I had. Out of that I was given the opportunity to come and rest and heal at a beautiful retreat centre in the little Karoo about 260 k’s from Cape Town. I have been blessed with a healing, grounded, loving sanctuary,with kind and gentle people, where in divine timing, no rushing, self loving, I am deeply healing what happened to me.
Now I am deeply grateful to be feeling strong and well. I have been doing much processing, focused healing work and specific meditations to release anger and sadness .(from Kundalini yoga). There has been so much kindness and many incredible healing sessions. One of my lessons is to give myself empathy and receive. I had a lot of rage and anger about peripheral things, the situation, poverty, politics, corruption, about the absent security guards but it took a long time to actually reach my anger and rage towards the men who raped me.
As a child especially I learnt to please people and be there for others and to see their side, but not always to reach me. Now to get to the Me, the Michaela who was raped, violated and abused took some time and support. I also needed support to find my Warrior woman again and say No this is not OK and to release that anger, rage, pain and sadness. I’ve used many tools for my healing journey, EFT, crystal sound, shamanic healing sessions, counselling, EMDR, body talk, journalling, absent healing sessions, quantum touch healing.meditations etc I am excited and grateful to say these things work.
As this blog is becoming long, I am going to write in much more detail about Forgiveness in my next one. Forgiveness has been the focus of my work for the last 15 years. Lots is unfolding as I become strong and whole again, I am beginning to see the gift in this. I’m wondering why this happened to me? All my life although I have sometimes been in dangerous situations, I have felt safe.
My going through this and being a voice can perhaps lead and be a light for others who are also releasing this wounding whether current or from the past. In this experience I also feel my deep connection to our beautiful Earth and see in how many ways she is being raped and violated and also it must stop. We must activate our voices and will together to restore harmony, wholeness and joy.
Peace and Namaste
Michaela Crystal Heart

Lisbeth
Dec 11, 2019
Dec 11, 2019

Dear sister,
I wept reading your story :-(. It's so sad! Sorry sorry you have to go through this horrible incident. They are wicked and I surely believed wickedness will received it punishment before God. Their generation will suffer because of their wicked act. It's good you have healed and still healing. Please take good care of yourself . Are you still in South Africa now? Or back to England?
Sending you love and take things easy. It shall be well?
Hugs

Michaela O'Driscoll
Dec 11, 2019
Dec 11, 2019

Thanks so much dear Lisbeth, I am now in France although I really miss SA. I am healing well and wish I can being out of this bigger healing to this trauma in our world. Much love to you

Jane
Dec 11, 2019
Dec 11, 2019

My dear sister, thank you for opening up and sharing your story of which I believe it is a first step to take towards accepting what happened and the road towards your own healing. I know It hurts the most when the person or people that made you feel so special yesterday, makes you feel so unwanted today because those are the closest we can bury our heads to and trust them to understand that "you didn't ask any of that to happen" as the people who have been around you and know better.I say thumb up for you, rise up and walk to the cloud and show that you haven't been defeated but you defeated the situation. Keep moving, we are with you all the way and we love you. South Africa is a beautiful place and dont let anyone take that feeling and love of it away from you.

Michaela O'Driscoll
Dec 11, 2019
Dec 11, 2019

Thanks so much Jane / Princess J I so appreciate your support Much love and blessings

Jane
Dec 11, 2019
Dec 11, 2019

Thank you my sister Michaela, I must say it would be a blessing to me to meet my sisters like you.

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Dec 17, 2019
Dec 17, 2019

Am so sorry about your experience but also happy through it, you have been able to Birth a Great Idea. I advise you to put the past behind you and begin to glow. Your Future is very bright.
Stay Strong, stay Well
Please follow back.

Michaela O'Driscoll
Dec 17, 2019
Dec 17, 2019

Thanks so much Oluwatoyin I will definitely. And Yes will follow through on this and make what happened part of my growth, learning, deepening compassion and offering for others.