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The Beauty of My Mosaic Shatter

Have you ever been utterly broken in so many places from one or two hits? This is where I've lived for the past 15 years. 

I had no idea how incredibly difficult it would be to reclaim my voice, my life, and even my name. I'm a 2-time rape survivor, where I was also stalked, harassed, and threatened after the first rape -- which was also how my virginity was taken away. Both instances of rape left me shattered beyond measure and longing for death, but the first rape was much worse than the second since it was hours longer, coupled with prolonged torment afterwards. My former self-image and self-worth had be stripped away from me, and I felt powerless, worthless and leading a meaningless life. It seemed as if I was put on this earth for men to abuse, and that's how I treated myself for years.

Over time, I noticed how my downfall had taken a toll on everyone who loved me, which led me to a crossroads moment in the Summer of 2008. I could either take myself out of the equation by taking my life in order to relieve everyone's stress about me, OR I could move to NYC with the little amount of money I had and see what happened -- because staying in the situation that I was in was not an option. 

Spoiler Alert: I chose the latter. I received a $500 check from a show that I did in Birmingham, AL called "AIDA," and reached out to a friend [Let's call her Chanté] to see how crazy this idea was. Surprisingly, Chanté encouraged me to follow this urge to change my life, so I bought a one-way ticket; she helped to find me a place to stay; and I didn't breathe one word of this to my family and most of my friends. I didn't have the inner strength nor the language to tell my parents that I needed a life-change since I didn't fully understand why my life had reached such a desolate and desperate place. [My parents and I were in a very rocky place during that time as well, but I'm grateful to say that we've grown leaps and bounds together over the years and now have a very strong relationship.] Therefore, I moved to NYC with roughly $200, 2 bags, and a stuffed gorilla named Bouka (who wears a red "Got Love" crop top & cap). Since my housing plans fell through a couple of days before making my great escape, I ended up having to stay with the man that my boyfriend/fiance left me for (long story)...and stayed with him in a literal walk-in closet-turned-bedroom for my first 3 months in NYC. [Let's call him Emil.] Interestingly enough, he became a confidant to me, along with Chanté and another mutual friend of theirs, whom we'll call Canton. These three helped to infuse life, hope, joy, and laughter back into me. Although I was homeless my first year in NYC, I at least had Hope and my crew...and this was the beginning of my healing journey.

My 7 years in NYC were insane, hilarious, lively, devastating, tumultuous, and exacting. I chronicled this part of my journey in a grounded comedic-drama TV series, entitled "The Book of Saya." This TV series is being reviewed by managers at the moment. 

In my failed attempts at finding a production company and/or studio to partner with in bringing this TV series to fruition, I came to the realization that I can produce the Pilot episode myself and then shop it around so that other producers and creators could see the vision. After a prolonged rejection from a certain production company, I acknowledged another yearning I had -- to create something that helped to heal sexual violence survivors in a tangible way. 

Thinking about how I can help as many survivors as humanly possible, I began working on creating an app to connect survivors with free therapy. Nevermind that I'm not technologically savvy -- AT ALL -- and have declared myself allergic to social media.....I was on a mission! During the first 6 months of that mission, I realized that I wouldn't be able to execute the app how I would like and would open me up to countless lawsuits. The double-digit amount in my bank account told me that I needed a different idea. So! Back to the proverbial drawing board I went. 

After being reminded that I'm much better with people than I'll ever be with technology, the idea for The Antidote Conference was born last year and has been expanding ever since. 

The Antidote Conference will feature workshops and panel discussions that touch on certain eventful milestones in my own healing journey. I tried a lot of different things to feel whole again, and I'm bringing the most healing experiences that truly edified my soul. During the run of this crowdfunding campaign, I'll be announcing the leaders, workshops, and panel discussions that will be included within the conference -- along with how they tied into my own healing journey. 

***We are in need of a diverse number of trauma therapists in LA for our inaugural conference, so feel free to reach out to us either through this page or the email address,***

I'm not in that place (yet........?) of being grateful for the horrific things that I've endured; but since I was broken so severely in so many places and have healed to an extent in those places as well, I can help to show you the way through your trauma in order to get to your Peace as well. I'm not going to pretend like I'm fully healed, but I've reached a place where I'm strong enough to help others. Let's heal together and show the rest of the world how it's done. 

With Love,

  ~Stephanie Marie Mosley