I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I am writing you today to express my deepest and most sincere gratitude to you. I was recently baptized in the waters of ARTPOP, and since then my hermetic heart has opened up and my mind has been freed. ARTPOP has saved my soul and I cannot thank you enough. Please let me explain my gratitude to you further:
Because of my childhood trauma I have lived most of my life disassociated sexually; I have been unable to express myself without feeling ashamed of enjoying myself. Regardless of the disconnection to my sexuality, I push myself forward—no matter how small of a distance I move: one step forward, three steps back on some days. I challenge myself to overcome the shame of desire and passion; I push as hard as I can to move forward because I refuse to allow some worthless, disgusting person ruin my ability to be a healthy and vibrant sexual creature.
I have to say that most of my life has been spent in fear of sex, running from expressing myself or enjoying pleasure. Year after year this fear and shame has left me feeling like a freak, an abnormal and defective non-sexual thing; and for a time I came to terms with the fact that I was never going to be able to free that part of myself. Ever since I discovered your music your unapologetic message of sexual freedom has scratched at the rusty lock where my sexuality has been locked away. Through the exploration of the sexual-self in your work, I have seen that sexuality is something I can celebrate and savor; I see now that I do not need to be afraid of it, nor ashamed of it. I have been opening up and embracing sexuality slowly over the years because of your work, and through your freedom and expression I’ve seen the positive side of being sexual. I always felt as though I could be sexual in my mind, but only recently have I begun to express what I want. In the past it was as though I had tape across my mouth where sexuality was concerned, I couldn’t get the words of out my mouth to express enjoyment. The sexual part of me was silenced during the abuse, and that internal silence continued past the abuse and throughout most of my life. But I will no longer be silenced because of the celebration of self-love, sexuality and confidence you have established within the realm of ARTPOP. I feel safe within this music, and comfortable with myself in a way that I never have before.
The last few months have been especially hard for me. Triggers and flashbacks have been haunting me since the birth of my son, harder and scarier than they ever did in the past. I knew that this pain had a purpose, as the nurses had told me—the pain of childbirth had it’s place; so I tried my best to navigate myself through the darkness of trauma and memory. You were with me on that path, Gaga. I listened to your music and gathered my strength, challenging myself to understand what was happening to me. As each ARTPOP song was released, I finally felt a tidal crest of calm coming over me. I sensed some kind of transformative healing medicine was on the way and I greatly anticipated ARTPOP because of this; and when I first listened my eyes welled up as song after song made me cry all these wonderful, healing tears. Not tears of sadness, but because I feel like something inside of me is shedding away and revealing the new and it feels absolutely incredible to let go of that pain and inner oppression.
‘I can’t help the way I’m feeling, Goddess of Love please take me to your leader.’ This lyric from “Venus” is saving my soul and helping me renew my sexuality. Goddess of Love take me to your world and to your leader, I definitely need to have a glass with that woman. I’ve been chasing Aphrodite all year through my own soul searching. This is a reason why “Venus” means that much more to me, because she was already on my horizon and you brought her even closer. When I heard your version of the Aphrodite myth a door unlocked in me. She took my hand (which was blindly looking for that rusty keyhole), and put the key straight into the lock. Beautifully, Aphrodite/Venus sits at the heart of ARTPOP and she is exactly what I needed on my healing path right now, a first-class ticket to the Goddess of Love, Beauty and Desire.
Gaga, from the deepest place in my spirit, thank you for helping me unlock myself from the prison I was in. I feel so liberated and free because of your celebration of love and sensuality. I truly feel that ARTPOP has saved my soul and I don’t think I could ever express the gratitude I feel within me. I have struggled for so long and now the path has opened up since ARTPOP took my hand and lead me out of the brambles. Thank you Gaga, ARTPOP is beautiful—it is a revelation. Congratulations on the birth of your newest addition, she is exquisite.
“I feel alive when I transform.”
Survivor, Little Monster
Not Tori related, but survivor related none the less.