Friday, December 31, 2010


Revelry is a strength not bestowed upon the weak. Not that the weak are undeserving, but because they don’t allow it in, it knocks diligently at the door, yet goes unanswered.  Like a shadow looming around a corner lit by the street lamp, even though the shadow is all that is there, never a face, the weak fear what will be waiting, making the choice to stop and run the other way. Captive like a day void of sun, with dark oppressive clouds covering the sky like a heavy wool Army blanket. Yet something bothers the weak about finding their way to the light, something stands in their way. Fear. The fear of the unknown is much like driving around a side mountain street not big enough for two cars and not knowing if an opposing car is coming. Death. We are all dying, yet the thought of death provides no comfort and aging provides no wisdom. It is not what we know but what we learn along the way that builds our soul like a fortress of concrete. Yet solid, we stand in a puddle of emotion that hurts with every step. Unable to dry from the rain the diligently falls and attempts to drown the soul of the ability to move on. Crossing the street is hard work, work that requires placing one foot in front of the other. I promise the other side is better, like a soft, still lake with gentle ripples easy to enjoy, providing the serenity of the summer sun reflecting tiny diamonds.  The warmth is fulfilling, engaging, world changing. The grass offers the feet a much needed break and replaces the once burning coals that scar the ability to pace life normally. Happiness is found in the little treasures of life that are waiting for us. Simple smiles from a child, an ice cold drink, the sweet taste of homemade apple pie, the smell of fresh laundry, and the love that grows with each moment given to laughter. This will not find you unless you allow yourself to be found. Reach out and beyond the unknown. Allow the soul and shadow to step with you in unison. You can make the journey to the land of the unknown and enjoy life’s moments before this life is gone. Life is a short time, a constant clock ticking away, moments escaping as fast as a firefly desperate to shine again once the jar top is open. Be the firefly. Life is waiting for its queue to open the jar. Fly, shine, live.


Does anyone really understand emotions? How deep they run and all that they are tied to? Some people can control their emotions, others let them run/ruin their lives, and many use medications to dictate what emotions will be displayed.  Emotions are like an intricate card game, your hand is held tightly to your chest and no one knows what you have until you lay it on the table.
Think about the last time you were reduced to tears or exhilarated with happiness - two very common emotions.  Both are not produced by ourselves but by the interactions with others.  When I think of the last time I cried, it was not me making me cry it was something that happened between me and someone else.  Emotions are so wrapped up in parts of life that are often unforeseen and uncontrollable.
I have often pondered the emotions tied to my abuse and survival.  It is hard to understand, which is why I get so frustrated when people who have not suffered abuse but are making the laws that dictate when a victim should come out and pursue litigation against their abuser. It has taken me almost 15 years to sort out why I feel like I do or why I act a certain way or what causes flashbacks and what to do to avoid them. The actions and behaviors we do as survivors are linked to the emotions of our abuse. 
I am good friends with another survivor and when she heard me tell my story for the first time, she decided to tell her family, now she had not told anyone before and she was married and had been for almost 20 years.  When she finally got the courage to find her voice, she told her family – to her surprise they were very supportive and stated to her that it explained a lot. She felt relieved and a sort of freedom she had not know before.  She defined her life around her abuse. The fact is if you allow the abuse to define you – it has won.  Define your life on your achievements and accomplishments, not what has happened to you.  A victim is someone who never gets over the abuse and stays in victim mode, a survivor is someone who looks past it and moves on.
No one can predict how you will feel when you tell your story, not even you.  The first time I shared mine – I was embarrassed and ashamed, I cried. But I don’t regret it because I became a beacon for others to do the same.  The emotions that come with telling your story can be overwhelming so make sure you have a supporter. We can no longer stand by in silence. Emotional solidarity is a damming way to live your life.
Stand up-Step out-Speak up.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I tend to delve into some deep thoughts from time to time, seeking answers and a greater level of understanding.  It dawned on me the other day why I really don’t know if group therapy helps victims, I mean I know it provides an outlet, that can be safe and relieving, but is group therapy really a way for a victim to retell their story? I mean is it a viable way to find healing?  I think it creates a stigma, my story is worse than yours kind of situation.  As humans we compare ourselves to others all the time and victims are no different. Group therapy is probably the one type of treatment for a victim that does not help in my opinion. Being a survivor of rape or sexual assault doesn’t get better with hearing that others have gone through it, it only helps us to not feel guilty for it happening to us – that whole 'we are not alone' type thing.  When I was a little girl, I hid my abuse making my life seem normal because I truly felt I was alone, and I was the only one who was going through it.  As I became an adult I got so good at faking normal that I think it pushed me into being normal and accepting the abuse happened and it did not define me.  I was living a life that appeared to be free of anything bad, when people hearing of my abuse they often say to “wow, I figured you came from a good family and had a cherished life, I had no idea”! That gives me comfort in some strange way that I am so good at covering it up that no one can judge me or look at me as being different because of my abuse, but when I am alone with my thoughts is when the pain finds me, the flashbacks, the feelings of betrayal.  I think when I tell people of my abuse they treat me different and that is what I have always tried to avoid – but being silent helps no one, so telling my story has helped others to find their voice and peace with a life they will also never have, but it does not mean they can’t have A LIFE They chose. One filled with love and normalcy and peace.
Perhaps the reason why rape victims and sexual assault survivors seek out a life of sex work after the perpetration is because the abuse becomes an addiction and mourning that addiction has not happened for the survivor disabling them from sort of recovering.  As a survivor, I knew it was critical to find a way to cope for the well being of the life I had yet to live, but to mourn the pain and abuse I endured making me capable of moving on. It helped the first time I heard I was not the only one, it kept me from feeling like a monster, like I should be ashamed because of the way my sanctuary was abused and used by my perpetrator. But hearing that there are so many who have shared this pain does not provide me with comfort, it fills me with fear for what I don’t know, and how many other people live in misery ridden past like me. Finding happiness is the hardest journey I have had to bear, but I have allowed myself to feel the pain, absorb it and face it. I know many that have not done this and they remain victims - but I am a survivor, hating to be labeled as a victim.
Accept the truth that if you are a victim of abuse there is NOTHING that can or will change it, or make it go away.  You MUST mourn the life that you will not have so you can live the life you do. I am living proof.
It seems there is a pattern with almost all victims - meaning victims create victims if mourning does not occur, breaking the cycle is the only way to heal, abuse and betrayal is a choice - this I know now.