Acceptance of symptoms from the traumas in childhood that remain have to be re-accepted over and over again; a body on hyper-vigilance which includes an exaggerated startle response, sleep disturbances, habitual negative thinking causing low level depression, disordered eating patterns stemming from age 8 as a survival mechanism, dissociation from the body- another survival tool, panic in small windowless places which includes elevators and airplanes, fear of people- knowing too well what they are capable of, and on it goes.
Patience and acceptance are not inherent qualities, they take effort and persistence. Persistence is part of my make-up. But no amount of it will take away the daily challenges. The work is ongoing. .
Out of the trauma grew a women whose voice is heard only if you listen carefully. A voice silenced in childhood, hushed by a mother embarrassed, and a family embarrassed, the voice goes mute. It is only in writing that my voice is heard, and more importantly expressed even if no one is listening.
Writing my book has separated me permanently from the few from the origin family that felt safe to interact with. Their embarrassment on the subject of my childhood trauma translates into my being an embarrassment, which means exclusion no matter how hard each one paints it other colors. To go back I would do it all over again because it erupted from a soul clawing for life. In the telling true healing began. As each horror rose up my being lightened.
It came out of me dissipating into the universe. The filth, the scummy things done that had been carried like boulders and grew as I grew. With it grew shame. The silence imposed on a child stifles every aspect of her being. The time came to release the monsters, serpents and vipers locked inside.
Yet our society does not want to hear of it. No unpleasant details because it is too sordid to acknowledge. That means I am too.
My book was not written to force others to listen. It was written to take out the tarry hands that held me. And it would help that one woman who wanted to confront her own past yet couldn’t because she felt so alone.
That is how it began for me. I needed to confront my past in order to live fully for the first time, but felt so alone and frightened. In the brave words of women who wrote about every detail, the courage surfaced to face the things done to me; to look at it, hurt over it, and grieve the many losses.
The healing journey began in a tiny women’s bookstore in the city. Two books purchased had collections of poems and stories by those sexually abused as children daring to speak out with raw honesty. And why not? An accident victim gets to, and so should a child, or a child grown into a woman. I was not alone.
My book is not about sales or fame. It is for my release, freedom, and healing— healing that is more than a word. It is for women like me who need a place to start. A place where they can feel comradery, and that they are not alone. I can do this. I can break the taboo that imprisons. I can tell. I can begin to stand up and have a life.