I Can Tell-I Can Heal

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.

 

 

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7 thoughts on “I Can Tell-I Can Heal

  1. It comforts and encourages me that you wrote about how women who gave details of their stories inspired you to write your own story. In writing my book, I have wrestled with the conflicting beliefs of other survivors who think that it’s not a good idea to share details. Details can trigger. But there is a deep need in me to tell my story unflinchingly, both so that survivors can see that they are not alone in the horrors that they have endured and also for those who are not survivors so that they can understand and empathize with my experience, and the resulting PTSD that survivors must live with. I am concerned about readers getting triggered. I don’t want to add to anyone’s pain. But I need to trust my intuition, which tells me to share my story – my whole story. Any additional thoughts on this subject?

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    1. Yes, strong thoughts. Write what you need to write. Any book, like mine, captioned ‘a memoir of childhood sexual abuse’ has given full disclosure of what’s inside… the same as my blog. This tar is not ours to hold despite others wanting us to. There are those who cannot read it because they aren’t ready. Perhaps it is all still repressed. They will not be interested, or buy it.
      There are those that are dying inside with the almost identical details needing release and grab onto to it like a life-line, as I did. My guess is that this trauma occurring in childhood makes me invest too much in others feelings, needs and desires, and very often misjudging them. I do this because I’ve escaped my own since age eight. As I’ve grown to connect inside I notice that others aren’t so in need of my care-taking. That each of us is responsible for our internal safety as adults.
      Do what you need to do. Trust that others will do the same. If someone picks up your book knowing the subject and it triggers them or causes them to re-experience what was buried, then perhaps it was their time to face it… which made them reach for the book in the first place.

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      1. Thank you. I do believe that when the time is right for us, we are drawn to books and people that will help us along our journey. I guess I was putting the burden of others being triggered upon myself because I have always been a caretaker. Also because other trauma authors have commented that they don’t give details because of trigger potential. I think my people-pleasing is being triggered, the fear of offending someone or of someone’s disapproval. But you’re right. I need to do what is right for me. Thanks for your valuable insight. 🙂

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        1. Yes, I have heard that from others too but I heartily don’t agree with it…for me. Everyone takes their own path. I needed to write it as it came up.
          It wasn’t a thought but an intense eruption from deep down inside me… like a volcano erupting week to week as each chapter arose, joy along with pain.
          It was something that needed to be offered to me when I eight years old. Not stifling me mute. Go with your gut. Others are grown adults and can make their own decisions.
          All the feedback I’ve received has been gratitude and thanks mostly from those just beginning their journey.

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  2. I admire your strength and resilience. It inspires and encourages me to keep on the path that I’m on so that one day, I’d be in the same space as you. Thank you for sharing your story and giving someone like me the needed courage to continue confronting my past.

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