Friday, November 20, 2009

OUT OF THE SHADOWS

When I first started writing this blog it was anonymous. I wouldn't have started it had I not been able to remain anonymous. I also had no idea initially what I would write about. Duh! Okay, so I wrote about my knitting and designs.

Then I started, tentatively, to write about my life. Specifically about childhood trauma, sexual, emotional and physical abuse. The response to this was surprising to say the least. I got comments from other abuse survivors who had been moved by my writing or who had learned something from it. I was taken aback. I also got comments from professionals in the field of child welfare. I was astounded.

I soon began to feel guilty. Why?

Shame is one of the most corrosive aspects of the appalling suffering an abuse survivor experiences. Shame is how the abuser controls the abusee. 'What will the neighbours say?' 'You musn't tell anyone!' 'It's your fault, people will know how bad you are.'

I soon realised that I was still feeding that shame by remaining anonymous and also harming those I might help by remaining so. By keeping my anonymity, I was covertly telling other survivors to remain in the shadows, to keep their secret, to keep their shame, the very thing that was killing them and keeping them in their suffering and above all aiding and abetting abusers!

I couldn't continue to do that. Either I'd have to stop writing or I had to come out of the shadows. I chose the latter.

Whilst I sometimes experience fear, sometimes panic, knowing I am in the light, not hidden away, in secret, the therapeutic value of this no longer anonymous blog for myself and others is far greater than fear.

Those who would use what they read here to sneer, or swipe, to do me down, are the ones who have a problem. They are the abusers and I would assume they do not like having a light shined upon them.

I have already been harmed more than most would think possible, so a few people with 'a hole where their soul should be' are not going to deter me.

I had a bad night. Awoke in fear at about 4am and lay there till I finally decided to get up. I was afraid for myself, for John, our home, my dogs. Afraid I'd not just lose all that but the place in my head and spirit I have worked so hard for. There have been times recently when I have felt quite certain that this will be resolved with the house intact. There are other times, like in the early hours when I am so afraid I think my heart will stop. When I wish it would.

The effort of living feels far too much at times. What it takes to keep myself mentally, physically and spiritually capable oft times seems more than I can do. Even during less stressful times, the effort required feels enormous.

I live my life one day at a time, sometimes an hour at a time, like now. If I stop and think about how my body is deteriorating, how my disease is progressing, how my present physical needs and problems are just the beginning, I could not handle it. So I don't. I deal with now.

Today, I still have the dogs and a house and John and I am still physically capable enough. Tomorrow doesn't exist and when it does it will be today.

I hanker for a few hours of rest, a few hours of not hurting, completely, not the dialled down pain the drugs manage. A few hours without any mental and spiritual effort.

The closest I get to that is when I have healing at the church I go to on a Thursday evening, when I can get there. I lay on a massage couch and two, oft times three, women lay their hands upon my body. Their hands always find the places that are hurting the most, and one in particular always goes to the place in my spine that is the most damaged.

During this time, I drift off. I feel my body let go and I feel myself leave. (I imagine death is like this.) Sigh. It's wonderful. For this brief period, I am gone. I have left my body, my mind, my life behind and I am in a peaceful twilight world without a care. It doesn't last long of course.

I never expect this experience to actually heal me. I know it won't and I know that is not what it is about. Whatever it is, it is a power one can feel. The heat coming through these ladies hands is quite astounding. Really hot. Not so much one burns but hot enough to make one almost believe they are plugged in! (I know when I do this, rarely now, I feel nothing at all but the person upon whom my hands rest always report high heat. I have found that the power in my hands is most beneficial for those in physical pain.)
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