The Sea, The Stigma and The Stigmata

I am away at the sea. The rumble washes over me. Reminds me of the power of the deep and the promise that even the depths that no man can mine, is not too deep for The Divine.

In between deep breaths of beauty, I am restless as I sift through research for yet another paper – this one is on stigma. The sifting slices swift, strong and searing into the seams of my soul.

“In Greek and Latin, stigma was a mark or brand, especially one that marked a slave, so a stigma marked a person as inferior. ” – Merriam-Webster

I sit in a moment of silence. It hardly needs even a second of explanation. I know you know something of the shunning; the aversion; the glaze of the eyes; the sneer; the exaltation of the offender; the slaughter of the survivor; the slow crawl from the scene of the crime; the long and lasting linger of the stigma of sexual abuse.

I was going to tell you everything I have learned about how to combat both the public and private stigma of being a survivor of sexual abuse. I was going to rant and rave and map out a plan of action to elevate empathy globally. I was, and perhaps, I will.

But not today. No – today I will sit with this. Even as I write, my eyes fill to the brim with the residue of ruin. Perhaps you like me, have endured not just one, but many egregious allegations of crimes you did not even know how to define; of malice you received, but can hardly believe… victimization in the plural. “When the plural form stigmata is used, it usually refers to the nail wounds on Christ’s hands and feet.” – Merriam-Webster

Yes… for today I will sit with this. With Hope. With The One who not only knows the depths – but formed them; The One who not only walked The Way and makes a way – but is The Way.

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