I have written at length about what has been for me, for him, for them, and for us.
Lord knows I have written.
Over 170 posts about abuse, recovery, and the process of becoming in the face of the brutality that I was born into. Forty years of it in various forms, fashions, and feckless fancies. Savagery is still savagery, even if you dress it in a suit and speak softly — it’s just sneakier.
I have written the most when oppression has reached a feverish pitch and where to remain silent is a form of betrayal to the self and others – including the offender(s). Abuse has always squeezed the ink out of me.
Betrayal trauma kept me from knowing what I knew. I cost too much to know that the same hand that gives — also gropes. Blaming myself was the only possible option for the longest time. Clearly I made these men do these things. Clearly. If I could just be modest enough, nice enough — invisible enough. “You cannot eat what’s invisible,” I thought. Apparently you can.
I learned to keep the peace, to to obey, to slip away, to comply, to acquiesce, even to anticipate. What did that powerful person need me to be? I’d be it. I learned to change for everyone. I was always taught to be everyone. The self? That is whatever the latest person wanted it to be. And as long as they had that right mix of predation, power and persuasion — they got what they wanted — me.
I have written extensively on justice and the lack there of it. I have written on the pyrrhic nature of justice for survivors. I have written about and around every single offender who ate at the table of me. I have framed the brutality with the building blocks of my own bones.
I have sat, eyes closed and searched for words to name what I have known. That has looked like overwhelming outrage and great gulps of grief. I have done so publicly where I have shared as beautifully as possible the brutality of sexual abuse. I have settled into the table of my own trauma and described to you the meal of malfeasance in mouthfuls and brutal bite sized pieces.
I have broken my silence into slices that I could butter with hope. I have served them to you on pretty pages, with word pictures, and the artistry that oppression from sexual savagery seems to stimulate.
I have written about life in the trauma trench, soaked to the skin with the rain of ruin. I have written about the uncomfortable, the unfathomable, and the unspeakable. I have written as a means of giving words to wordless places. I have written to say everything I cannot say, will not say, and may never say. Everything I have written is marinated with meaning. Every sentence sandwiched with unspeakable sorrow and slathered with the mayonnaise of another malfeasance.
I have written about power, who has it, who doesn’t, and who likes it best if things stay that way.
I have written because I wanted the agony and the abuse to matter. I wanted the suffering to mean something. I wanted to find beauty in the landscape of loss. I have written to tell the truth about and to liars. They are legion.
In the process of writing I have also read. Voraciously. What started as a few books has become a library on victimization, on predation, on recovery, and on ruin. Each book has been a surgery to me towards the processes of seeing — cutting with precision, patterns of perception I had formed fast and early. Sight hurts but not as much a blindness.
I have written extensively as a survivor, as a student, and as a storyteller. I have endeavoured to tell the story of you, of me, of us, of him, and of them. Stories go past the barriers that brutality erects; they unite us in the solidarity of the suffering; they heighten our hope; and they release creatively in the most restricted places. They help us to name and reframe the ruin. They aid us in recovery from abuses and its many atrocities.
I have written as a Via Dolorosa for recovery; to raise the consciousness of others; and as a harbinger of hope.
I hope it has.