Last week B and I wrote a statement. It was long in coming. Courage takes time to grow, as does vocabulary after victimization. Brave is like bread — it takes time to rise. No one would choose to be ruined — but all can choose how to respond.
We move on.
There is so much more to do that must be done for our family and our fellows. Having said all that can be said and done all that can be reasonably done — we focus afresh on what is ahead — forgetting not what is behind.
I have made the deliberate choice to not be defined by what happened to me and by whom did that happening. Yes, very truly, I will never be all that I was originally intended to be. I will be someone who bears the scars of a life marred by the malfeasance of many. Too many. Those were things I had no choice over — now I get to choose what and whom I will be, with whom I will spend my energy, and how I will contribute to the world around me.
One of the many massive losses of my re-victimization was a move to a new city and engage in a season of extreme anonymity. I needed this in the worst way. I left my career and went to grad school (online) to investigate how in the hell I got here in the first place.
The roots of child maltreatment reach far to bear rotten fruit in the lives of the adults whose bodies grow but whose internal development remains arrested by trauma. The things that helped me cope with a powerful sexual predator in my home (dissociation, repression, minimization, compulsive compliance) — left me vulnerable to persuasive predators until midlife.
I was blind to the betrayal in my midst. I can now say — I see.
Grad school helped me to see the complexity as well as the pervasiveness of maltreatment and abuse. I was forced to look at social problems of poverty, substance abuse, adverse childhood experiences, child welfare, juvenile justice, criminality, resilience, and coping. Policy and praxis; evisceration and empowerment; justice and the lack thereof; help and harm — are all themes that I cannot escape in the pursuit of change.
I am nearing the end of the research and writing for my Master of Arts and I have pained over every single page. Books have been thrown — but knowledge has grown. Nearing the end of this season has also brought me back to the beginning of things and my first love of human movement. The body of so many survivors have been ravaged and needs to be restored. “You are a soul,” it is thought that CS Lewis said, “You have a body.” Indeed — you do.
I have not ever really wanted to make it known I have a body to — although clearly I do. Sexual victimization brings such a smearing of shame from the neck down. Sexual violence disconnects you from the sinews that sewed you together on account that several someones traumatically tore you apart. I know. Dammit, I just know. It is a leap of liberation to share with you from the wellspring of human movement knowledge (six years of post secondary and 25 years experience) that I have stored up.
The coalescing of these multiple factors and more has driven me to pursue volunteer, employment, and educational opportunities in my new community. I am ready to contribute to the world around me, now that the world within me has been sorted. All opportunities I seek will be a solution to the aforementioned pervasive social problems. I now cannot un-see or un-know. In seeing and knowing I must act. I wish to live a life action.
I have plans. We have plans. They are small, deeply creaturely things, rich with meaning and brimming with connection to each other and the world around us. Suffering ought not be wasted but nor should joy.