Taking off from my last posts. Some words from people more eloquent than I tonight.

“The toughest thing is to love somebody who has done something harmful to you…especially when that somebody has been yourself.” – Mr. Rogers

“There come dark days when I do read
These scars of mine like Braille
But not as words of grief or pain
But proof that Christ does heal”  Author unknown

Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.  by J. K. Rowling

“It has been said that time heals all wounds. I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue, and the pain lessens, but it is never gone.” R. Kennedy

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again. Maya Angelou

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Kahlil Gibran

Without pain, there would be no suffering, without suffering we would never learn from over mistakes. To make it right, pain and suffering is the key to all windows, without it, there is no way of life.      Angelina Jolie

“Grace heals our shame by removing what shame causes us to fear most: rejection and abandonment. Grace gives us a sense of worth and value that no shadow within us … can revoke.”  Jerusha Clark

“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.”  Audrey Hepburn

“for those of you who feel like you’re in a moment, or season, or year of hopelessness, know that I am with you. Those moments when you feel like forcing a smile is the biggest lie you’ve ever told, know that we are with you. You don’t have to fear honesty, or feel wrong for not subscribing to optimism. We aren’t intimidated by your questions. Your voice is beautiful and your breathing serves as a protest to all that is holding you down. You can scream at the darkness, make it afraid of your life, and we will be there cheering you on.” Unknown

“Tell her something true when all she’s known are lies. Tell her God loves her. Tell her about forgiveness, the possibility of freedom, tell her she was made to dance in white dresses.” TWLOHA

Stories wait for endings, but songs are brave things bold enough to sing when all they know is darkness  TWLOHA


Pain and voices

I really don’t seem to be posting much of late – whether it’s here or one of the many other sites I frequent.

I haven’t disappeared. I have just become a silent lurking searching for their lost voice.

Perhaps you have seen it?

If you have, would you mind sending it home? It’s rather lonely here searching for expression to the confusion inside when your voice has failed.

I remember having a voice.

Sometimes it whinged like no other about my health or life in general. Other days, my voice railed against the injustices that I encountered, each one breaking my heart until it had to come out lest I went crazy. On occasion my voice sang with the beauty of the day, unable to be silent in the face of so much goodness. Those were good days.

These days, I think, it has become lost in the chaos and I have yet to hear its whisper amid the winds.

Pain has a way of silencing the best of us and sometimes that silence isn’t chosen, regardless of those who claim that we should just move on with life. In fact, these people do a disservice because they disqualify the place and purpose of pain. Pain can teach us, so long as we don’t demand it follow our lesson plan. That is not pain’s purpose.  I could write pages on the many views on pain but today that is not my purpose.

Someone once said  that “Pain is not something that needs to be justified, In order to heal, pain must simply be understood.” For some, pain’s purpose is complete when it is understood and incorporated into their story. Rather than a raw wound, the pain becomes part of the character, its lessons shaping the life it has now been incorporated into. For others, understanding the pain gives voice to action. Rather than an acceptance, pain becomes a vehicle to change.

I’m tired.

Really tired. It’s been a long few months and this week just got a lot longer.

I’m taking a class, it’s a valuable class full of material that will be useful to know in the future. The problem – our class is on abuse. You ever want to kill a conversation quickly tell people that you’re studying abuse. It’s understandable really, abuse is disconcerting. Stories make us run the gambit of emotion from sorrow to anger with random threads of hope and, in some cases depending on where a person lies in their recovery journey moments of laughter. Laughter can be good depending on how it’s used. Even the idea of taking a class discussing these subjects is enough to put people off. All week my classmates and I have encountered enthusiastic people inquiring of our class, only to watch them walk away fumbling for words when they learn of our subject matter.

I don’t blame them, the church has a lousy record when it comes to supporting survivors of abuse, regardless of the form it manifested in. For people in an educational setting, honestly wanting to learn how to better work in the word, the confrontation of  such overwhelming inadequacy is enough to make us step back.

For me it’s been hard.

One of the things to come out of this week is that we never fully deal with abuse. To “deal with” assumes that the effect is over and while abuse doesn’t define the survivor (necessarily) it certainly has an effect. It’s frustrating to realize that some of the issues from the past may not be quite as “past” as I thought.

While I was never physically abused, there are instances where I was assaulted, sexual abuse is a part of my story, and emotional abuse can be thrown in too. It’s driving me nuts to watch as nightmares come back, as I instinctively monitor my surroundings for threats, and have to fight the instinct to flinch when people get too close unannounced.

It’s interesting, in a sad way, abuse takes away your control, so control can become ever so precious to a survivor, and yet this class shows, once again, just how little control I actually have.

I actually find it harder to sit in class, with my peers, and hear stories of abuse, wondering what they would think if they knew my story, worrying that they’d look on with disdain if they knew my story, affirm my worst fear of being too sensitive and needing to grow up. Another part of me fears that that isn’t actually my fear at all but that, if they knew, I’d been looked on with pity.

This class has been accurately described as a roller coaster as we learn theory, hear cases studies, watched Georgia Rule (interesting movie but hard to watch). To be honest I’ve laughed in this class over a funny comment, I’ve fought back tears as stories bring back memories, I’ve faced down anger at the injustice, and been fascinated at the theories (again, I’m a nerd). It’s a lot to take in.

So, where does that leave me?

I’m not sure. My professor encouraged us to self-care tonight and some chocolate and loud music hasn’t quite cut it yet so I write, whether it makes sense or not, to write makes it real. To see the words is validating and hopefully for tonight that will be enough.