It took me decades to begin remembering childhood abuse. One of the first memories came in a drawing I made in a workshop of me lying on my back and a scream coming out of my mouth. It was a shocking picture, and I knew there was a real scream there, the way you just know things, even if they have found a way to circumvent your conscious mind; I just wasn’t ready for it. Then one morning about a year later it came anyway. The inconsolable cry of an infant came wailing out of my almost forty-year-old mouth. Though I hadn’t yet started my Master’s Degree in Psychology, I knew that my body was remembering something my mind had buried. I spent the next two days in bed, and many years after that holding on the best I could as I made my way through graduate school, therapy, divorce and single parenting, trainings in hypnosis and family therapy, inner child work and EMDR, then more therapy, and more therapy. And still it took a long time after that to find a solid connection to my essential self and to the love that would eventually heal my heart. Even so, I am one of the lucky ones. I had the opportunity to recover, and I will be a path of healing until I die.
Abuse consumed more than half of my life. Only with the power of Grace and the love I had for my children did I make it through long enough to find help. It doesn’t have to be this way, I tell myself, and I don’t want it to be this way for one more person. I know now that we must hear each other’s cries, believe what we hear, and act on what we hear as if all our lives depend on it, because they do. Helping each other heal from the horror of human cruelty and violence needs to be our number one priority. This is the only road to recovery for humanity, and the only road to our ultimate survival. It is the answer to every single problem we now face. This is not a liberal idea or a political rant. It is the next scream coming out of my mouth and the mouths of millions of people all over the world. Help Us!
If I somehow managed to make my way to love and safety with no real roadmap, imagine what we can do for each other with our ever-evolving understanding about the roots of violence, about trauma and recovery today!
Moses, I was told, wandered 40 years in the desert before he found the Promised Land. But we don’t have forty years! And we don’t need to wander. The road to restoring us to safety, love and connection is already well traveled in the world of psychology and through many other healing arts and paths to inner peace. Perfectly? No. But I have my map and you have yours, and thousands of others have charted a path to recovery, too. Let us piece them all together and find our way Home– I know we can… I think we can…I hope we can… It doesn’t have to be this way.