The ordeal the women in Cleveland went through and are going through also unnerved me. Many people are horrified how a human being could take control of another human being's freedom. The bombing at the Boston marathon was also sad and horrific. I want to write today about sexual assault, rape, and childhood sexual abuse and healing, how women are objectified in the media and by men and pornography daily. We can become numb and move on quickly regarding these acts of violence and oppression. Society has a move-on to the next act of insanity brief attention span. There are some sick individuals, some damaged individuals who oppress and abuse. It is often a cycle. There has always been such individuals throughout history.
But there are some individuals, as a friend stated, who seem to have no reason for their being aggressive, hateful and violent.
As a survivor of rape and childhood sexual abuse, I can only say that I truly believe negative thought patterns emerge because of society's right wing extreme religiosity that a woman should be pure or a virgin, demure, quiet, amicable and non-verbal, or at least non-confrontational. It's not just religion, double-standards and sicknness, but it is also the objectification of women in mainstream media, pornography and society in general.
I have found a voice through writing, and it is there that I have gained my power back. I am working on doing so in other aspects of life. I am okay where I am at because I am learning to be compassionate towards myself and shed those harsh views, those core beliefs that are entrenched in one's psyche often through such abuses.
I believe Healing is a means of taking one's power back. Negative thought patterns often emerge when one feels victimized by trauma. Healing involves changing and re-framing the shame, humiliation and distrust that occur when one is abused. This is a difficult battle, one that should not be dismissed or discounted in any way in my opinion. Yes, we acknowledge darkness, which I feel I do in my new collection, SEVEN (3: A Taos Press), but there is the issue of taking one's power back, finding one's voice, shedding those negative core beliefs. For me, this is the core of transfiguring what is dark into beauty.
It is in acknowledging darkness or violence occurred that one can develop an awareness and self-concept, which has often been damaged and distorted. For me, through my writing, I see the beauty that comes from such triumphs as gaining one's self-esteem and healing as transforming.
Healing is a slow process. It takes strength, fortitude and commitment. It is in my opinion more important than focusing on that darkness, that which is meant to dis-empower an individual.
This is one reason I argue for the lyric I in my poems. Fragmentation, loss of a sense of power, all these things can emerge when one is a survivor of long term abuse. Such stories can reaffirm the experience of others, which I have found as women who have read my book share similar experiences and relay that to me. All in all, there is light, hope and power in such striving.
This month is mental health awareness month, and I am working on being an advocate for mental health issues. PTSD is one issue I feel needs to be addressed in order to combat the abuse of young girls and women.