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Day 81: The Measure of the Wound

Posted by intrepidshe , in Healing Work 02 March 2014 · 216 views

Mar. 1, 2014 (10 Days Into Becoming):
A fellow journeyer on the SA healing path articulated in a way that really touched me, an issue with which I often struggle.

You want to know something? I felt pretty stupid posting here - that is the negative thought I battled past.  My story, is not as important, traumatic as others- is what my mind wanted me to believe.


That's a big load of bull, I have concluded my consciousness is a jerk.


My story is not like everyone's, but trauma is not something you can measure with a stick.


The truth is: I am no less deserving than my fellow survivors to be supported with grace and surrounded with compassion, and even if I don't believe it 100% I'm going to keep saying it to myself until it becomes automatic.


"Trauma is not something you can measure with a stick."
I am haunted by statements like, "at least she wasn't raped," said by my mom, not knowing I was digitally raped. She was reacting to my intact hymen when I was six years old. My step father didn't rape me either. So, by the measure of what's really a 'bad' trauma, these two abusers don't meet the criteria.
Actually, I don't know if she knows that I was digitally raped and sodomized by that babysitter. I can't stomach the idea of asking, of telling her, of facing her dismissiveness, her 'correcting' my memory.
Besides, what she believes isn't relevant anyway.
There is a set of societal messages that relate to this issue, which create much of the distortion we experience, or at least I experience. Society says . . .
The worse the wound:
  • the more deserving of compassion.
  • the more time you are allowed to heal.
  • the more support provided.
  • the more right you have to talk about it.
  • the more willing others are to listen.
Society has a stick; and that stick is used to keep us under control. In subtle and grotesque ways that stick is wielded. It is a shame stick; or maybe it would be better to refer to it as a shame thrower! It's not a stick; it's a weapon.
Anyway, it occurred to me, in order to reprogram my consciousness to not be a jerk to me (as the original author amusingly put it) I need to hold fast to a different understanding.
It's not about the 'size' or 'severity' of the injury. It's the complexity of the healing process. The measure of a wound is the time and effort it takes to heal. And, I am the judge of the severity of the wound -- not society, not my mom.

Mar 02 2014 01:36 AM
how deep. totally feels
Yes, yes, yes and yes. Beautifully articulated.

And the problem is that it is only when you are quite far along the healing journey that you can recognise just how much healing was/is needed.

And, as you say, other people, especially (it seems) moms, seem to feel they know how to measure it when they don't.
This is brilliant. How often I have felt undeserving. Did I really suffer? And of course the answer is yes. Otherwise I wouldn't be in therapy. I wouldn't have nightmares and flashbacks and pain in my body. This is a very important post did all survivors. Being assaulted, abused, raped, beaten. It all leaves it's mark in our memories, even when we think we have forgotten. Even when we think we are healing. And it is a lonely, difficult and very personal and individual journey. Yet writing like you have done and reading it helps. It helps so very much. Because maybe we aren't so alone after all.
Mar 02 2014 05:14 PM

I so needed to read this just now.  :metoyou:

About Intrepid She

This is a moderated PUBLIC blog. This blog is a therapeutic tool I am using to help me get over my fear of doctors (which is made difficult by a history of abuse by them) to learn to grieve, and ultimately to integrate my dis-integrated heart.


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To the many others walking your own version of this path, I wish you well on your journey. -Intrepid


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