Tag Archives: sexual abuse

Turning Trauma Into Art

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I’m sitting in the Anchor Eatery in the next neighbourhood over from mine, which is currently without power for the next two to three hours.  I’m cozily ensconced beside a gas fireplace with my custom ordered vegan smoothie, listening to the conversations floating past from this table and that.  The rain continues to pour down outside, but we’re all warmly happy here drinking our smoothies and lattes and eating our scones.

I’ve just returned from NYC where I studied with my great teacher Larry Moss, who is not only my acting teacher but also one of my most treasured spiritual teachers.  Acting has become one of my most profound spiritual practices.  When I immerse myself in the study of a play, in the world of “my” character, I oftentimes find lost fragments of myself that I hadn’t known were lost.  I find where and when I’m not breathing fully into my whole body, and where and when my voice becomes trapped or choked down.  My character speaks to me from the inside out and reveals herself to me in colours painted from the well-spring of my glorious swampy reservoir of memories and emotions.  So, so much of great acting is learned and practiced technique.  And so, so much of great acting is the unfettered access to that deep swamp of healed wounds.

To dip into the ink of sores still festering, that we have either long forgotten or have actively chosen to ignore, is to step into dangerous territory.  We risk losing ourselves once more in the darkness of the injury and our physical bodies act instinctively and stop our voices and our deep, belly breathing, which is the conduit through which we travel to the magnificence of our swamp.

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To honour the writer, to honour the story and the truth of the character, I have to know which parts of myself to bring to the table and which parts do not serve.  In order to allow the character to animate fully into the truth of her being and in order to fully serve the story the writer has imagined, I have to first not only learn and become proficient at the technique of my craft, but equally, and perhaps more importantly, I have to do my own deep, ongoing inner work.  I need to work on healing all of my wounds on every level – physical, emotional and spiritual.  It is only when I come from a neutral place of being that my character is fully brought to life.  And when that happens….it is magical and mystical.

Which brings me to the impetus for writing this in the first place – I have always been a tangential writer.  My last post pulled back the curtain to reveal the sexual abuse that happened to me as a child and it was shocking to many and instigated a domino of clunking healing.  My job here – and by here I mean here in my physical existence – is to free my voice, in all ways.  To stand in and speak the truth of the feminine.  To crack open the feminine heart.

Larry Moss says, “There is no higher healing than turning trauma into art.”  By writing the words that shines a light on the childhood sexual abuse, I am calling on the power of the Midas within me and I’m invoking the powerful alchemy of turning my wound into a powerful force of healing.

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And here is the important element – without this there is no healing, there is no gold being offered.  In order for my words to be an agent of healing for others, I must FIRST HEAL MYSELF.  Otherwise I am doing a great disservice.  If I have not done my own inner work and if I am not writing from that powerful place of higher healing, then what I am doing instead is spreading the poisonous toxins of a still infected wound – and that is dark magic.

However, if I dip my pen into the blood of my healed wounds, then my words can act as a catalyst of higher healing for others.  And this is where the reader of my words can sometimes become confused.

If they read my story of sexual abuse and find themselves feeling great pain and discomfort, then that is their body speaking to them, telling them that they have an unhealed wound inside of them.  The arrow of the story has pierced their own wound and the blood they feel flowing is not mine, but their own.  The pain they feel is emanating from their own wound.  And this is the both the rainspout of their confusion and also of their possible cleansing.  They think they are feeling the pain from my own original injury, when in fact, they are feeling the pain of their own, long-hidden wound.

my hand outstretched over a background of summer grass, the word truth written in red inside a red heart

It is the healed Truth of my wound that is the alchemical agent.  As I write and as I act, I pull from the blood of my healed injuries to bring the alchemical truth to light.  I never, ever write or act from the poisonous venom of unhealed wounds.  If you feel pain when reading my words, lovingly ask yourselves what within you is asking to be healed.  What a gracious opportunity you have been given.

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. 
The challenge is to silence the mind.” ~ Caroline Myss

 

 

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Claiming my Child ~ Re-Membering My Self

Shame ~

noun

1. the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous,etc., done by oneself or another: She was overcome with shame.

2. susceptibility to this feeling: to be without shame.

3. disgrace; ignominy: His actions brought shame upon his parents.

4. a fact or circumstance bringing disgrace or regret: The bankruptcy of the business was a shame. It was a shame you couldn’t come with us.

verb (used with object), shamed, sham·ing.

5. to cause to feel shame; make ashamed: His cowardice shamed him.

6. to drive, force, etc., through shame: He shamed her into going.

7. to cover with ignominy or reproach; disgrace.

Why is it that shame, guilt and humiliation are often the first emotions running through our bodies when we are sexually abused?  When I am sexually abused.  Let me own the truth of my story.  Let me speak the words that have been silent within me for way too long.  Silent in words but present in my body.

I am tiny, small for my age.  Am I five years old or six?  Close to five, I think.  I am a Magical Child, meaning that I live easily within the Realm of Possibility, the world of my imagination just as real to me as the physical world around me.

So I am five, maybe six, years old, and am sent next door to the Wilson’s to fetch my younger sister.  She often goes next door to have tea with Mrs. Wilson or to play with their youngest child, Tim.  Mrs. Wilson is busy in the kitchen and I’m sent down to the basement to see if Susan is there.  Monsters live in basements.

Down the wooden stairs in the unfinished basement are two things I remember.  Black wrestling mats and a large pool table with enticing coloured pool balls.  And grey cement walls.  I remember the cold, stark walls and the many colours of the pool table balls.  I remember Timmy standing, silent and afraid, on the black wrestling mats.

There is something else in that basement.  The monster.  He is big, with big hands and big, fat fingers, and I’m sitting on his lap.  Or rather, he is holding me on one of his big, fat legs.  His legs are spread apart and my tiny, little girl body is being held on one of those legs, his big arm wrapped around me.  His left arm.  The hand of that left arm is inside my little girl underpants and his big, sausage finger is pushed inside my tiny, little girl vagina.

He is violating me in a way no little girl should be violated.  And I am filled with shame, humiliation and guilt.  Where does this come from?  What kind of world is it where a big man sexually assaults a little girl and it’s the little girl that feels shame?

I remember being held on the monster’s knee at the side of the pool table being told to play with the brightly coloured balls.  The very same brightly coloured balls that were so enticing, now revolt me.  I focus on the cool smoothness as I reluctantly roll the yellow ball back and forth.

Disassociating, I learn many, many years later, separating my Self from my body as those fat sausage fingers claim my vagina.  Disassociating, as my tiny right hand is wrapped around the monster’s erect penis, cupped within the monster’s own right hand.

I am five, maybe six years old.  I told no one.

Until fifteen or sixteen years later and the long suppressed memory surfaces with amazing buoyancy while watching a TV show about childhood sexual abuse.  The body remembers what the mind cannot.

I told my then husband the biggest truth of my life.  I gave voice to the shameful secret and was met with silence.  I tried again, but again the words were doused with a blanket of uncomfortable silence.

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And so I buried my poor silent Wounded Child far deep inside me.

Until now.  Now I surrender my voice.  Wrong words.  I give my voice with love to my Wounded Child.  To my Magical Child.  One day a horrible thing happened to my Magical Child that wounded her greatly.  She did nothing wrong and everything right.

Today I invoke The Opening of the Mouth*

It is time for what has been silenced to be heard.

It is enough!  It is enough!!

IT IS ENOUGH!!!

With these words I release that which is no longer serving me.  Which never served me – the guilt and shame that silenced my voice.

May all beings who need to be healed by touched the grace of healing.

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