This post is authored by Angela Smith, HEAL Coordinator.
I am a survivor of many forms of abuse. In my life, I have been exposed and subjected to physical, sexual, psychological, verbal, and spiritual abuse. In my work with HEAL, I have met many who have suffered similar harms. And, I have witnessed the variations in the way the scars of the past manifest in survivors and victims of such abuses.
The open wounds that fester in the present from harms of the past are the very wounds that I wish I could aid others to heal. I see adults, many of whom I love, carry with them open wounds that bleed pain and despair. I see adults that hide themselves from the world and those they love out of fear of rejection. And, I see them reject and push away those that love them, as they are, in an attempt to avoid the painful realization that they in no way deserved the trauma, torture, and abuse they suffered. It seems some need to believe, to a degree, that the trauma, torture, and abuse suffered was warranted. And, that it was warranted because they themselves are "different", "rebels", "bad", or otherwise "rejects" according to family and society.
The only individuals I reject are those that intentionally cause harm to others. And, by this I mean anyone through willful blindness, deception, corruption, and/or direct action causes, protects, or encourages the physical, psychological, verbal, sexual, emotional, and/or spiritual torture/abuse of others.
And, it is my wish, this holiday season and always, that every individual who has felt the sting of a narcissistic sociopath's controlling abuse, be free from self-doubt and confusion. And, that every adult who suffered in tortured silence in our youths, embrace ourselves as truly deserving of love, joy, friendship, and understanding.
Those adults who survived childhood trauma, but, have yet to stand confident in their own mind and in their own skin, break free. The part of you that knows the harms you suffered were unjustified, wrong, cruel, and inhumane, be free. Set yourself free.
People who tell you to reject yourself are not worthy of your time nor attention. They feed off their control over others and the doubt and fear they create allows them the illusion of power. Don't feed them. Be free.
Sometimes, victims of trauma try to protect the ones they love from heartache by rejecting them or pushing them away. They fear they may cause greater harm or be unable to control the release of their pain and anger. But, in a network or community of those who have suffered similar traumas, there is understanding and acceptance.
Perfection is an illusion that is demanded by those who are horribly imperfect in order to mask their own weaknesses and folly. In dealing with those who abuse for profit, I find that they hold people to standards they could never even attempt to meet. And, it is their jealousy of their victims' ability to nearly perfectly adhere to such absurd standards that maddens them. And, it is their brutality that exposes them as under-evolved to those who are wise beyond their years.
To everyone who has survived and to all who still have wounds in need of mending, I want you to remember when you were curious, self-directed, interested in exploring the world, interested in experiencing new things, and genuinely open to receiving the gift of a pleasant surprise. Whether you believe in a God who blesses or chaos theories that allow for the unexplained (including happy accidents), please remember that Good Exists and Love Lasts.