Finding our voice after childhood abuse is a powerful – indeed empowering – step forwards in healing.
The past two weeks have seen the IICSA (Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse) investigate abuse within specialist music schools and some residential schools. My former school, Chethams, being one of those investigated.
The accounts at the inquiry, and further accounts related by former students are harrowing to read.
Both links carry major trigger warnings – you may find the content deeply upsetting.
It has been a triggering, upsetting time for many.
Memories locked away for decades. Memories perhaps holding shame. Fear.
Yet Shame and Fear can both be broken – and they are broken by speaking out, by looking people in the face and seeing acceptance.
We are not what happened to us in any way. The guilt lies solely with predators, perpetrators – and with the multitude who turned a blind eye.
Fragments of glass
Suspended in time
No lead to bind
Shards is brave
Shards of no voice
Shards aloof from the others
Yet they are the ones who reach her now
They the ones who form the lead to hold her secure
Shards of glass
Complex trauma in early childhood will often lead to dissociation, an absenting of the childs self from the body. Severe trauma may bring with it fragmentation, fragmentation into many parts.
Fragmentation is not just within the mind, scattered into many pieces, often unaware of the existence of other fragmented parts (as in DID and OSDD). Fragmentation is also held within the body.
In a deep CranioSacral session last week I became aware of those jigsaw pieces within my body. Making a picture. A picture-story of complex trauma and abuse.
Yet I also had another picture. A picture of hope.
What if those jigsaw pieces could make another picture?
There is no turning the clock back on a childhood which should have been so very, very different. But a new picture can be made with those inner jigsaw pieces. A picture which can begin to come together though the work of the one who houses those pieces, and with the help of gifted therapists.
It has been a while since I last wrote here. A religious part of me usually, at some point, takes over, becomes very Christian during Lent. There is an urgency to immerse myself into Holy Week leading up to Easter. To delve deep into the Pascal Mysteries of death and resurrection.
This year is different. Recovering memories, allowing memories from a deeply dissociated place to surface, I now know that Ritual Abuse had a place (time-limited, and I believe one perpetrator of this form of abuse only) in my early childhood. For many survivors this time is a deeply troubling one. One which brings with it flashback memories. Deep wounds.
Easter should be a time of joy. Not the deepest and darkest pain. I ask anyone who reads this to please hold in their thoughts those who have been ritually abused, sometimes throughout their childhoods in truly horrific ways; perhaps light a candle of hope in the dark.
My spirituality and religious allegiances have wavered and evolved through the decades. Often this has bothered me. I feel as though I should settle for one path, whether broadly Pagan, Christian, or any other path. Yet I cant.
Christ calls me. Brighid calls me. The path of the Sufi, the mystical paths of Islam, call me. The way of the Druid calls me. Other Gods and Goddesses call to me.
Now I have a different light on this. It is the light shed by a deeper understanding of the various parts within, parts previously completely dissociated by trauma who are now emerging from the shadows. They have their trauma stories to tell. They also have their own religious/spiritual paths.
To force myself into one path is to deny the myriad paths formed within at different times. To deny those parts of me their own unique voice, their own unique relationship with the Divine. In a sense, to follow one path, worship one deity, is to deny the other parts of me their existence. They have been ignored by me for decades. A way of survival maybe, but to the detriment of the whole.
Dissociation is a brilliant survival tool. A survival tool of the whole being, body, mind and soul. When those parts come together a beautiful – albeit highly complex – mosaic is formed. I will honour myself. I will honour the mosaic of deities that have made themselves known to me.