better to light a candle than to curse the darkness

I am so sad about the situation for women in India and the 2 deaths this week due to rape, 1 woman from her physical injuries, 1 from the impossibility of living with the crime being ignored, and worse yet, being told by the police to marry her rapist….that is murderous to your self esteem…not suicide, but murder by all those involved….

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We are all losing when the world is so full of violence, when there is so little hope for justice that a victim kills themself in despair. It happens everywhere, a friend’s cousin killed herself a few years ago, a friend of mine killed herself 20 years ago, believing she could never recover from the damage of being incested in her childhood.

I was so angry….and so determined to never give in myself, to let ‘them’ win. I can understand not being able to white knuckle through another long, long night of flashbacks and intrusive thoughts and feelings, but it hurts every time I hear another victim has lost the battle.

When people ask me what has helped me survive, I am always clear, there are positive and negative qualities that have helped me get this far. One of the negatives is pride/obstinacy. I will not go under just because it would suit the perpetrators, the government and all the people who resent paying national insurance contributions to support people like me who are on the sick with post traumatic conditions like agoraphobia, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue conditions or physical injuries from being attacked. People forget that being attacked has both sides, most of my friends are very attuned to my agoraphobia, but very few realise the issues with my back stem from child abuse. How hard to tell people that, and yet, if  we the survivors do not share how hard it has and can be, how amazing the small daily joys after great sadness, fear and pain, how will the victims know it is survivable? That the darkest time passes, the longest winter thaws…One of the reasons I miss my husband so much is that the simple act of holding his hand and smiling reminded me how far I had come, to be able to trust again, to be loving without fear (by my standards…I really shocked him once being honest about how much I trusted him, ie the most of anyone, perhaps 80%? This is an enormous amount for someone with my history, but as a hopeless romantic, he assumed he could win 100% of my trust…perhaps with more time, he could have, but to me, that much was already a miracle.)

Is the cup half full or half empty?

For me, it’s always half full…I get very impatient round people who resist the positive, perhaps the fear that I will catch their negativity, and go under. I always want to remember the sunshine, the sea, the sky, making jokes, making gardens, being in love and the simplest tiny pleasures, clean sheets and wool socks and fresh coffee and another day with no mistakes or mis- steps yet, all fresh and shiny and clean, ready to make art in 😉

The pain has to be felt, the therapy has to be worked, but all the way through, with the understanding that life will be worth living again, because humans are capable of great healing, for ourselves and others, and terrible as these latest crimes are, for the first time, laws to protect women are being discussed in India. We must light the candles, even with tears streaming down, because the first message to share is that we value ourselves, we are all worth a world with respect for all, with joy and laughter and safety as a baseline.

There are hundreds and thousands of tiny reasons to stay alive, and each one needs to be another strand in the blanket keeping you warm on the coldest night, one dancer in a huge crowd, moving for joy, one tiny light in a host, like the Chalice Well Garden all lit up at night with positive love and wishes and good energy…

keep growing

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