…that listen’s to a young person’s story about rape and makes an insensitive remark.
This is not an uncommon experience for rape survivors when they sometimes open their hearts and pour out their emotions to someone from an older generation and expect sympathy and instead get a reprimand or a reaction that feels cruel. It feels like betrayal.
As a survivor myself (23 years ago), and someone who experienced exactly that, sometimes wonder if I have BECOME exactly that.
Time does funny things to a person. The healing process is complex and it does not happen in one step. It is a peeling of an onion as they say, and as we heal, we uncover layer upon layer of related discoveries that show us that we are not healing just our wound, but a wound that has generational and historic roots.
As my father, traumatized by what he witnessed at the end of World War II, who fought tirelessly for peace in his words, deeds and actions sometimes sits quietly wondering why, after all the hard work of peace activism and building a world of love and non-violence, we now have more violence and less peace than he could ever have imagined.
So too, I, and many others like me, who care very deeply, who crawled from the abyss on our forearms and decided that this was the cause that mattered most and learned, and studied and volunteered and helped others to heal, and prayed and hoped that people of the future could live in a world without rape now weep at the fact that there is more rape than we could ever have imagined.
The peace activists and the anti-rape activists have a singular lesson that has unfolded before us. We don’t like violence. We don’t like it one bit, but the harsh reality is that if humans don’t war, they make babies and babies grow up and make more babies and on a planet teeming with people and limited resources, eliminating violence requires that population growth come into balance with the resources available on this planet. There is no way around it.
Ours is a complex web of life. Focusing on one issue, without realizing that it is a part of a complex web of interconnectedness never works. We cannot heal the sacred wound of the feminine without healing the sacred wound of the masculine. That wound is primarily around sacrifices made in war. Age and experience has revealed this to me.
Your task, dear survivor, is to survive and then thrive. Please know that there were times when silence and no support was the only choice for rape survivors. Every resource out there is a precious torch, carried by people of a previous generation. I know it still sucks. The aftermath of violence always does. My prayers are with you and with all those who suffer until we as a human family can figure out how to make our way in this world we call our home, with it’s joys and sorrows, it’s celebrations and it’s wars. I wish those who suffer can grasp onto that spark of light in the tunnel of darkness.
Krisztina Samu, Licensed Acupuncturist