Trauma’s Shadow is Rage

“…he had always been popular and happy and things had always worked out.”

                                      (Holly LeCraw, The Swimming Pool)

I close the book, feeling the rage shifting just below my sternum.  It’s the second time this week that words have elicited this response.  The first was an online post and the author had written something about how gently we come into this world – a man, of course, whose lack of birthing experience allowed him to think glibly about such beginnings – and, I know otherwise.

Flesh tears from flesh.

Pain builds and peaks and in a bloodied push of exasperation life emerges.

I’m not discrediting the miraculous.  Birth is miraculous.  And in time, joy overshadows the trauma, and we conceive again.  This, too, is a miracle.

Maybe it is all this talk of he said/ she said dominating the news – women daring to call out their abusers. The ensuing backlash.

I named my assailant.   Included his address, and full details of the abduction.  Then buried the memory, and self, in a well so deep it wouldn’t emerge for fourteen years – knife-edged fragments butchering my complacency.  Memory works that way.

No charges were laid, no subsequent trial; the judgment occurred on the spot – the day that they found me, reported missing, in a state of shock.  I had asked for it – my clothes, the unfortunate choice to attend a bar underage, the willingness to get in a stranger’s car with friends.  The defilement was my fault.   How could I not bury it?

Happiness is desirable – no different for me -but I am also a realist / cynic – and life does not unfold in candy-wrapped sweetness.  It stumbles along, meets with obstacles, and demands that we look within. To say that someone has lived an unmarred existence, as suggested in the quotation above, is just laziness on the part of the author.  This is not truth, so why write it?

Life commands character.

Real life that is.

The rage subsides.  I’ve said my piece.  I turn the page.

(Article is published on One Woman’s Day: A Project of the Story Circle Network.)


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

14 thoughts on “Trauma’s Shadow is Rage

  1. Your story of strength and dealing with overcoming the past to find healing hit home. What is buried will eventually show itself and one has no choice but to look within and heal the wounds. My daughter dropped out of university last year because her shadows came to life. She could no longer bury the trauma. She was diagnosed with PTSD, but still waiting for specialized help. Takes up to 2 years. Crazy world. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Olga, I felt that my first comment was too pat. PTSD is serious and can affect a person on so many levels. I have only recently been identified with PTSD, as it wasn’t so known previously. Still, the journey has been one of commitment to myself, to my family, and to overcoming the challenges. It continues.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rage can eat you alive. I admire you for sharing your story. I also continue to hope that this blame the victim crap will stop someday. I just can’t accept how perpetrators of violence are not held accountable – and – aren’t even expected to have any self control.
    Every time I hear or read…”well she shouldn’t have dressed that way” or “what did she expect she was out late” I want to scream and scream. But the fear remains.
    And what to do? Do we need to teach our boy children more about restraint, respect and self control? I wish I knew.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, VJ very powerful writing. Blaming the victim and sweeping it under the carpet should put us all into a rage. I wish more people were as brave as you to speak out, but when the blame is put on the victim, then what you say about burying it is so understandable.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The guilt does not lie with you. It lies with a society that wants to stick its head in the sand and pretend these things never happen and making it so the victim feels the shame rather than the perpetrator. By speaking out you contribute to change (as slow as it is); towards society standing up and no longer turning a blind eye and saying boys will be boys, and blaming the victim. I admire you for being able to share your story.

        Liked by 1 person

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