Saturday, December 1, 2007

I keep having feelings that “this never happened to me,” but I know it did. Why am I disbelieving myself?

This question was on Angela's list from a few days ago. I am going to address the sociological side to this question; though any other contributor, please feel free to address the psychological side.

Rape, incest, domestic violence… these are all “not normal” occurrences in our world though they happen to so many people. We don’t have a context to react to these horrible things… though the Survival Manual is working on creating one.

For instance, if someone close to you dies there is a socially acceptable way of dealing with the death. There is a mourning process, a wake, a funeral, a memorial sometime. There are actions you can take to deal with the death. It’s acceptable, socially speaking, to be angry, hurt, or sad. Yet, because it’s not socially acceptable to talk about rape (at the dinner table, on the street, or in the work place) we either become disoriented in knowing how to react or feel like we shouldn’t react. This is where we start to question if something happened because we don’t have this socially acceptable path of what to do next because it happened – especially if we don’t come out about the violation of our bodies and ourselves right away, which so many of us don’t.

Speaking out about and against violence creates a context not only for ourselves but also for those who have not yet spoken up. Violence should never be socially acceptable, though it is. Healing needs to be!!! KEEP TALKING!!!!