The Silent Army

I started this blog for personal reasons, personal expressions–a means of making sense of the chaos in my body.  As I’ve said many times, I don’t know what I’m feeling until I write it down.  But there are people reading my writing here that are effected.  There are people thanking me for my courage, for my ability to share and to put the pain into words without pitying.  I’ve met so many people through this blog (via twitter, WordPress, Facebook)–amazing, compassionate people; some that are suffering as I am or was and some that suffer much, much more. Some have cried while reading certain posts, and they share that with me.  And the crying and compassion initially sort of shocks me because, as I’m learning, I feel no compassion for myself, and seeing others feel that way towards me is…foreign.  But it teaches me something–that our hearts and pains and sufferings and survivals and compassions extend to others so easily, but not so much to ourselves.  I’m my worst critic, I see no worth in who I am most the time, I think it’s weak if I feel fragile.  The truth is, especially for those of us who have endured child abuse, we were never fragile and worthless and weak–our abusers were.  And though we suffer in our PTSD, Dissociative disorders, BPD, and so on–we suffer because we loved.  We loved.  I think that survivors of abuse are the most compassionate, compelling, loving souls who are tough as nails and they don’t even believe that.  Their (our) survival techniques were just…something we did…a way we found a way–not an act of bravery.  I talk myself down all the time, but when I think about it, it was brave.  We stowed our minds away and put our souls on hold while “it” all happened, because some part of us–be it our instincts or untouchable spirit–knew that the only way to save our minds and hearts (our bodies left for prey) was to hide them, deep inside.  And hiding it for so long became habit, and then soon it was forgotten about, until our bodies grew older and began to remember, and as adults–who are “supposed to be” blooming and growing and changing and living anew–we stumble and fall under the weight of all that was hidden, all that we saved.  It’s enough to know we saved those things because we loved ourselves enough to know our minds and hearts were worth saving.  We were hurt because we loved and trusted our abuser.  It’s not that we did not love.  We loved so much.  And it’s a trick to learn how to love like that again with trust.  As it all catches up with you and you’re panicking, manic, psychotic, having flashbacks, dissociating, derealizing, depersonalizing, hyper-vigilant, hyper-aroused, terrified, small as a child–our faith and beliefs crumble, because they were never truly taught to us.  We begin to build new systems and beliefs and faiths, being Buddhist, Christian, Atheist and so on.  We have to, as adults, re-raise our inner child and guide them into a secure world we have to believe we’re building.  And we won’t guide them into this world until we believe it’s safe, and that can take a long time.  It’s a long, grueling process.  It’s exhausting.  It’s war, flat-out war, between our heads and our hearts.  Between our chemistry and our spirit.  We join the ranks of the silent army–the millions of victims abused when they were helpless.  And we take that helplessness and chew on it like bullets in our teeth–resolving self-reliance and determination–leaving ourselves no other alternative but to survive.  To strive.  And what we strive for changes too, doesn’t it?  Life’s materials and matters become trivial in the grand scheme of things, and we look inside.  We look at the suffering of humanity, but not just that–we truly learn to see the resilience and healing that happens as well.  I think the last person we see heal is ourselves, I think we’re in a constant state of healing–always will be.  So we can’t seek an end to our journey–it is constant and proliferating new breath into us each day or with each trial.  Do we ever heal?  I think so, but I think the healing never ends, there is no outcome, no answer, no result.  We bloom more and more as we go along.  We learn to have a voice, to give a voice to that little child surrendered in our minds and bodies.  When, when, when will this army no longer be silent?  How many more have to join the ranks?  We outnumber the abusers and the ignorant and the scared.  And for that reason alone we should be tearing down walls of silence.  What’s it gonna take??

**If any of you have information on advocating and speaking for the abused, please let me know.  A fire’s lit under my ass and I want to see what I can do.

Later.

Amy

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8 responses to The Silent Army

  1. I feel the same way about wanting to give back and connect with others who have been abused and also to give us all a voice. I started an online journal just for this purpose at turtleway.wordpress.com Next issue is being published March 9th. I still need an essay/opinion piece. Would you be interested in submitting this post as one? :)

    a few thoughts on your post here – I agree that we are survivors who developed ways to cope as kids that ensured our survival. I am learning, however, that those types of survival skills don’t work for the adult-me. In fact, they are killing me now (which I find rather ironic – something that once kept me alive is now killing me, that is.)

    And self-compassion is soooooo huge in recovery, and more than how huge it is, is how HARD it is for me to develop. DBT is the only thing that has broken through my psyche thus far, allowing me to FINALLY develop some (not a lot at this point, but some) self compassion. For that, I am so grateful.

    But you’re right. Healing is a painful, long, and grueling process. I am right in the thick of it now. Talking to other abuse victims who are on the other side of it is the only thing that keeps me going some days. They tell me how wonderful and peaceful it is on the other side, how it is way more than they ever imagined it would be. This gives me hope and motivates me to keep moving forward through the therapeutic process no matter how agonizing it can be at times.

    And really, just the fact that we want to heal and are taking the steps to do it by going through the horrors of medication changes, psycho doctor visits, starting over again with yet another new therapist proves that we have some sort of compassion for ourselves – did you ever think of that? ;)

    Let me know about the essay. I know you have written many. Would love to include your work in this issue. Love ya, girl!

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    • Amy Jo Sprague – Author

      Absolutely on the essay!! Thanks WIL, I’m heading over there now. How wonderful of you to be doing this!! let me know if you decide to use it. Thanks for the opp!
      amy

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  2. [...] The Silent Army (ptsdcreativewriting.wordpress.com) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. ▶ No Responses /* 0) { jQuery('#comments').show('', change_location()); jQuery('#showcomments a .closed').css('display', 'none'); jQuery('#showcomments a .open').css('display', 'inline'); return true; } else { jQuery('#comments').hide(''); jQuery('#showcomments a .closed').css('display', 'inline'); jQuery('#showcomments a .open').css('display', 'none'); return false; } } jQuery('#showcomments a').click(function(){ if(jQuery('#comments').css('display') == 'none') { self.location.href = '#comments'; check_location(); } else { check_location('hide'); } }); function change_location() { self.location.href = '#comments'; } }); /* ]]> */ [...]

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  3. If you find any resources on speaking out for survivors of abuse, and specifically what you wrote about here: PTSD, dissociative disorders, BPD, etc, as survival tactics, please let me know. Where are the voices of the abused and exploited? I’m on this bus too. Thanks for your great post. I’m inspired.

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  4. This really resonates with me, and makes me happy. Years ago when I first started blogging, it was a direct result of feeling like I was all alone in trying to overcome, and heal. When I started to connect with other survivors I realized that I was anything but alone in going through this, so I’ve kept writing, and posting, so that anyone who does feel alone would need only to go to Google to find other people dealing with the same things. It’s so powerful to simply know that you’re not isolated in your journey! Thanks for sharing this with the blog carnival!

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