Tuesday, January 31, 2012

lonely wounding

"Beyond its social dimension, shame also has a devastating personal complexity. When a person is sexually abused or raped, she often feels great shame at what happened to her. The strategy of such violence is to make the victim feel guilty and even responsible for what has happened. Sometimes this personal shame makes the victim silent and passive; consequently, the crime never becomes public. In some instances the threat of social shame further strengthens the decision to stay silent. Part of the essential work in healing such lonely wounding is to help the person see her own innocence and goodness and thus unmask the absolutely unwarranted violence of such intrusion and attack. When a person begins to see this, she often begins to awaken the force of anger within her in relation to what has happened to her. The fire of anger can be magnificent in burning off the false garments of shame." (John O'Donohue)

I've actually been feeling really good and happy lately but these words are ever-bolstering and I need to share them so they can make it out to whoever needs the ongoing encouragement. I came across copies of my marriage certificate yesterday and buried them in the front yard. I've burned things for ritual soul-cleansing - which is great for anger - but burying is also satisfying because it feels like a solid ending, and a way to acknowledge the total death and release of something to decompose into fodder for new growth. Now I am off to pay the $157.50 to get my maiden name back legally - I've changed it everywhere else I could but just had to wait till I had the money and my bankruptcy case was finished. I am SO HAPPY - I'm going to skip my way out of the court clerk's office...