There is a dirty little secret about abuse and the damage it does. There are too many victims but not everyone is content to remain a victim. Some, sometimes with help, sometimes alone, overcome the gift that keeps on giving. The truly brave ones bring it out into the light, not in a search for sympathy, but to expose to the light the darkness thrust on them by someone else.
I invited today’s guest contributor to share her story, not the petty details but the dark side the abused go through in order to find the life we were meant to have. She kindly consented and I admire her for the courage it takes to expose yourself to the world without reservation or apology.
She has a real name but I met her as Rainbow Woman and she will remain Rainbow Woman to me. She exemplifies what life can be like after the storm and I admire her courage and for the optimism she reclaimed in her life.
|The Rainbow Woman|
Not long ago I visited a Shaman for the usual reasons; life was seriously messed up and it seemed like something someone more qualified should take care of. During the wondrously kooky session Bandana Shaman referred to me as “a great she-bear protecting her family.” Perhaps it is from this element of myself this piece is written for A Bear’s Rant. The weekly words for this blog come from a passionate and aware human and mine are in an effort to bring 3D light to his tireless effort to make people look at what’s under the wrapping paper.
As a child I could have been described as Chicken Little warning villagers.
“The sky is falling!”
“I am being kicked, punched, demeaned and molested!”
Shhhhh. It’s a secret.
Mayhem swirled around the wee girl while no one spoke or offered a hand, leaving her to search for those who would show great courage. Grandma Lupe stood at the door of her run down castle in East Los Angeles, smelling of bacon grease and roses offering comfort when there was none.
A middle school teacher, Mr. Curtis showed there are safe and kind males mentoring other people’s leftovers. Junior year, Mrs. Paulsen impersonated Miss Haversham from Great Expectations, presenting a book world full of truth and hope to a young girl with nothing left to lose.
Later, my husband stood still and didn’t run when the tidal wave of childhood haunted every aspect of life, threatening to consume all light. Gabrielle rode the wave alongside, listening to ugly words about pain and horror, showering me with friendship. Dr. D. the wise sage heard stories no one should have to hear and held the hand of a human enduring the agony of review.
Heroes are those who see and act. They don’t sit behind a reefer hiding from truth or ignore what’s happening in the neighborhood because things could get messy if someone got involved. Those two teachers provided hope of possibility and for that to happen it was nurtured inside them against the onslaught of adult reality.
Grandma stood at the door of a ramshackle house after a lifetime of abuse, decades picking vegetables for farmers or working a factory line while raising six kids unassisted by church or government, accompanied by a drunken gambler. Yet standing before a broken child her spirit managed to well forth sprinkling the hope of possibility.
The man I married couldn’t possibly have imagined the putrid stew which lay hidden under the white dress as I walked toward him at the altar. When mayhem reactivated, he faced it with eyes wide open holding my hand, asking me to hang onto hope and possibility. Gabrielle and Dr. D. didn’t shy from what emerged before them, each took time and care to scrape what was left of me from the bottom of my shoe, all while encouraging to look for hope and possibility.
Each person in this story took a risk. It is difficult to stand in vomit and not want to take a shower or cover the smell. Under the illusion of the “pursuit of happiness”, life is being missed while people bathe reality away.
“Does facing reality destroy the pursuit of happiness?”
Yes, because it is the carrot on the stick dangled in front of a tired half dead animal dragging a gaggle of tourists through dirty city streets. Put the reefer, illusion, the pursuit down and stand in the vomit. Hiding eyes in the middle of a horror movie doesn’t make the sounds go away or action stop, it merely saves the nightmare for bedtime.
As a child I searched for heroes, people to step out of the fray and give me a reason not to quit. Life is ridiculously hard and surprisingly beautiful. Each layer of flesh laboriously debrided brought healing. It is difficult to fathom the importance of healing when it is considered under the downy comfort of delusion. Hope and possibility are not about happiness, the wrong words were put together all those years ago or our interpretation is flawed. A wounded people arrived in America to heal from subjugation and create something from nothing. The forefathers came from pain and over the centuries all people have continued to create more in a pointless pursuit which is killing the possibility for hope.
Ignoring mayhem doesn’t make it go away, the nightmare unfolds without ceasing. Careful, thoughtful agonizing debridement lights a path towards healing. Beat up, fucked up and lost, people reached out and wiped the blood from my knees.
Today, I am called Rainbow Woman. I believe in the bridge between horror and healing. The vibrant colorful arc is called awareness. Bear is a hero standing in the vomit pointing out truth, humans need to put on the hip waders and start cleaning up the mess.
To read more from Rainbow Woman: http://20gurusandadog.com
© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
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