Moving from the maelstrom …

A swell of very good people are struggling at the end of a gut wrenching week.

First, I hope that you are taking time out, during and from the madness, to just take care of your self and be grateful for what is good. There is always good.

Then, as the maelstrom ensues, may we all calmly seek some sort of perspective; some outside-this-moment thought process, which I admit to presently struggling for myself.

Out of recent social discussion, in obvious current events, where folks were civil, but of obvious and diametrically opposed thought; finding myself overwhelmed by the need for looking bigger picture, comes the following …

I invite you to look at epigenetics.

Think, “epic” and “generational”. In your own line of humans; in our collective lines of humans. The concept that each generation is affected, effected, adapted by, ravaged by, some social, national, international event(s) of epic proportion. The effects of each are then handed down, for better or worse, through all the generations that follow. No wonder then, we all might feel in chaos.

Just in our young country’s time (and we are a very young country, fellow humans), revolution, evolution, Civil War, slavery, abolition, women’s suffrage, hurricanes, earthquakes, WWI, drought, prohibition, The Great Depression, WWII, Korean Conflict, Vietnam War, civil rights, equal rights, human rights, assassinations, Watergate, AIDS, Gulf War, 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, market crash/recession, more hurricanes, wildfires, the opioid crisis, MeToo, Puerto Rico, internet and social media, Ford/Kavanaugh … clearly, you get the idea.

My point, dear people, and I do have one, is that each generation faces its own epigenesis; we either work through it, so that we can adapt and evolve, or we can be crushed by the chaos that consumes us.

Our internal, innate survivor, enables us to adapt and evolve, individually. What we choose to do with that evolution going forward, and how,  is up to us, individually and collectively.

This all said, my offering of the moment, something that gives me a bit of hope in difficult times, something from the next generation, developed by my now grown son, (educated by all our tax dollars and his own epigenetics, poor lad), and now his own amazingly well-evolved work team  … wherever U stand, TheVoteNeedsU …

The voice that no longer serves…

Denial of truth doesn’t make something untrue.

How often, we hear the phrases, “he’s such a good man”, “it didn’t happen,  “he wouldn’t do that”, and “I didn’t/wouldn’t do that”?

What perpetrator ever actually says “oh, yeah, I am that guy; I’m an abuser, I’m a rapist.”?

Generally, it’s one person’s word against another’s when it comes to abuse.

So, most often, we don’t speak.

Now, seemingly through every manner of media, survivors of abuse are met with groupthink denials of assault, pervasively based in, when we get right down to it, political affiliation. Assault victims are “all lying”, because a current nominee to the Supreme Court faces assault allegations.

Rest assured, there is just as pervasive a group reaction.

Our initial reactive mind in the face of such pervasive denial?  Words alone can leave us feeling re-traumatized; even re-victimized.  We may spend years rising above, recovering from abuse, from assault, from rape; rebuilding our lives. If you haven’t lived it, you can’t know. To have survived though, we have already learned about our reactive mind. We understand that these haunted, horrifying feelings resurfacing, by whatever trigger, but especially in the face of  current events, are a natural response.

So how do we work past our natural reaction to group dismissal? Whether we have spoken our truth out loud, whether we reported or not, whether we were 35, or 24, or, 6 years old (or all three), we are still here. We are not negated.

Choosing conscious action, be it finding a support group or hitting a punching bag; writing… a journal, a blog; registering (and exercising our right) to vote; writing and calling elected officials; working, living, trying to maintain our gratitude for the good in life – we alone, determine our steps forward.  Listening to our intuition, asserting our positive action, walking our own path, this is where our learning lies and how we continue to grow.

It is also where courage is needed.

The closer we get to speaking up, the louder our inner critic gets, with reasons to keep our mouth shut and our head down. That critic speaks from the past, not the present. That voice no longer serves us, no matter how persuasive.

None of my perpetrators ever questioned my politics.

I was 35. I was 24. I was 6.

I am still here.

I vote … and I am not alone.

#WhyIDidntReport … #ItStillHappened

Trending on twitter, #WhyIDidntReport, in response to the current barrage of commentary in media, in politics, in general conversation, around why a woman would wait decades to report sexual assault or rape.

The free press and social media have opened the floodgates for all manner of pundit and politico, to pass judgment on how or when an accuser should make an attack known. This, obviously, in relation to the accusation by a college professor against the current nominee for the Supreme Court, regarding a sexual assault alleged to have occurred when they were still in high school.

One of the frequent comments: the decades since the alleged incident, and why so long to report. This pervasive judgment, through ignorance alone, speaks volumes toward why victims struggle. It has also prompted all manner of women, and men, to tweet #WhyIDidntReport. Go; read some of the Twitter thread. Just pick a spot and read a few. These are human beings still struggling to speak, and some are speaking for the first time. It’s moving. It’s haunting. It’s heartbreaking. It’s liberating. It’s empowering.

Why I didn’t report?

1. I was 6. I didn’t know ANYTHING.

2. I was 23, alone in another state, visiting a high school friend. We had been been drinking. By the end of the night, an acquaintance had raped me. Yes, I said no, many times, before I passed out. The next day was my flight home. I told no one, until many years later. The first person I told …  became my next abuser.

3. I was 35, outside the U.S., and sexually assaulted. I came home and said nothing… for years.

To those speaking truth to power, you matter, you inspire…  and I believe you. #WhyIDidntReport #ItStillHappened