Thursday, December 15, 2011

Some days, I can't feel

I am a very "intense" person. I feel greatly, love hard, anger angrily, run after things I want like my legs are on fire. My youngest son is the same way. I see so much of me in his tiny, ambitious and intense self.

But there is another side of me that has been numbed by abuse. The days where I just can't feel. I can't cry, I can't find smiles, I just don't know how I feel. And to me, there is nothing that comes out of that. I. can't. feel. I recently started working on some abuse related issues with my therapist and I am supposed to let feelings of my childhood come to me and accept them and feel them. I am supposed to cry if I need to, scream if I need to, call my best friend and let words of seething anger pour out if I need to. I am simply supposed to allow myself to feel. Seems like it shouldn't be too difficult to feel. But the thing is, I have never let myself feel before what abuse was like. I remember and I know the stories. But just like when I was a child, I put it on a shelf deep down inside myself and refused to feel it. Now, as an adult, I am back at that place and I can't feel.

Feeling makes something real. It makes something "intense". It interprets life for you. It lets you experience new things how they are intended to be experience. I have lost some of that. I don't experience new relationships like they are meant to be experienced. Or my sons first day of preschool in a way it should be experienced. It is the constant burial of feeling revealing itself to me as an adult. And I have escaped relatively unscathed. I am sure we can all think of people who have experienced abuse who are barely functional.

Maybe this seems off topic from Slavery?

Well, it isn't. Because when I look at this face:
Photo Credit: JD Richardson
I see that he can't feel. Those feelings are buried deep down inside of him. Those feelings are buried deep down inside of millions of people just like him. Who are forced to work long days, abused, malnourished, abandoned by the people who are supposed to protect them, manipulated, tortured...

And THEY MATTER. We do not, as a world community, want to let millions of people grow up in slavery. Millions of children who don't know how to feel. Who can't feel. Millions of children who know violence to solve problems. Millions of children who have learned that children are worthless. Millions of potential leaders. Millions of potential doctors, teachers, lawyers, advocates, business owners. Potential torn from their hands and replaced with feelings of lost hope and worthlessness. 

Some days, I can't feel. But today, I feel intensely. I feel intense sadness that children have to live like this and go through so much simply to survive. That their potential has been stolen.

But I also feel as intensely that we can all do our part and help these kids. We can rescue them and love them and prepare them to be the next leaders and advocates in their community. It can't start with them who are bound in slavery. What power to change things do they have? We have to step up and protect the innocent and abused. I am standing up. And I will keep standing up and doing my part. I hope you will join me.

Because that smile, is hope.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Debra, I love your post. I feel it is good to get somethings out, no matter how, sometimes writing is the way. It is good that you have a therapist, it helps so much, but sometimes it is such hard work. Even one session. I aplod you for doing this hard work, it is a long road (and rocky) to finding peace and comfort for things that are way down deep in your soul. Sometimes being numb is easier than feeling. I know in my heart it is not the way, but sometimes it gets us through the day. I am sending a hug your way as a friend.