How do you write about something that people are afraid to see? How to you expose an undermining, but insidious practice? How do you change peoples’ minds? How does a civilization heal from the wounds of abuse?
Abuse changes our physiology, central nervous system and brain chemistry. Memories are made as we evaluate our life experiences in terms of the worldview we continuously formulate. When there has been physical, emotional, sexual or mental abuse, the memories we form – those of the abuse and otherwise – are distorted by the painful and threatening stimulation of the abuse. Instead of simply processing and cataloguing all of our experiences as normal, they are first filtered through a heightened and primitive lens of survival that includes an unconscious awareness of the physical sensations and the visual images of the abuse. Time does little to alter the abusive experience that is now unconsciously integrated into the mind, body and spirit. A person who has been abused will struggle with anxiety, depression, and anger.
What would our culture look like if we awoke to the pervasive practices of abuse and compassionately stood witness to the the fear and shame abuse instills in the mind, body, and spirit of humans?
Tami Boehle-Satterfield has challenged herself in 2016 to post week about the unpopular topic of abuse. Learn more about Tami at attentiontoliving.com