Violence. My relationship with violence is a visceral one and might always be.
I grew up in a very violent household — everything ranging from physical and sexual abuse to murder. It may seem a little shocking to just state that sort of thing, but hey, it wasn’t my fault. I have nothing to be ashamed of or to hide. And, I’ve worked really hard over many years to work through the associated PTSD. Now, I’m happy and an awful lot of work went into being able to say that.
Violence no longer paralyzes me and I don’t wake up screaming anymore either. But I believe I may always have a near sixth sense about it. It’s one of those survival mechanisms that people in these situations may learn from a young age — the ability to sense when someone is about to blow. Happily, I don’t live in dread of it happening any more but I still don’t go out of my way to be around people who I feel are capable of that sort of violence.
My perspective on violence continues to evolve. I wonder what unconscious coping habits I still have, though. One deeply ingrained habit was of always expecting the worst to happen. Imagine how fun I was to live with. Happily, when this habit was pointed out to me, it rang true and I was able to make some changes. Expecting good things is a much better way to live.
I wonder what else I automatically do? I lock my car doors. I lock my house. I won’t walk alone at night. Not having grown up with a conscious understanding of why it’s good to take certain precautions, I don’t know if they’re ‘normal’ or not. I’m not loosing any sleep over it, but I do wonder.
This is an odd, string of consciousness sort of post. I think the significant thing that I’m wondering is if I still have subconscious attitudes and motivators based on a traumatic upbringing. Maybe. Probably. Who knows? The sense of peace I now feel in life is probably my best barometer.
But, I still lock my doors.
Susan Scot Fry
Fascinating day. I thought about people who are struggling to get out of the muck. I even googled ‘womens shelter milwaukee’ and thought about how I could help. In the past I donated Ren Faire tickets to a battered women’s shelter and sent money to Darkness to Light (a Great organization!). Somehow, now I think that the connection will be with people who could use a little Shakespeare. Boy, it helped me to get a little Bard in my life.
This day of significance was a good one for me. A wee bit of coming out of the closet and much more acknowledging that I’ve lived the same life that so many have. My background is not unique. I’d say that that’s sad, but why cast yet another pall over people who have survived circumstances beyond their control? Instead, it is what it is. It was what it was.
Living consciously through daily acts of significance is not easy. Once I think hard about something, I’m obligated to it. Once I wake up, I can’t go back to sleep.
I’m good with that.