Grateful Clarity is a small book of poems I wrote while I was experiencing the real-life events that inspired them. It is a book about abuse and the many scars it etches in the human soul. I cannot, yet openly discuss the details of the abuse I’ve endured, so Grateful Clarity gave my soul some much-needed validation at the time. It was an outlet for my pain. In poetry, metaphors can express what raw, cold words dare not write.
I feel every victim (I prefer the word survivor) of abuse gravely needs one thing—validation. To not have your pain and suffering recognized is a re-injury. It cuts deeper than the abuse! It is like aftershocks from an earthquake, tremors of fear, uncertainty, and insecurity that do not end. Sadly, most survivors of abuse will never receive validation. Their story will never be told.
Emotional/psychological abuse has far-reaching effects. It can program you to be someone you are not. It can morph your soul and take away your light. It can destroy your self-esteem. It can train your mind to abuse yourself through negative self-talk. Depending on the age at which it occurs, the effects can vary in degree.
I know firsthand the severe pain and aftermath of abuse. I have been through the denial stage, the numb stage, the “hold-it-together at all cost” stage, the shame, the fear, the guilt, the cognitive dissonance, the “who am I” stage, and the “how could I be so blind,” and “does God love me stage” etc. Unfortunately, leaving an abusive situation is not the end. It is just the beginning. First there needs to be awareness, a waking up to what you’ve been through. Then the healing can begin. It is a roller coaster ride. It is a hard-core fight with your very soul every single day. It takes courage for a survivor to step out of abuse and gather the energy needed to heal. It is every bit comparable to a physical injury. In physical therapy, you have to push through pain to get your body functioning normally again. In soul therapy, it is no different. You have a choice to mask the pain, or do the work to recover. I hope you choose recovery.