A friend told me that each person, especially one who has withstood particularly vicious childhood traumas, should share one’s story. She gave similar reasons to why each person should write a book…
–The argument is that one can protect others by telling one’s own Story, thereby breaking the Silence-Shame-Intimidation-Exploitation cycle.
How? I suppose that as one progresses, and learns how to overcome, those lessons learned along the way can help prevent that same harm from befalling other vulnerable people. But, again: how?
- If the first childhood memory is one of sad anger, of loss, the green Caddy driving to NYC may impede, for a lifetime, that love of large cars and of the Big Apple that so many Americans seem to boast. If that memory is tied to a borough where the kids rejected you, and your next memory was of being locked in a room, at 4 years of age, hearing your mothers screams as furniture fell and things broke in the living room, as her boyfriend beat her, how do you use this to protect others?
By coming up with a plan for teaching children to protect themselves from silence, from shame, intimidation and from exploitation, via:
A New Adult Rite of Passage.
2. If one survived CSA at 6, and was told by one’s mother not to tell, how do we protect children from parents who can protect neither their children nor themselves? -Teach kids that Silence = Death, because silence can lead to suicide, after a few years. Do this via a set of
Prerequisites to Adulthood.
3. If one took refuge from bullies by running and retreating, how to undo that shame? -Teach kids that we ALL have aright to our personal boundaries, to equal bodily respect, and to equal human dignity. And, teach all kids various types of self-defense, starting with an appropriate martial art.
4. If one was refused self-defense because “young ladies don’t fight” but came home in bruises that were ignored, how does one learn to stand up to intimidation? -Teach kids that it is ok to stand up and defend oneself (did I mention age and size appropriate martial arts?).
5. If one was again abused as a teenager, how to learn not to exploit nor be exploited? -teach the words “I Refuse” and (did I mention martial arts?), for the bleak necessity, that it is better to be bruised or broken on the outside, than broken on the inside.
So, it seems that one’s story can be more productive than just talk therapy. Perhaps one story can help many people.
Action Items in support of protection and hope that you can take right now:
1.) Think of two things you can do to help build more empathy into our culture.
2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.
3.) Share your thoughts on how those two actions or ideas would eventually help build a safer and kinder world for all people
4.) Write a blog post about it, and share that link for us to re-share, please.
Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness, #EndMoneyBail & achieve safety for All Human Beings?
Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport