We have all experienced physical pain. Whether it is a bruised knee, bumped head or something more extensive like a broken bone. The truth is, we all have suffered some form or another that stays in our mental vault. However extreme those pains may have been, there’s others more haunting. Yes, I am speaking of the pain of the mind. That kind of physical pain that comes about whenever a triggered memory occurs. It is this type of pain that lives in the deepest recesses of our minds. Ones we desperately attempt to avoid and yet always shock us when reminded.
For myself, mental pain is a constant companion. Always there and an unwanted guest in my mind. It is a struggle and yet I push myself to overcome it daily. In truth, I am not as strong as some credit me to be. It is a cloak of illusion I wear to avoid pity or concern from those close to me. It does not mean I am weak or frail. No, in fact, it means I am strong and resilient. Pain is a reminder that we are alive and although it hurts, we survived.
Our past may have been the forge of our creation. But our present is the product of the process. Some turn to a darker side of themselves as a result. Those people never learned to recognize the trauma as a lesson. To use a trauma as an excuse to inflict harm upon others is not a restitution of your own experience. It is a perpetuation of a cycle that should have never been forced upon you to begin with. It is not justice, it is malice. Knowing what suffering felt like and then inflicting it onto others is a repeat of evil. There is no healing when you force others to live in your darkness.
For others, using that pain helps to empathize. Learning to temper our own suffering by helping others to heal from their own. Recognizing that you endured, did not shatter and that is a grace that should be shared. No one, no one should suffer a tragedy that could have been prevented. Using anger is a lazy person’s revenge for not having been strong enough to protect themselves. Using kindness and compassion is how we ensure that future generations will not be subjected to the cruelty we were. Where the fork in our path splits from revenge to mercy. Revenge being what was visited upon us and mercy of which should have been.
Every person must make a choice in life. To be a better human or to relive as the monster that inflicted our suffering. I choose to be the better. For me, revenge would inflict more pain onto myself. Since it would require me to go back and dig up the corpse of a broken soul. Only to force that soul to relive that death over and over once again. We should not place others in such a vulnerable situation as we, ourselves were forced into.
I have not many answers to these questions. Only the one living past the harm can create those answers. Perhaps, it is due to the personal complexity of the trauma? Maybe it is as simple as the fortitude required to push on. For whatever reason, you must decide on the path to walk. Choose a kinder way to heal and the reward will be seeing the respect of others. You are a precious part of life and should be gentle to your pain. Show yourself the love and understanding that was not given to you. Be the reason others see the light out of that horrific darkness. Consider yourself a teacher of solutions and not a victim of barbarism. You have a power that is still raw and untapped. It is the energy of a survivor that lifts others. That spark of beauty and brass that has pushed you could save another. Tell your story with pride and not shame. Replace that hate with generosity and acceptance. Do the impossible and find a blessing in the curse. Because although your past left scars it did not leave weakness. Each raised hardened mark on your body is a story of triumph. Like a map of a journey not yet ended. You are powerful in spirit and graceful in heart. Knowing that you looked right into the eye of so many storms and never allowing yourself to be torn away. No one owes you anything. However, you owe yourself a chance to thrive and to be given peace. That is something only you can receive from yourself. No one else can give you that.
I hope these posts help anyone who needs support. My goal is that my journey can help even one survivor. That would make it worth the decades of pain I endured.
Until next time, praise, love and peace to you.