About three weeks after I realized I was a ritual abuse survivor, a woman disclosed to me. She was thirty-five years younger than I was, but I felt instantly at home with her, more so than I ever had with anybody in my whole life. That internal voice that tirelessly intones, “What’s the matter with you?” fell silent. My very first instance of social comfort!!!
I’ve had many many more periods of social comfort since then. Some have been with this first friend, who I hope to see again soon. I feel that way whenever I am with a ritual abuse survivor, male or female, gay or straight, old, young, in-between.
So much peace and pleasure has come from the company of survivors, so much mutual understanding, so much shared laughter and tears. We understand each other, we finish each other’s sentences. It is such a blessing to feel “normal,” if even for a few moments.
I want others to have the pleasure of belonging, and that is why I am always encouraging people to reach out to each other, make contact, talk, overcome their terror of being known for who they are. And if we come together politically, across national borders, across religious, racial, and class divides . . . if we join with survivors of genocide, political torture, sexual slavery. . . if we raise our collective voice in simple truth and outrage . . . we might just change the world.
From the Survivorship Journal, Volume 10 Number 2