What happened during my break? Not much.
I had planned to travel the whole time, but my trip got cut short. While I was on the road, I didn’t have access to a computer, so not much willpower was involved. I did have an iPad, which I used mainly to take pictures. (As an aside, I am not fond of iPads. I find it hard to type on them, and even harder to spell check or make corrections. Guess I am loyal to my table top Mac.)
It wasn’t too hard to do without the Internet and e-mail, but I did feel a little unsettled. Not crazy, but like something important was missing. When I came back and plunged into my e-mail, I realized that it wasn’t video games or the newspaper but the contact with survivors that had been missing.
Survivors are my people, my community. They understand me like nobody else does. They get my weird humor and at times we can finish each others’ sentences. I say something to a survivor and get a bitter, “Oh yeah” in response, whereas a person who has not been ritually abused will reward me with a blank stare or look away in silent discomfort. The communality of being RA survivors transcends age, gender, race, nationality.
When I got home, I plunged right back into my e-mail support systems and my work. I felt like I was back where I was supposed to be. Not supposed to be as in “What’s the matter with you??? You are supposed to be doing XYZ ” But as in “Ah! I’m at home in myself. This is my life’s work.”
And there was no guilt in talking a break. It was refreshing; it rejuvenated me. I came back feeling deeply grateful that I have the time, the tools and the passion to do what I was born to do.