What is missing from the ‘metoo’ surge ?
I’m doing a copy and paste here.
This is a rough piece of writing that I shared on my personal Facebook feed earlier this week. There was some positive feedback from friends, colleagues, some old clients, so I thought I’d share my observations as a women and as a professional who works with those who a) have been abused and b) those who have abused others.
The tricky thing here is that when I post on my personal feed I’m preaching to the well informed and regulated choir. The key will be getting this understanding to those who still can’t understand this. Hopefully in due time more will understand what I’ve written below and why it is critical to understand so we can heal trauma of all kinds.
Please share this is you feel so compelled. Thanks for reading. Irene.
Oh dear. I’m worried about the ‘me too’ campaign that is happening.
Hear me out. Agree or don’t agree. But, I got to get this off my chest as someone who helps people heal after they’ve been abused.
Ok. Here it goes …
I know this is helping bring awareness to the table which IS important, AND, I’m also seeing it create a greater divide and a lot of poisonous blame coming out of this.
I was thinking about this all week, then today my husband got verbally attacked via Facebook. Someone asked where all the guys are who are helping the cause, supporting the feminine, speaking up etc.
So, he decided to comment.
He mentioned that he helps women heal from sexual trauma and all sorts of abuse (which he does). He posted his blog that offers education and simple tools to help heal trauma and the core wounds of abuse from a biological and nervous system framework which is essential for healing all traumatic wounds and especially those of the sexual and spiritual nature.
And he was attacked for self-promoting when in fact he was just trying to help and spread some healing education. (Trust me, he was.)
Are women looking for the men who were the abusers so they can hate them a little more and keep re-traumatizing themselves?
I know that is a very loaded question, but it is a serious asking.
And I ask because I fear we are going down a slippery slope.
Like my husband, being someone who works with MANY women and men who have been abused sexually (and for many of them the abuse happened when they were infants and kids and from their family members … which is another problem with our society, but I digress) …
— I see TWO PARTS to the equation that are NOT being talked about and if we fail to talk about them and then follow that talk with action then none of us will be any better off (just as a lot troubles with racism haven’t improved in the USA, or social inequalities worldwide, or poverty worldwide, pollution and harm to the environment worldwide … and so on and so on).
Here are those two parts if you are interested:
1 — Healing the trauma that was incurred.
> The only way to create a positive ripple effect outwards so that the entire systemic trauma issue heals for real is to heal our own persona, psyche, mind, physiology, nervous system. If we were victims to ANY kind of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual) we MUST heal *our* wounds ourselves, and, with the help of those who can support this process. No one can do it for us, and yet, we need help for this process to happen as we can’t heal trauma in isolation, especially when the trauma was relational.
> When we keep the survival energy bound up inside it doesn’t release the pressure that IN FACT makes us more susceptible to future abuse. This is a tough one for many to understand, but when we have old traumatic stress bound up inside of us we become beacons for attracting more trauma (or, dosing it out to others, our kids etc.) A sad fact, but true.
> Healing doesn’t mean forgiving at the start, but blaming our attackers and abusers isn’t going to help either. Be angry and downright pissed at them because you have every right to YES, but please be careful at pointing that hate and anger to those who have not hurt us and who might be trying to help.
> Healing this type of trauma often means imagining killing and harming our attackers and hurting them. Playing out the imagined scenario of what you “could have done if you didn’t freeze and shut down and if you had more capacity to protect yourself.”
> Please, save your rage for that kind of process, where it can be harnessed for incredible good that heals not only you, but the future you and the world.
> REMEMBER: Healing means letting out our animal instincts when they’ve been thwarted from previous abuses and threats to our well being.
2 — Understand that those who hurt have been hurt as well.
This is the part that is most difficult to understand.
> Unresolved trauma creates more trauma. Those who harass, abuse, rape .. do so for a myriad of reasons, but it is safe to say that somewhere along the road of their life they were gravely hurt and harmed as well. Does it make what they do right? Of course not. Should they not be punished? Of course they should. But, the energetic hate that is being fired up right now is palpable in the world and we must understand that these acts of violence, harassment and crime are happening because there is a systemic trauma alive and well across the ENTIRE human condition.
> We can’t win this “battle” or fight the good “fight” if we don’t realize that those who do the hurting are also hurting.
> Rehabilitation needs to happen, but, as anyone knows, a child who is behaving badly doesn’t improve in a positive way when they are shamed with hate and humiliation and finger pointing from their caregivers when they do something wrong. It only makes them fight back more, or retract and shy away and shut down (um, hello emotional repression that then comes out a violence and abuse later in life to someone else that isn’t their parents). To help a child behaving baldy requires a special type of correction that is still loving yet stern, a “what you just did was REALLY bad” — kind of energy. And it requires continued connection and empathy for change to occur. I feel we need to get better that this kind of correction and discipline that still is connected with love.
Now, final point.
> Many might think this; “but these abusers, attackers, those who harass aren’t 5 year olds!! They should know better not to do this abuse!!” I know, right? This trips me up too! Seems kind of crazy that a grown adult (men and women) could act with such harm towards other human beings — and especially towards innocent kids who might be their own — but here’s the thing that we have to understand: Those who DO act this way may be in the body of an adult, but their emotional capacity is that of a 3–4 year old who still has not learned right from wrong (they were the kids who were never taught in a stern, yet loving way: that is NOT right you could hurt someone, or yourself.)
> The cycles are vicious and I plead with everyone reading this to bring empathy to the whole world right now. Our human experiment has been failing for a long time and we need to turn this ship around so we can bring more goodness to humanity before it sinks.
I believe it starts by understanding WHY people harm and hurt others and then doing what is necessary to tend to these very old wounds in a “do no harm” kind of way -
because frankly I’m not so sure throwing fire on fire is going to put the current fire out and that is what I’m feeling more and more these days.
Thanks for reading.
I do hope we can HEAL all wounds.
Everyone deserves this healing.