I was raped. There, I said it. Although this incident happened in my life nearly 25 years ago, those three words were hard for me to voice. As a writer I have written about my experience, but to actually try to say those words, I would find I couldn't utter them.
I know I should have been shocked by the video of the student being thrown to the floor in a classroom in South Carolina. But I wasn't. As the mother of a child with autism, I know all about the use of restraints and seclusion.
His trajectory as an American Christian of Arab descent, who transformed into a Jew and then an Israeli who fights for his country, has certainly shaped Lemay as a complex individual with a variety of viewpoints relating to identity, of his own, and of the other.
Unfortunately, victim blaming is still a frequent occurrence when the topic of sexual assault arises. Media coverage and comments that place blame upon the survivor, only serve to perpetuate the shame and guilt that they may already be experiencing
With these and other tools I've learned to trust that yoga, dance and other movement are so much more than a physical practice. We heal our minds and spirits along with our bodies as we celebrate ourselves through movement.
If it happened to a friend, a third cousin twice removed, a parent, an ex-best friend, a stranger, it doesn't matter. The way you feels matters. It doesn't matter why you feel the way you do; all that matters is what you feel. It is legitimate.
How can I do justice to the fact that every traumatized woman in the world is more than what has happened to her, more than the worst memory she has, if that memory is the most of what I know about her, and therefore the most of what I have to tell you about her?
The effects of not only facing the life threatening storm but the after-effects of displacement, lost income, closed businesses and coping with re-building, mold remediation, insurance disputes and other disruptions continue to have a profound effect on the mental health of those affected.
Jumping at one's own shadow is a perfect metaphor for living with post-traumatic stress disorder. A darkness that sets up permanent camp in your peripheral vision and won't go away, no matter how much sage you burn, or how many gods you pray to.
In the past, there would be few options left for kids like Kevin. He would have continued to bounce from one foster setting to another without much chance of getting better. Not only would he never have the love and stability of a family, but he would likely spend much of his life in jail.
After loss or trauma, most of us wish that tomorrow would look the same as yesterday did before all of these difficulties. If we are lucky, we give up hope and say the words that open us to resilience and creativity: "This is awful,and I don't think it will change. What now?"
When you're walking along in a strange city, and you've studied the map and think you know where you're going, there's a period of time when you're actually going the wrong way but you haven't figured it out yet.
I still go to sleep wondering whether more bombs will appear in the city, whether my family will be okay, whether the sounds of sirens and the choppers of helicopters will bring memories of unease. I know I'm not alone.