Restoring Justice for Self Healing
Today, the New moon is in Leo (click to check your horoscopes). Today, my rapist was sentenced in the court of law for the crimes he admitted guilt to. Today, the part of my story in which I have to chase justice, has closed. Today, I acknowledge and accept that my healing does not depend on the administration of the law. Today, justice was "restored"and I didn't feel a thing.
We think these procedures exist to help us heal. This system is not concerned with individuals harmed, this system maintains a facade of care for humanity. How does one "serve justice" without perpetrating more harm within humanity? Once someone has done something "unjust" against you--it cannot be undone. Balance cannot be restored, the playing field will never be evened and life is not fair.
We think we have control over "justice" when the truth is we only have control over what "justice" means in relation to our healing. "Justice" is an illusion, as those of who have sat and watched innocent black and brown lives be lost within the system. My white rapist will serve 10 years probation for admitting to raping a child. What a slap in the fucking face. But the truth is that my entire life I knew that this process wasn't going to make me "feel better". It is the reason I have remained silent for over 20 years. The only reason this process was initiated was because I had finally healed enough to expose myself to this kind of systemic and organizational trauma.
I have had to witness too many unhealed victims be destroyed by the criminal justice system. Healing in silence has allowed me to observe and weigh carefully the ways in which survivors are treated, responded to and advocated for. Healing in silence has allowed me to turn inward and make room for the things that only I knew were bringing healing to my soul, and my brain (a C-PTSD diagnosis is likened to that of having a Traumatic Brain Injury. Let's not forget that most of us have experienced actual physical trauma or substance use that exacerbates injuries or trauma to the brain). Healing in silence has built a fortress of strength and a fountain of healing that exists within me.
In order to process and work through my emotions related to healing in silence I naturally had to be creative. I found, and still do find, myself living within metaphors and finding ways to disassociate from my true, inured self. The expressive arts have always been a source of healing energy for me and for my injured spirit. Today, I was reminded of one of my favorite self-therapy exercises. I've taught this only one other person, but it has helped me personally for as long as I can remember.
In order for me make sense of my trauma, I had to give my "trauma" an energy, or a spirit that I could somehow engage with. Trauma truly is this inescapable, inexplicable force that we can only feel, and never truly see, explain or comprehend. In order to heal from my trauma, I had to direct my attention to my trauma, but we know that directing attention to trauma can lead to serious PTSD symptoms. Healing truly does feel like a double edged sword times.
So I gave my trauma an energy. I turned it into a thing that I could direct my energy and attention to--but was existing outside of my trauma narrative. What I mean by that is, rather than addressing the moments in which I was living in trauma, I choose to acknowledge my trauma as a collection of energies and experiences that exist outside of my being and my center of control. Trauma is not something that I am, that lives within me or that I am responsible for maintaining. It is the healing that I am, that lives within me and that I am responsible for.
With this notion, and with my trauma finally separated from my Self I was able to address it, like I would have my abuser, or the circumstances that created my trauma. It's hard to have actual conversations with my trauma but I love to sing love songs to my trauma. More like break up songs rather than love songs, but they're always kind of a little bit of both. And I honestly can relate to wanting my trauma to be a blanket for me to keep hiding under. but that I need to let it go for good. I was reminded of this little trick when I woke up this morning with the perfect song to sing to my trauma was stuck in my head.
I had to play the song, so that I could truly sit with the message and I was struck by how much the lyrics resonated with what I wanted to tell my trauma.
"Where we've been, what we know
Will never go away..."
Justice is not a vehicle to healing. You are the vehicle. Justice never implied a protection from harm. Justice implies we will call out harm where we see it. It does not lay within the hands of a judge or a jury. Justice is within the eye of the oppressed; healing is within the soul of the oppressed. Finding ways to not only confront my abuser, but also my own trauma habits has been the most profound restoration of justice. After all, justice is simply defined, in part, as "the quality of being just, impartial, or fair" and that is a choice I make for my Self and for every person I encounter.
I have learn how to let go of the Past Life I lived in silence and with trauma habits that looked too much like self-sabotage. These lyrics, and that of other songs related to growth, transformation and of declaring an ending point keep me centered in the restoration of my just-ness. Finding my story in the narratives of others, creating metaphors to protect the fragility of my spirit and distinguishing between my trauma and my healing has changed my life and my world view.
This message empowered me to step forward in the court room this morning and address the man who abused and silenced me for 20+ years. I am no longer the past self who is silent, fearful and passive. I am no longer the past self who is vulnerable, naive and desperate. I am no longer a victim, traumatized or lost. I have found ways to restore justice within my Self and I hope that I can help others restore a sense of justice within themselves as well. We know it certainly will never be found within a the American Criminal Justice system...