Is it considered consensual if I was curious and only nine years old at the time? What about if he was only a teenager himself? I lived in an interesting neighborhood.

 
Although these questions are rhetorical and had been adequately answered long ago, nothing is black and white when it comes to emotions. On the scope of “sexual abuse,” it was more benign, which made it all the more confusing to come to terms with. As is the case with many of these situations, there was coercion, but no violence. I suspect that it ended in a good way with me saying, “no more.” All in all, it was an empowering outcome. I never realized that before writing this. It is interesting how these experiences shape many events in one’s life.
 
Over time, I treated this in the same way I treated other traumatic experiences in my life; I talked about it in therapy, I utilized role-playing techniques, and I worked in many spiritual contexts to get to the other side of the feelings. Just as I felt ready to talk to the “perpetrator” he came to me to apologize. It was once suggested to me by a spiritual healer that this experience happened in order to heal a deeper karmic issue that was unresolved. There are many aspects of this childhood trauma that brought unexpected and synergistic healing for all concerned.
 
It has been said that many therapists choose the profession of psychotherapy because they need healing themselves. The archetype of the wounded healer describes a person who heals from the wound sustained from being in a human body and having traumatic human experiences with other humans. I believe this is why we incarnate, to evolve emotionally and to ascend spiritually. Healing from childhood trauma is a wonderful and necessary prerequisite for providing psychotherapy to others. During Werner Erhart’s training in California in the 80s, I received the culminating piece to heal this issue. Unless a return to empathy for all parties involved has happened, the issue is not complete. I realize that empathy and forgiveness happen naturally if the feelings have been allowed to be felt fully and completely.
 
As is usually the case when writing a blog entry, something synchronistic often occurs. When observing the candlelight ceremony honoring the one year anniversary of the tragedy in Newtown, CT, a mother of one of the slain children acknowledged that two more candles needed to be added to the existing twenty-six. After all, the perpetrator had taken his own life and the life of his mother prior to the slaughter in the elementary school. No one considered the devastation of mental illness that ravaged this young perpetrator and held the mother hostage for many years. By including these two souls, in my opinion the picture is complete for the greatest healing to occur. 
 
It was after I returned from California that I started my nearly ten year stretch at the community mental health center. The first case I was given was that of a sixteen-year-old perpetrator. And, as is often the case in these situations, the perpetrator had once been a victim himself. Empathy came easily for me after the work I had done in California. I recognize the synchronicity of the “completion” of my healing and my call to service. I knew there are no accidents and that I was right where I needed to be with the experiences that were necessary for my healing and the healing of others.
 
During the 1990s I wrote a poem that help to validate and integrate this issue in my life:
 

Image

The substance.
Sticky, viscous liquid
Alive with movement and intention
Like soldiers marching to battle.
 
The pungent smell of arousal
Awakens my senses
As it warms my heart
And speaks to my need.
 
 
 
But when did the soldiers declare mutiny
Turning against the host?
When does the salvation become the destroyer?
 
And finally the climax, the ultimate betrayal
With a slash through the heart so deep
There’s no hope for repair.
 
All is lost
In a desolate landscape.
And inward, a broken heart.
 
In the dark she cries
For the fragments of her spirit
Silently praying for the spark
To ignite her soul.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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