I write about my experience. I have had depression since I was fourteen years old, perhaps before. However, at fourteen, I became numb. The term would be disassociation. For the native, it is a sense of living in a dream. It is a sense of walking underwater. It is a sense that one exists in a state of slow motion. It is a sense that one is not “real”. I recognized this condition upon the death of my son because I was catapaulted into a state of shock. Only then, did I realize that a similar state of shock had been my lifetime position.
At my son’s funeral, I stood next to the coffin as if there were really NOT a coffin.In my house, there were dozens of people who were crying, but I could not cry. I could not feel. If one has experienced a state of shock, one will recognize it. For me, I have been in a state of shock since I was a young child. However, I functioned quite well considering the level of trauma I experienced at home. However, as happens in many situations in life, the trauma reached critical mass and I became perpetually depressed and numb.
I, often, don’t know why I write about certain things, such as the above. However, I think it is to describe the state of being of a person who is in shock. The native develops many strange manners of coping. Some are stranger than others but all are “unreal”. By “unreal”, I mean that they are not based in reality. They are based on trying to make sense of the past, exorcise the past or re-write the past, such that one is, finally, “good enough” in the present *SIGH*
I say the aforementioned thoughts to set the stage for how one goes from a state of shock to a state of personal power. This transformation must occur if one is to overcome depression. One essential ingredient of depression is helplessness. The abused child was consigned to a life of perpetual helplessness. She lived in fear of the abuser’s rage. Her repetoire of behaviors were limited to those which would ward off the abuser. Her life was that of a solider in battle, or worse. At least battle lines have clarity. The enemy is agreed upon. For the abused child, there are none of these comfortable advantages. She lives by her wits and her wits, often, give way to depression which becomes chronic and perpetual, lasting a lifetime.
I think I have described the state in which the abused child finds herself. I think I have elucidated the roots. I think I have shown a path out of depression. That path is one’s anger and personal power. This will be the subject of the remainder of the article.
Both personal power and anger are lost to the abuse victim because the native will blame herself for her abuse. As an adult, if the native can transfer responsibility from her own shoulders onto those of the abuser, she will begin to heal depression. The fate of abuse victims is to jettisons personal power in favor of safety. This is due to the fact that their childhood was so, terribly, unsafe. Seeking safety becomes a dominant theme in the lives of abuse victims. Safety is defined in different ways for different people. For some, safety may be sought in money. For others, it may be sought in prestige. For others, it may be sought in beauty. For others, it may be sought in popularity. However, the search for safety of some sort will be an ongoing life theme for the abuse victim.
The problem inherent in this strategy is that personal power and safety do not really mix. I will give some examples. If one wants to have personal power, one must speak from one’s authentic voice. One’s authentic voice does not, usually, bring one popularity. It, often, makes one disliked. Hence, these goals are not compatible. Often, one will not find money simply by seeking it. One will find it by discovering one’s passion and bringing it to the world. A native who is afraid to take a stand may have a difficult time promoting herself in such a way that she can ascertain her passion. Hence, safety and personal power may be incompatible. I hope that you get the picture I am trying to portray. Personal power, by definition, is a stepping away from safety. Abuse makes one cling to the fence. Personal power involves moving away from the fence to the center of the playground, in which one is alone and exposed.
I will be back