The New Normal

The new normal. This is what I call living with the aftermath of being a child sexual abuse survivor. What is normal for me may not be normal for anyone else.

It definitely is not normal for those who have not been sexually abused as a child. The differences seem stark and I feel more stigmitized by the chasm between us. So I call my life, my existence, the new normal. The new normal based on what I experienced as an abused child.

I have a lot of fears. I have a lot of triggers. I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The have terrors in the night. I can’t sleep. I can’t think. I can’t work. I have a lot of rage and no where to put it. So I have to carry it around in my body and that makes for more stress, more aftereffects, more pain.  

I have chronic pain. I have a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, which is like saying well we are too lazy to find out what else it might be so we will give you this, cause we have let you be in pain for twenty years and we haven’t a clue.

I have Dissociative Identity Disorder. So I am in parts. And how we perceive and think and move through the world that may not be normal to most, but it is my normal. It has been my normal for almost all my life.

So normalizing my current and past experiences is a way of stopping some of the stigma and shame and blame that all survivors go through.

It is not my fault that someone used me sexually when I was just an infant and beyond. But I feel responsible. It is not my shame, it is their shame who abused me, but I feel it.  

I’m re-branding. This is the new normal for my life. For me. For my self-esteem. For my own level of happiness. For my healing work. For myself and for us.

So I look at me/us and say now that is one brave and courageous survivor. That is someone who is struggling against so much. She has a lot to be proud of and I am very proud of her/them.

Fan of the Boss

I love Bruce Springsteen. I really do. I have loved him since I was 21 years old.

I chose this topic because my mind was blank. It has been rainy off and on all weekend and I am kind of tired out. As well. I’m taking a muscle relaxant for my high pain issues (thank you abusers) and it makes me kind of weird, dumbed down, numbed out, disconnected and tired.

My last post was kind of rambling for me and difficult to give it a good flow and make the right kind of sense. Considering the topic it is not hard to understand why it was hard for me to focus, to write, and to get through it. Considering the topic it is not so hard to understand why I haven’t posted in a couple of day.

I’m not upset about anything. I haven’t really talked or interacted with a lot of survivor friends online over the weekend so I am not being fueled.

Tossing around a topic in my mind to write about brought me to Bruce Springsteen. I love him.

I love him as a singer and a poet. He is so fantastic to watch on-stage. He is incredibly gifted but also a working artist. One who works hard at his talent, developing it, thinking about society and issues including the imbalances in power and money, one who is courageous in feeling emotions and in sharing his thoughts, beliefs, and feelings.

I like to think that the kind of poet, the kind of person that I am today was shaped in some small measure by being a fan of his and the kind of human being he is.

He shows an understanding of power and the abuses of power, of money and the uses and abuses of money, of how a society can harm and aid its citizens, of what we as a people, a nation, a human being should be and do. He is an ethical and moral person. I feel a great connection to him.

I have never met him. I have never written to him. I have never gotten a front row seat to see him. I have sat in huge stadiums screaming for him, clapping for him and loving him. I sing every song, well the ones that I know the lyrics to. I have a concert tshirt from the last tour.

So I have never been in the position to ask him if he understands the issues and reality of child sexual abuse. Though he has written songs professing an understanding of abuse and standing up for those who are being violated and abused.

I have not ever gotten to ask him what he thinks about abusers and survivors. But everything that he has ever said about other types of abuse leads me to believe that he knows or would easily understand. That he would care and that he would offer me a hug, that he would sit with me and hold my hand and make me feel accepted and loved, and that he would write a song for all of us who have been hurt. If he could write a song like Tom Joad, an altered version of the end of the movie, The Grapes of Wrath, he understands and he is here with me, he is there with you.

Lyrics to The Ghost of Tom Joad:

Now tom said mom, wherever there’s a cop beatin’ a guy
Wherever a hungry newborn baby
cries
Where there’s a fight against the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me mom I’ll be there
Wherever there’s somebody fightin’ for a place to stand
Or a decent job
or a helpin’ hand
Wherever somebody’s strugglin’ to be free
Look in their eyes mom you’ll see me.

That is why I am posting about Bruce Springsteen. And why I am proud to say that I am a fan of the Boss.