Saturday, 12 February 2011

A Survivors Manifesto

An alarming number of adults in the so-called 'civilised' world have little or no empathy for themselves as infants and small children - most have no recall of those times, which is why that empathy seems rare.... and so this also explains why most parents are at a loss with babies and small infants and therefore tend to try to control them, because they have no empathy, they cannot sense the childs needs... and so controlling the baby feels safer and so they look for INSTRUCTIONS.... and are vulnerable to those who give instructions - yet the body knows and if trusted the adult can learn empathy again and recover....

As a child I was beaten, humiliated, punished, or neglected in one way or another, almost daily, and I HAD to believe that I was wrong and deserved the beating, just to maintain my psyche,  even if I did not understand WHY I was being beaten (or their reasons for it). 

I also had to believe the FAITH they hammered into me and that brought me great fear, for I feared I was sinful, nasty, ugly,

It took a long, long time to lose those beliefs about myself.... to find my true heart, my natural integrity.

I consider myself VERY lucky to have made that journey, and whilst it IS infuriating that so many of my brothers and sisters are still stuck in the beliefs and denial, my REAL anger is directed at all those who ensure that the conditioning continues; for the rest, patience and empathy.....

My story is not at all rare, and comparitively speaking, I was lucky..... the stories I read of other childrens lives make that very clear : my point here to make it clear that many, many people have been conditioned by circumstance and Society, rather than truly loved... and only those who are truly loved, not least by themselves, can resist that conditioning in meaningful ways....

I know what it is like to be conditioned and fearful.

I deeply appreciate all the love and support I have received and continue to receive...

I never urge survivors to speak out, in public, unless they themselves feel ready to do so.... just as I would never push a child to do anything. It's always to wait until the child feels eady.

I do urge survivors to find someone they can confide in, to break the silence for themselves - and I do understand that finding that empathic person can be difficult even frightening.

I tell my story to encourage a deeper understanding of what it is to be a Survivor, for there are so many in this society.

Even though I detest war, and think soldeiry a fools game, I FEEL for those troops who return from active combat duty, the many thousands who can just about cope, the many thousands who don't and who 'fall through the cracks' because those around them do not understand what violent trauma does to a persons soul - the movies do not tell the truth about violence and it's effects, neither will the media -and neither wil the NHS, the Health Service nor Social Services....

So it has to be Survivors who do this, and it has to be those strong enough and in a position to do it, because ALL survivors need to be heard, we need to be held, to be allowed to cry, to scream, to vent for this is an essential part of the healing, no matter how uncomfortable it might be for others....

The wounded experience lies trapped beneath those unexpressed cries and wails, is walled in in an attempt to keep it alltogether, to 'fit in' and that keeps us permanently wounded, closed down, shuit off from the full vitality of life.

That is something that no-one deserves.

The stiff upper lip approach has it's merits in a traumatic situation, with limitations, yet beyond that it becomes a trap, a form of denial and assures that trauma patterns are repeated, in one form or another.

And then there are those who adapt to that societal trauma, whose abuse becomes thier identity, and who inflict abuse without conscience or remorse and become part of the System of Power that drives war, neglect, inequality, abuse.. who often 'succeed' and run banks, corporations and countries.... dangerous people, damaged people, charismatic people..... what of them?

Tony Blair, George Bush, Hosni Mubarak, Saddam Hussein, Myra Hindly, Ian Brady, Fred West, David Cameron, the various CEOs of Rapacious Corporations, The Pope, the Abuser Priests, Nuns, Men and Women, children even, the torturers, the bullies and beaters and killers amongst us ...... how are we to deal with these people and how are we to avoid the creation of such damaged people in the future?

How are we to deal with the Institutions that are founded in old patterns of abusive Power?

How can we build Institutions that are empathic, and responsive to the needs of us vulnerable human beings, that responds to the needs of the habitat and all that dwell therein?

For it is the case that such people are rarely born, they are the outcomes of Society and Institutional Power as it is.

These are the questions that I muse on, for my childrens sake, for their childrens sake, for yours and all.

I do not have to be perfect to engage thus. I do not have to wait until I have it all sorted out.

I certainly do not have all the answers and I am so glad that there are many good men and women working on these same problems, doing so honestly, with integrity and empathy, and with diligence, day in, day out for entire lifetimes.

I am encouraged that so much is now know and understood of the dyamics of abuse, of the biology of empathy, knowledge that is practical, that replaces belief with action that makes a difference.

What better legacy for our children could there possibly be, better than all the fine buildings, the great works of art, the exploration of space (where no-one human lives...)?

"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed". -Herman Melville, novelist and poet (1819-1891)

Kindest regards


Do what you love, it's Your Gift to Universe

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