Monday, December 29, 2003

A day of thrivership

Shalom again from Jerusalem (where it is now 4:45 pm). This may be the last time I get to say that for a while, for I leave tomorrow morning to return to Midwesternville. :-(

Today feels like a day of much thrivership and thinking about my story, my healing and this journey I am on. Why today? This morning, N came over to the apaprtment where I am staying (still with C, an awesome hostess) with her camera equipment and she did some follow-up interviewing, particularly focused on memory. She asked me about what I remember, how I remember it, if I doubt my memories and if I could share some memories with her. I expected all these questions, because she sent me an email in order that I could prepare.

I spent some time over the past few days thinking and preparing and thought I was ready to talk about memory issues in general as well as some specific memories. While sharing with her the detail of my first incest memory (age 2 and a half) I felt the acute presence of the emotional pain, heartache and sadness of the experience. I felt it in my mind and my body - from the pit of my stomach to the sound of my voice. I haven't felt that way in a while. The feelings are good and appropriate and the fact that they match what I am doing is all good. (For many years of my life I didn't have feelings when things happened, a coping mechanism I learned as a kid when I got in trouble for crying or being otherwise emotional.)

Talking about my struggles with memory along with the belief in the memories I have (which by the way are increasing) helped me put some order to my current processing. (By the way, my memory problems are largely PTSD related and I find them somewhat frustrating.)

During the interview with N, we spoke of her story and situation. She gave me the opportunity to offer her some thoughts and perspective based on my story. It makes me feel good when the healing (and the pain) that I have gone through may help someone else.

Then, this afternoon I got another dose of thrivership. I met with A, an Israeli woman and courageous survivor of incest by her father and cousin. A is in the process of writing a book about Jewish women and men who are victims or survivors of incest. The format is testimonial rather than didactic. If you are interested in having your story included please email me and I will give you her information.

It occurs to me as I type this, that A is one of the few Jewish Women I know who is a survivor working on her healing. I know of other women, but I don't feel the connection I have begun to feel with her. Thank you, A, for your time and I look forward to writing for your book.

So, as you might have realized by now, it has been an intense yet healing and activist day. I hope that your day is also going well.

Your sister survivor/thriver,

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