Yesterday, I was in a training seminar. A woman raised her hand and wished to add substantive thoughts about child abuse. She began with the disclosure that she had been abused.
I don’t know her story. She was a little emotional, blinking back a few tears, her voice a bit shaky.
But she went on. She added her thoughts and maintained her composure.
The training is not meant to be open ended; there is no room for adults of trauma to add their stories to the curriculum. The curriculum is meant to stand alone. It is tried and true. Effective.
But my heart went out to this woman who was also there for training.
She will probably make a very effective teacher. She has the requisite empathy…insight…and professionalism to stick with the curriculum while letting the heart lead.
Here is the thing. She left early. She stepped out of the room. I didn’t see her return. I don’t even think she took her binder with her, but maybe she did.
What I do know, what her shaky voice revealed and her teary eyes said, is that she represents the one in four adult women who has been traumatized.
She needed something yesterday.
Perhaps that wasn’t the venue for her healing. Yesterday was a training seminar for others…those who haven’t even been rescued from the trauma, let alone begun to heal from it.
But it underscores something I know.
Something that resonates with me and will not be set aside even if I will it.
Someone needs to speak to and for Dinah. I don’t know the woman’s real name. I will simply call her Dinah.
I was talking to John about it this morning over brunch. When I said I wish I could just let it go, let the concern for others be buried and just get on with whatever comes next, he quoted Shakespeare. I love that we are two former English majors who met in graduate school. While he has gone on to get the Ph.D. in Public Policy, we are still like a Venn Diagram, with overlapping educational foundations.
There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will. (Hamlet, Act V, Scene II)
That is to say, God has a plan for how to use my platform, which I have grown less and less attached to, how to use my voice and words, which resonate with so many and surprises me each time it does, and where to use my memory, healing, strength, adherence to the faith, love for the Eucharist, confidence in the Church Jesus Christ began, and all the rest.
There is a divinity that shapes my end, even though, left to my own devices, I would pick up my own life and whittle out something that is barely recognizable as the thing for which it was intended.
But God…ah, He can do the impossible.
Dinah. I am praying for you. I am working for you. And, God willing, I will be able to help you walk a little further down the path to complete victory.
Victim to victor.