Beneath the foliage of the Yucatan peninsula and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico lies an ancient impact crater. Scientists believe this is the site where a meteor the size of Mt. Everest struck the earth, resulting in extinction of the dinosaurs. Sixty-five million years later, geologic evidence for that impact is still present.
It is not uncommon for abuse victims to view abuse as the central event in their lives, and to define themselves with reference to it. As with the Chicxulub crater, evidence of the abuse is still present years later. Forever after, that destructive event (or series of events) will be the dividing line in victims’ lives: pre-abuse and post-abuse, the difference between innocence and innocence lost.
All too many women and children will die, as a result of abuse – some at the hands of a loved one, some by their own hand, years after the abuse has technically “ended”. Those who survive the trauma are likely to suffer from permanent physical and psychological symptoms, impacting all aspects of their lives.
There is nothing positive to be said about abuse. Because of its very magnitude, however, survivors may find that abuse serves as a kind of standard against which other events can be measured. What are office politics, by comparison? What are parking tickets, canceled flights, lost luggage, even stolen vehicles (so long as they do not generate more abuse)?
In a sense, we can draw strength from our bitter experience. The abuse provides a unique perspective which puts many lesser things in their place. We have lived through a meteor strike. What are mere storms to us?
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