View from the Crater

Gravity anomaly map of Chicxulub impact crater, Author USGS, Source (PD as work product of federal gov’t).

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 hurricanes to us?

Originally posted 2/9/14



Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse

11 responses to “View from the Crater

  1. Hi dear Anna
    Thank you for this post and have a very Nice sunday

  2. Thanks for yet another insightful post, Anna. I’m not so sure that having been the victim of abuse puts lesser things into perspective though. If anything, personally, I find that having been an abuse victim can make ‘lesser things’ seem like yet another form of abuse, albeit one that is not imposed on you by another. The least thing, such as making a small mistake for example can feel huge in terms of how you react because you continually see yourself as incapable of being that perfect person which you feel is what you should be.

    I think abuse strengthens you, if you are able to come through it, and yes it remains central to your sense of self, but it will always colour the way you see yourself in the world. That said, you can still strive for the kind of life that makes you feel happy and fulfilled – but it is still with the memories of what you have come through.
    Dear Anna – please don’t feel that this is a criticism of your views in anyway. This is only my personal view and you know that the work you do in encouraging and validating those who have suffered from abuse is invaluable, as are you.

  3. Excellent, my Dear Anne! As You say: “The abuse provides a unique perspective which puts many lesser things in their place. We have lived through a meteor strike. What are mere hurricanes to us?”

    A post of Great Hope. Thanks, Regards and Love. 🙂

  4. Great metaphor/parallel that abuse is like an asteroid hitting the Earth/person. Well-written post.

    Minor suggestion — I think a photo of the actual impact crater would be better for visual “impact.”

    • Chichen Itza (the Mayan city whose remains sit astride the Yucatan Peninsula) seemed to me appropriate not only as a symbol of the Yucatan Peninsula, but the ruin abuse leaves in its wake. See if you like this image better, Chris.

      • My thinking was–since the opening sentence is about the impact crater, it would be good to have a photo of that actual crater. I think it is a great metaphor of the destruction that follows abuse, (leaving a giant hole.) But the new color one is better than the pyramid structure because that building wasn’t mentioned in the article. Good post!

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