Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hallelujah, By and By

Once I went to a candlelight vigil for survivors of rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence. It was powerful in ways that I can't put into words, men and women holding white candles sharing stories and tears. Only four months gone from from my own hurt, still needing pills to make it through the daily heart squeezing panic attacks, I sobbed with my head on a friend's shoulder.

Somehow something overtook me and I shared my own story. Or I tried. I mostly choked words out through sobs and said how it'd only been four months and how I was so scared all of the time, scared of the dark, of men, of my own shadow, but everyone's stories gave me such strength.

The vigil finished and a girl came up to me. She told me that she was a rape survivor, too, and she'd never told anyone. She thanked me for my bravery, for showing her that it was okay to speak. And then, we held each other and cried on the shoulder of a stranger. It was only a few minutes. I didn't ask her name, she didn't ask mine. We never saw each other again, but in those few minutes, we shared a moment more intimate than most of will ever share with best of friends. Every so often, she crosses my mind and I pray that she made it through the pain.

This is the intense power of the human spirit, made of thin glass and bordering on fragility. We can be hurt. We can be broken, badly. We can be violated in the worst ways imaginable, bruised and left feeling so dirty that all the scalding hot water in the world will never fix us. But somewhere in the deepest corners of our hearts and spirits, we cannot be broken beyond repair.

Linking again to Heather of the EO's Just Write. Take a moment to read her words. You won't regret it.

26 comments:

Cameron said...

I love you. xoxoxo

Kim said...

Beautiful Erin.

Adam said...

Can't not comment, but I don't know what to say.

So I'll say this: I've read some beautiful things in my life and met some beautiful writers. But this? You? In your own category.

Kathleen Basi said...

That was beautiful, especially the conclusion. Thank you for your vulnerability.

Becky said...

Love! You've inspired me to write today.

Lyndsay said...

xo

keli [at] kidnapped by suburbia said...

so beautiful. xxxo

Corinne said...

So powerful. It is amazing how we prevail through the worst... spirits still going...

quicklikeabunny said...

powerful words from a powerful spirit

InTheFastLane said...

We can't be broken beyond repair....sometimes it feels like it, doesn't it?

And sometimes it takes every ounce of our being to make the choices to move forward.

You are beautiful.

Sharone said...

This is beautiful, the power of hearing stories and then telling your story, and how it brought freedom to others. The pulse of that human spirit that echoes quietly, resonates with another human spirit, gives strength to stand. It's astonishing.

Heather said...

Your words have me nodding my head and thinking how thankful I am that I have you in my life (albeit through key strokes and computer screen and smart phones) But you are there and I am ever so thankful.

Elaine A. said...

What a beautiful moment to have and to be able to recall. I know she cherishes it too. xoxo

Bari said...

xoxo. I'm sure she treasured that moment too.

nicole said...

So much hope in a painful story.

heather said...

I love this. And you. Thank you...thank you...thank you.

xoxo

april said...

You're my hero.

Hyacynth said...

Squeezing you tight, Erin. Such hard memories, but such hope in through the pain.

simplicity said...

This is beautiful Erin. Thank you for your bravery, your honesty and your real-ness.

Kate said...

In the deepest corners we are never broken beyond repair. What a beautiful truth.
Lovely writing.

Galit Breen said...

Oh my this is beautifully written, and horrifically sad. I'm honored to have read it- and I'm so, so sorry.

~Mendie~ said...

your strength is so inspiring. your writing so honest. you.are.both.

((hugs))

Kaycee said...

You are amazing.

Julie said...

Remember that time that I love you? OH, that was RIGHT NOW. (and always)

Ivey League Mama said...

"we cannot be broken beyond repair." <---amen.

little sara angel said...

i am one of those voices, ill be 30 soon. Was an incest survivor turned rape survivor into a survivor nearly statistic of severe domestic abuse. Lost my Dad to cancer, other loved ones, last April got the courage to testify against my abuser of ten years..all the physical beatings, him having intercourse with me while i was sleeping texting me hateful messages in caps, i have never truly known a life beyond abuse. But everyday is a new one and i am a new self. My heart goes out to you beyond anything else xxoo