A couple of Stories

From my book Redeem The Silence; an Unintended Journey:

Elizabeth found a valuable way to ritualize her resolution.  One year after her rape she went to a bridge over a deep gorge with friends. “I knew I had to find a way to make the anniversary a new beginning.,” she says.  “Rituals are a wonderful way of drawing a box around something, so you can begin to let go of it.”  Huddled against the cold with her friends, Elizabeth burned her police statement and threw it over the bridge as a symbol of letting go.  Then she read Psalm Twenty-three, emphasizing the phrase: “I will fear no evil.”  (condensed from Laura Elliot, “I Just Want to Live,” The Washingtonian, July 1987, 83)

If, like Elizabeth, you wish to mark an anniversary date of your assault(s) by doing something life-giving that evokes good feelings, then by all means do so.  The YWCA tells a sweet story about a sensitive boyfriend who offerend to take his girlfriend to the playground and walk through her rape experience with her.  He says, “I pushed Lee on the swing, her body rising toward the dark sky, then falling back again–to me.  She was smiling.  She said my being there had helped.  She told me [later] that when thinking of the playground [where she was raped] she thinks first of this night.”

“Like the anniverary of a death, the anniverary of a rape is a significant time of reflection and experience for the victim,” writes Marie Marshall Fortune, Sexual Violence The Unmentionable Sin (New York: The Pilgrim Press 1983), 154-155]

You do not have to be afraid to mark a date in some personal or corporate way to commemorate the progress you’ve made in recovery.  Pastor’s could mark a date on their calendar and offer to pay a visit to the survivor, especially if it has only been a year or two since the assault.  Friends and family offering themselves is also very healing.  I realize the above may be rare, but in Resolution God has been showing you who the safe people are.

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