• The Trauma Body

    by  • January 28, 2013 • Blog • 5 Comments

    Every day, I get up and I sit with JANE. I am 58. She is 15. So, in truth, she is inside of me. I have what she needs to become 58. At 15, I would not have known for sure that there would be an adult who came to sit with me. Everyone has a unique story about the after-effects of sexual assault. Mine came along with a whole series of imploding failures, so it has always seemed like A Dark Time with many pieces. High school got very weird afterwards. And, like many girls, I found myself using my turned around sexual energy in dangerous and deadening ways. I sit with girls now, usually in their late 20s and early 30s, speaking about their early sexual lives, and if there has been a Bad Thing, the long lasting effects on their confidence and their understanding of their own sexual response. Often we either throw it” around everywhere, or we freeze. Or both. And it isn’t just the girls. The boys, left alone during these sexual rites of passage, make mistakes, train with porn instead of conversation with mature guys, try to become healthy sexual partners in languages that are secret and confusing and often, hard to follow. Everything shuts down into narrow little tunnels of response rather than great open fields of enjoyment. Intimacy becomes problematic. I have to admit my world is probably skewed because I work as a counselor and educator, so I am hearing when experience is troublesome. But I am listening now for a certain 15 year old girl, and she is still struggling inside of me. Not so much about sex (thank God!) but about trauma. I am still working through the freezing response as a way to meet difficult, ongoing life challenges. They keep coming, I keep freezing. That way of adapting isn’t serving me anymore. It creates somatic response – clenching jaw, stomach acid, inability to focus…instead of the full bodied wail that life demands. So me and Jane, we are working on having a good cry. For all the children frozen. And I am sending a message back through the years to her — there will be many wonderful people who will come to find you, to sit with you, to hold your soul safe. Count on it. The trauma body is not your only way out. You can sing and write and make movies and make love. You can call friends, and bow down to mentors. The natural world is waiting to speak to you. I am talking to you, Jane. We are here.

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    5 Responses to The Trauma Body

    1. Michel Buffo (the Director)
      July 6, 2012 at 12:09 am

      …and I am here too, Jane. I turn my ear to the young woman who wishes to be given life through the language of cinema; the gathering of inspired soles joining for a good cause and a good time. I also stand for the boy who did the bad thing to you. Alex will live if Jane lives. The dark and the light. Both live on in their suffering of being the victim and the perpetrator. Alex suffers too. His self-hate and confusion lives on over what made him take advantage of such an innocent woman, and all the innocent women who came before…and after. Alex story is “emotionally true” to my story. “I am sending a message back through the years to (him.) There will be many wonderful people who will come to find you, to sit with you, to hold your soul safe. Count on it. The (gratification) body is not your only way out. You can sing and write and make movies and make love. You can call friends, and bow down to mentors. The natural world is waiting to speak to you. I am talking to you, (Alex). We are here.”

      Beautiful, Deborah. Thank you for writing.

    2. Maggie Williams
      March 6, 2013 at 6:11 pm

      Deb!
      I’m most awed and inspired by your journey of empowerment, your willingness to turn personal tragedy to triumph!
      You always were a knock out!
      Now you show us how the power of one’s voice and intention can bring submission to the beast.

      After 28 years working in the field of domestic violence and sexual assault prevention, I know Jane’s story well.

      This organization One Billion Rising will truly bring a paradigm shift to the patriarchal culture we continue to live in.
      The Milwaukee Women’s Center and thousands of other women’s organizations across the countyr, and the world, have been waiting to rise up in with you!
      Where are the T-shirts!?
      You are my hero!
      Love
      Mags

    3. Becca Hunnicutt
      April 6, 2013 at 1:32 am

      Deb,

      Just read this post as I have not been following the blogs regularly and this one stopped my soul in it’s tracks. Uncovering truths in myself where I am still frozen but wish I was not. I trying to free myself into being held by those who do sit with me and long to hold my soul safe, something that I still cannot allow. Cell memory tells me no one is safe. The adult foresight and wisdom you have about both sides of where you are in your healing, is what holds me in that soul safe place. The only thing I am willing to trust right now is the similar emotional pain of one who understands. I wish I were farther down my path, but right now you are my safe place. Allowing me to be where I am and voicing the words to explain what my emotional body cannot.

      Thank you for your courage
      Thank you for your verocity
      Thank you for your spirit and your ferocious need to heal JANE! I would be a different person with out you being here…now

    4. admin
      April 14, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      Maggie! I never realized there were letters on the blog!! I am so way cool…SO lovely to hear from you. And I know you know. Send me your address and that Tshirt will arrive!! Hope you are thriving! Give Diane a hug for me and one for you. Love Deborah (deb@jane-themovie.com for address, I am not kidding)

    5. admin
      April 14, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      oh Becca. Your courage always astounds and moves me. Love Me

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