Whitney Fleming

© Copyright 2006 by Whitney Fleming

Photo of water ripples.

Like a stone thrown in a pond, rape has ripples; these are them.

It was instantaneous. I picked the memoir up and a rush of exhaustion swept through my entire body. I read the 8-page account of the brutal rape. I tried to read the rest, about the trauma and the fight for sanity. My eyes grew heavy, my brain had already ceased. I fell asleep. I let myself bask in the exhaustion and gave little care for what consequences this mid afternoon nap might carry. I wrote this paper there. It spilled out of me effortlessly along with my drool. I do a lot of writing in my sleep. I seem to make connection better in the dark than in the gleaming daylight. Suzi Whitehursh found liberation in the dark corners of trauma she tells me, “To understand traumatic experiences in terms of a spiritual journey rather than psychiatric deliberation, we must journey into the darkness, understand its texture and feel its hold. Then, when we know this darkness even through our pain, when we can embrace the shadow, we will have gained the depth to live in the light. In understanding and accepting both become whole. But first, the darkness.”

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