It takes a lot of courage to be able to talk about one’s experience in dealing with verbal abuse and physical trauma. Visiting hurtful memories is akin to reliving the painful ordeal over and over again. Aside from being put in an uncomfortable position, the flashbacks alone tend to trigger nightmares and, with good reason, can cause almost anybody to break out into cold sweats and start to panic. Innerlight’s Eat and Drink My Words by Grace Crook is a brave and effective attempt at talking about an abusive and traumatic experience. Author Grace Crook shared how she overcame her tribulation through a book collection of poetry, providing that much-needed message: “If I can do it, so can you.”
Why it is important to talk about it
More than just mustering up the courage to make a move and start talking about a painful ordeal, there is also that fear of judgment and sometimes stigma that comes with being a victim of abuse. Fear of judgment comes from that anxiety that the victim might be misunderstood and end up being blamed instead of being affirmed or protected. Fear of stigma stems from people avoiding abuse victims, believing that these victims are partially or fully responsible for their misfortunes. Hence, they should be avoided less they rub off some of their characteristics on other people.
Innerlight’s Eat and Drink My Words is a shining exemption to the rule. With its delightful poetry arrangement, the book plowed through this stereotyping and came out championing the cause of abuse and trauma victims. More significantly, it opened up to its readers the importance of speaking about their suffering, what they have gone through, and their thoughts and feelings.
As tormenting as it may seem, there are benefits coming from putting negative experiences into words. One benefit is that it helps the victim organize their thoughts and helps them make sense of or process the ordeal. Making sense here doesn’t mean turning the traumatic ordeal into something positive. Something hurtful and distressing such as trauma, is never a positive affair. Victims of abuse and trauma often come out feeling confused and disoriented. It starts with, “What had just happened?” that eventually turns to “How or why did it happen?” If not guided properly, they might even blame themselves for the situation they found themselves in.
Making sense is narrating the incident or event in the order it happened, identifying when, where, and how the abuse started and creating a logical story. This eventually helps reduce the self-blaming and self-shaming and is replaced by an enhanced experience of self-love and self-worth. Healing begins from finding out the root cause of an incident and, in this case, making sense of trauma is a step toward recovery.
Feeling relieved is another advantage of sharing. Most abuse and trauma victims end up being uptight, fearful, and distrusting of other people. Talking helps alleviate the tension of hiding it all in and lessens the stress and anxiety that comes with it.
Another benefit is being able to get the needed support for abuse victims. Talking or expressing one’s experience is a way of reaching out to others, telling them that the person needs help to get through and recover. Feeling other people’s empathy is a breath of fresh air for abuse victims and often a lifeline. Just knowing that there is somebody out there who is willing to listen, a group ready to provide all the support a victim needs to recuperate, resources, materials, and programs to help a victim get by is enough to give them hope in life to keep going.
Grace Crook uses poetry to relive the adversities that she went through. This led the book to become a source of inspiration and motivation for people going through the same experiences, ultimately leading them into a full circle of recovery. Grab a copy of Innerlight’s Eat and Drink My Words on Amazon, or visit the author’s website at www.gmcrook.com.