Lesson 8 Assignment
During adolescence, I formed a connection with millions of kids my age, and became a victim of sexual abuse. I always considered myself one of the lucky ones, whereas I did not accept the blame for the acts committed against me. This did not, however, prevent me from suffering over twenty years of mental anguish. I honestly believed I would remain a victim forever - until yesterday. Having been asked to select one of my writings that pertained to the abuse I experienced, I discovered that specific topic to be obsolete from any of my collections. At that moment, it became crystal clear that I was free from the chains of bondage which had enslaved me for more than two decades.
Deep in the wilderness of the Democratic Republic of Congo, resides the closest relative to Humans - the Bonobo. Sharing over 98% of our exact DNA, this species, also known as the "peaceful ape" and referred to as the Pygmy Chimpanzee, the Bonobo is more closely related to Humans than to gorillas. This species that spends over 25% of its traveling time in an upright walking position was not discovered until 1928 by German anatomist Ernst Schwarz and is, sadly, already on the Endangered Species list.
The doctors entered the hospital room in which I laid flat on my back, unable to move anything except my fingers, toes, and eyes. The one-sided conversation between them and me led to the information that numbed my soul. At age twenty-five, I was being told that I would never again walk. This conclusion had been determined upon discovering that my neck was broken and all of the bones in my back had been crushed from the impact of the car that backed into me as I stood in a parking lot of a convenient store. I am quite pleased to be living, walking proof that the doctors had underestimated my will to survive! Although I have suffered with pain every day since that traumatic event, I live much the normal life that I lived prior to the negligence of one driver.
The suicide of a close family member is devastating on many levels. Many variables factor in to the type of grief experienced by the loved one left behind. Many years have to pass before the healing process even begins and then, one can expect to endure many more years of grief while that process runs its course. As this is a heartache that I am able to relate to, I can attest to the fact that time does heal wounds. But, those wounds must first be closed. Before a person can hope to find peace with a family members' suicide, he or she must first find and accept closure. Once closure has been obtained, time is allowed to begin its long and difficult journey towards healing.
I recently read an article written in a scientific magazine that focused on the newest theory as to why we dream. At first, I was quite skeptical, as it really seemed to be far-fetched. The article claimed that we dream in order to practice for future obstacles that may present themselves in our lives. For example, a dream of a cheating spouse is supposedly preparing the dreamer to cope correctly shall it ever come to fruition outside of a dream. I began thinking about this and questioning my friends about the types of dreams they experience. What I found is that 99% of the friends I spoke to dream of unpleasant events - a fact that the article made mention of as well. I honestly cannot remember ever having a pleasant dream; they have all been centered on tragedies and/or fears. There are many more tests left to be conducted in order for this theory to gain the acceptance of those interested.
Rather than blaming myself1, as most victims of childhood sexual abuse do2, I placed blame on the perpetrator who committed the acts against me. That is not to say that I did not suffer many years of mental anguish from the abuse, as I believed that I would remain a victim forever. However, I recently became aware that my newest collection of writings is void of this particular topic. Seeing how I write about the subjects that affect me, the absence of such topic has led me to believe that I am no longer enslaved to the chains that bound me for over twenty years.
The Bonobo Ape,which was discovered by German anatomist Ernst Schwarz in 19283, shares over 98% of our exact DNA and is the closest living relative to Humans. Sadly, this species, also known as the "peaceful ape", has already found itself on the Endangered Species List.
Unable to move anything except my eyes, my toes and my fingers, I laid speechless as the doctors informed me that I would never again walk. Having been run over by a car in the parking lot of a convenient store, all of the bones in my back were crushed and my neck broken. At the young age of twenty-five, I refused to be condemned to a life spent in a wheelchair. Thirteen years later, I am proof that the doctors, whom underestimated my will to regain my walking abilities4 , were mistaken in their prognosis.
On many levels, the suicide of a close family member proves5 devastating. The grieving process for the loved one left behind is long and treacherous. As a loved one left behind, I know this grief first hand. Many years after losing my grandmother to suicide, I have realized that before I can ever achieve peace, I must first find closure. Only then is time allowed to begin running its course down the long and difficult road towards healing.
I recently read an article in a scientific magazine that offered the newest theory as to why we dream. It stated that our dreams are actual moments of practice for future obstacles that we may encounter in our awaken state. For example, a dream of a cheating spouse is thought to be preparation in case it ever came to fruition outside of a dream. In continuation6 , the article stated that very few of us, around one percent 7, actually dream of pleasant events, as we do not need to prepare for these moments.