As I read the accounts of abuse my body tensed up and I felt frozen in my bed with only my eyes moving, reading the article. My stomach even feels ill as I write this, and I still feel disconnected from my body. Musician, FKA Twigs, described incidents that are all too familiar to me, some of which were very similar to what I had experienced ten years ago. Despite a decade that has gone by since then, reading this article reminded me that the trauma still lives in me. It lives in my body and in my memory. Even her desire to share her story is reminiscent of my own motivations to share mine. If sharing our stories can help just one person leave or avoid an abusive relationship, then it's worth it. As I write this, my hands are numb, and the trauma is making its way through my body, leaving through my fingers. It's kind of strange to me, because although so much time has passed, it's clear how trauma stays with us, even in our bodies. So, this made me think of two things I wanted to reflect on in this post.
The first thing is, I just wanted to remind everyone that even when much time has passed, trauma stays with a person. Even if a person has moved on, is happy, and doing well in life, trauma doesn't just go away. We learn how to live with it, how to manage it, how to not let it weigh on us, and we celebrate the survivor we have become. Not only do our minds remember trauma, but so do our bodies. I don't think the phrase "time heals" is quite accurate. Healing takes time, but time doesn't heal. So be kind. You don't always know where someone is on their own healing journey, nor is it a straight and clear path.
The second thing I thought about as I read the article was Shia LaBeouf's response. He seems to make an attempt at an honest response, though his own issues with abuse and substance abuse aren't an excuse. What this made me think about though, is the fact that I think most people who are abusive are stuck in their own cycle of abuse. Whether their parents or someone close to them was abusive in some form, or something has led them to abusive behaviors such as alcoholism. There are many factors that contribute to abusive behavior and for a long time, I have felt that abusive behavior is very much a mental health issue. We don't always look at it that way, but we need to treat it that way for both the abuser and the abused.
So, I hope that Shia LaBeouf really is getting the help he says he is, and I hope that FKA twigs has been able to start healing and lean on her support team. Coming out and publicly sharing her story isn't easy, but it's so important. Thank you, FKA twigs for sharing your story and becoming an advocate in spreading awareness about domestic violence and intimate partner violence.