I am full of grief right now. Every time I look up, I see someone else remembering Mike Ford, usually in his own words, and my eyes fill up again. People who were so much closer to him, and I do not want to appropriate that grief. But oh, it hurts, and the grief of my friends hurts, and my helplessness to do anything about it hurts.
And it hurts that Mike would have known what to say.
I wrote a letter today that I may never send. And in the process of writing that letter, I had a conversation with truepenny, who is not just my writing partner but a very good friend.
It was a letter than involved a kind of stark appraisal of things that I don't usually talk about. Or even think about, frankly, until they're thrust into my attention again. I'm an adult survivor of child abuse. I think of it, usually, in very abstract terms. Words. I am an adult survivor of child abuse.
What I wrote today required me to to think about what that meant to me, and how I became that person. And sum it up in a couple of paragraphs. And sometimes you look back and think, hey, man. That was harder than I remember it being.
You do forget. It's self-protective.
I'm happy now; I'm strong. I don't believe in dwelling on old wounds once one is past the point of recovery where one must pick at the scabs and let the pus run out. (There's some pained fannish Farscape metaphor here about squeezing the wound until the blood runs clear. I will trust you to provide it on your own.)
But I also don't believe in being shamed.
This is by way of introduction to Sarah's post about our conversation and the difficulty in talking about abuse without seeming to seek pity or attention (from which she kindly elided me).
But I am not a victim, and I am not a martyr, and I am not in denial.
I am here.
You live, is how you learn that you can cope.
--John M. Ford