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Tag: trauma

Scarred and Still Beautiful

My paternal grandfather was from Warsaw and came to the US in 1952 with my grandmother and uncle. I remember that he always had a framed icon of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa on the wall above his desk. He has since passed away and I now have his icon. Notice the two slash marks…
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The Anniversary Effect and Rape Trauma

Two years ago today (four a.m., Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016) I was raped by one of my best friends. To recap: Between October 2016 and May 2017, I got (in rough chronological order) surprise-served divorce papers after four years of volatile marriage, embroiled in a bitter custody battle, was stalked to NY by my schizophrenic…
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Strength in Brokenness

The world breaks everyone and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.” — Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms Broken doesn’t mean beyond repair. I say this as someone broken by the world — and someone who is also stronger today than I once imagined I could be. My original intent for this post…
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Abuse, Victim Blaming, and Catherine of Alexandria

When I was a cantor, I loved when we sang the Quaker hymn “How Can I Keep from Singing?” No storm can shake my inmost calm While to that rock I’m clinging. I would sing those words and hope to someday experience unshakable inner calm. On November 25, we celebrate the feast day of Saint…
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Our Search for the Perfect Victim

Here in the United States, we live with the illusion of equality: legal equality. Women have the same legal rights as men: they can own a business, vote, go to work, raise their children, divorce, have affairs. They can have their own bank accounts, file taxes, own property, sell property, and a woman is a…
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Sharing the burden of pain as a community

The secret burden of pain When we have good news to share, we want to shout it on the rooftops — but most of us settle for posting it on Facebook or Instagram with a cute snapshot and a hashtag. When tragedy strikes, we turn inwards, either on our own pain or away from the suffering…
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It’s time to acknowledge secondhand trauma

There are invisible victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence that get little care or notice: the families and friends of survivors. After my rape in 2009, my oldest brother was the first person I came forward to in my family. Then it was my parents, then my sister, and eventually my other…
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