A friend who is a sexual abuse survivor loaned me Renee Fredrickson’s Recovered Memories to help me be a better ally and represent these issues more accurately in my creative writing. I’d like to share these words from the book’s final chapter, as an inspiration to anyone recovering from trauma.
On display in the Freer Museum in Washington, D.C., are ancient Zen ceremonial bowls renowned for their delicate beauty and fine craftsmanship. Over generations of use these lovely porcelain bowls became cracked and chipped, and some had whole pieces missing. Rather than being discarded or devalued because of the damage, the porcelain was repaired with gold. The gold adds strength, beauty, and value to the bowls, and the sacred bowls are marvelously enhanced by the repair process.
So it is with survivors. You were damaged as you grew up, and the more abusively you were handled, the greater the damage. When you undertake to repair this damage, you replace bitterness and sadness with understanding and healing. You become stronger and more resilient when change comes. You grow kinder to yourself and more compassionate toward those you love. You, like the sacred bowls, are enhanced rather than diminished by the repair process. (pg.225)