The Untold Stories
There will always be more untold stories of heartbreak than can be told, but this does not diminish the raw, experience of each and every story. When we hear stories about sexual violence, we tend to want to gloss over the individual’s story and instead, focus on the facts, the statistics, the numbers. The facts and statistics have always been inaccurate, because most of these stories have remained untold.
A complete transcript beyond the fold
One of the world’s biggest untold stories is the story of Mary of Magdala, or more commonly known as Mary Magdalene, the prostitute in the new testament of the bible. This Mary has been getting a bad rap for hundreds of years. There is not a single verse in the entire bible that ties Mary Magdalene to prostitution. Seriously, check this out for yourself. Google Mary Magdalene-prostitute-bible verses. There aren’t any. Shocking right?!
There has been this acceptance that she was bad, very bad indeed. We accepted that she was forgiven by Jesus, but never accepted by the disciples. That is the beginning of the problem. She was never accepted by the males who were the story tellers, they were the ones who wrote how history was unfolding. We have had priests and ministers, who for hundreds of years have been preaching the story that this woman was a prostitute, not a disciple. The word disciple comes from a latin word Discipulus, which merely means pupil, student or follower.
Does this mean the priests and ministers have been lying to the parishioners for hundreds of years? Perhaps it means these men are not interested in questioning any information that may create problems for themselves. Whatever the reason, they certainly seem to have had selective memory.
It is devastating to any society when it is forced to see that those who hold power are not necessarily empowered with innate spirituality. It is difficult to see hero after hero fall. It is difficult to reconcile how those who we value as protectors, turn out to be predators. This knowledge changes everything.
You may think I’m being harsh on men. I am not, I am a story teller by trade and today I am telling the story of the untold stories of women, children and vulnerable men, who have been molested and humiliated, endured torture, and even death, at the hands of those who have occupied seats of power; in the family, the law, sacred institutions and positions in society, while they are in charge of our safety and well being.
These untold stories are not secrets best kept hidden, rather they are sorrows that have created a type of muteness, this type of silence is not a choice, it is the result of trauma. These silent stories are told through nightmares, “odd and quirky behaviors”, stutters, tremors, withdrawal and a deep sense of foreboding. Sometimes when humans experience sexual humiliation, we actually cannot speak the story, this is what is meant when we see the term, unspeakable horrors. Not speaking is a common symptom of trauma, it is not evidence of untruth.
Any person who has been violated by a person of ‘trust ‘ will not want to express their humiliating experience to more persons of ‘trust’. It is obscene to think otherwise. Remembering the experience is haunting and terrifying. Speaking of the experience to those who you know will question you, just adds more humiliation and sorrow. Humiliation is so traumatic that it is used by the military to torture people with, all over the world.
Thousands of children have been raped by their priests, thousands of children, women and vulnerable men have endured unspeakable and obscene crimes, committed upon them by their leaders, teachers, coaches, doctors, family members and hero’s. This happens everyday and yes, it can take 30 to 50 years to speak of it. Many times these stories will remain unspoken all the way to the cremation fire.
When people of power put more of their energy into protecting their reputations than into the discovery of raw, painful, truth, we are all in trouble. Compassionate investigations will reveal the truth and it will promote change and healing in any society.
There are many women and children who are in imminent danger, particularly in central America. A culture of violence and domestic abuse (Using the word domestic makes the violence innocuous.) has become so rampant, that it is forcing women and children to flee to the United States and elsewhere. A wall will not stop the cause of violence and it won’t keep it from happening here. It is merely evidence of a society who values the power of power, more than the power of compassionate intelligence.
I ask you to kindly google violence against women in _________ ( fill in any name of any country, caution: it is horrifying.) Please read at least one of their stories. Remember the individuals, not statistics.
Remember them in your prayers. Remember what Gandhi told us. “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”
Thank you for reading this.
Peace be with you and your family,