Being a victim-survivor of Child Sex Abuse (CSA) can find you drowning in torrents of emotions. A thick sadness makes it difficult to work out which way is up and how to get out is almost impossible to navigate. It feels like the earth is pressing you down, not holding you up. Your nose, mouth and throat are filled with this massive weight of dark grey, and the more you try to breathe, the heavier and more pervasive it becomes. It’s strangulation and suffocation all at the same time.
Rumi to the Rescue.
It is not unusual to feel that way. Let’s face it, victim-survivors are managing the most challenging of circumstances. It’s a life time challenge, managing those deep, dark dank emotions. But I found an answer in the ancient poem by poetic master Rumi. In his work Guesthouse, there lies an answer. Don’t fight the feelings, invite them in as welcomed guests. They will soon change their attitude and release their hold allowing you to breath again.
The Guest House by Rumi
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.