21 February 2017

The Everyday Hero

When your little toe hurts
It hurts so badly
It makes you think
The pain can kill you!
It does not matter then
How you look
What clothes you wear
What others think about you…
What will happen tomorrow
Or one hour later.

Trauma robs a person
Of everything enjoyable
Locks them in a dungeon
Made of grief and despair
Sorrow that cannot be shared…
A lonely desolate place
Where no one understands
No one speaks to you
No one cares
Death lingers around.

Prolonged trauma kills
Persona, dreams, desires for joy
Imagine a time when
Every breath weighs a ton
Every moment is unbearable
And you feel you just can’t go on.
Imagine living with your worst enemy
Someone who wants you dead
Someone who wished you were never born
Someone who hates who you are…

Whenever you meet a person
Dressed shabbily, looking drab
Downcast eyes, sad countenance
Covered with an invisibility cloak
Suggesting they don’t exist
Don’t write them off.
Chances are they are survivors
Fighting the greatest battle
Of their lives
Fighting just to live!

Some of such heroes
Live under cover
Different identities
Different faces
For different people or places.
They don’t want to burden you
With their sad stories
But they know their inner walls
Have a thousand trophies
Of times they made it by a whisker.

I salute these heroes

Of everyday life
Who never get a mention
In a newspaper, website or tweet
Someday as they keep fighting
They will make a better life
Someday their beacon
Will become a flame
That guides many others
Helps them find their way home!

~ Henrietta Decruz 


17 February 2017

Healing and Restoration - Everyone Needs it!!

Hello Everyone!

For those who follow my blog closely, you must have wondered where I disappeared! Well for the truth to be told, there are times when we need to take a dive within ourselves. We need to search and ponder and bring to a sense of order to our memories, our sense of who we are and whom we belong to... and also the meaning of life and what we really want to do with it. 

I felt it was time and so I took off. I needed to come to terms with my own life story and all the life experiences I have been through in this lifetime. I'm happy to say that I have found peace and refreshing at last! 

During this time I was really blessed to attend a 3 Day Workshop on Child Emotional Trauma and Trauma Informed Care organized by the Child Healing Centre, Bangalore. The trainers of the workshop were Ruby Johnston and Lynn Johnston of the LAMb International Canada and USA. George Ebenezer, the Managing Director of Child Healing Centre and Santhosa Samsara Social Charitable Trust was instrumental in organizing this workshop. 

The workshop was a great tool in helping me come to terms with my own life story. It also helped me understand how children from hard places needed to be cared for. One of the things Ruby Johnston said was that each child had a unique story and only they 'own' that story. It is the story of their life. 

I've spent years trying to grapple with my life story because I too am a child from a hard place. I find various reactions from people when I share a painful truth about my life and most of the time it would make me regret sharing as people don't understand where I am coming from or my reasons for sharing them. Some people think I am speaking ill of the 'persons' in my story but there is a difference between saying something to malign a person and speaking the truth about what happened to you. 

This workshop helped me realize that I own my story, my story is about what really happened to me. My story belongs to only me and not anyone else even in my family. No one else may understand my story or have felt what I went through. They don't have to because they have their own story! This brought me great peace and restoration because finally I could deal with all the voices and fingers that were pointing at me as though I am doing something wrong.  

I would encourage everyone to take time to go deep within and set right the doubts and questions you have about your past. Find answers and set the past free so you can live your life in a meaningful and fruitful way. Only when we own our identity completely having made peace with our past, can we live in the present in a natural and confident way.  

It is not easy for those who have not had 'normal' lives to do this. Not everyone comes from 'normal families.' Many people have had experiences of trauma at some point in their lives. Some are still facing it in their present. The workshop taught me that living with consistent pain for a number of years has a deep impact in how the brain functions and it can change the personality of the person too. 

It is sad that most of the time people living with pain are advised to not speak about it to anyone. Our society likes to behave like a monster that forces them to hide their sorrows and trauma under a carpet! This is nothing less than swallowing people alive as it inhibits them from finding their 'real self' and living a fulfilling and meaningful life! 

https://feminisminindia.com/2017/01/09/visiblizing-taboo-child-sexual-abuse-india/In some countries like the US and in Europe trauma care is very advanced and professionals assist such persons to overcome the challenges they face in life. There is no stigma attached, so those who are broken in spirit and broken-hearted can reach out and get the help they need. However, most countries have a long way to go to get there. India is one of them!

My understanding of children who have gone through trauma has increased a great deal thanks to Olga Martin, the founder of Street-Heroes Of India (SOI). SOI has been helping children from hard places who are housed in children's home find healing and restoration through various kinds of therapy including art, music, drama, dance and the like.

Thanks to George Ebenezer's efforts through Child Healing Centre, Bangalore things are beginning to change! They have planned a set of similar workshops across India! I believe this will help bring the change that India needs so much! If you are interested in participating in any of their future workshops do drop him a line!

Let us bring real change to India! Let us bring awareness in this nation so that children from hard places can find healing and restoration and live a life of peace!  

~ Henrietta Decruz 

If you would like to read more, do check these links: 
Adverse Childhood Experiences 
Can Family Secrets Make You Sick? 
The Toll of Childhood Trauma