I've learned so much about myself through victims advocacy training, so much about my own recovery. It's been a good thing. I posted some time ago about the mundane day-to-day drudgery that accompanies life and it made me think maybe I should do something about it. So I got online one afternoon and looked up local volunteer opportunities, stumbled on one an awesome organization who provides resources to persons affected by domestic and sexual violence and stalking. I told myself I would go to the training but if it got too hairy, I'd just back out. You know, if it made me cry or if I couldn't hack it or if I was chicken. But I went that first day and I'm grateful I did.
Advocacy training has let me peer behind another curtain of my own journey. It has helped me to appreciate even more the stories of other survivors and the ability of people to overcome even extraordinary obstacles. It has also renewed my sense of justice and a feeling of righteous anger at the state of affairs that we allow to consume humanity. Most importantly, it has helped me feel like I am helping to heal a broken world. Like when you see or read about some crime against a child and you get that knot in your stomach and think, "I want to do something! But what can I do?" I feel empowered - I can help people. I can help change the fabric of the world. Not for every person, but for a few.
It's not all been power and lightening though. Some things I've seen and heard in training have broken my heart and made me sick to my stomach. Images have made me cringe. This week was an especially rough one in training, and I knew it would be the hardest for me. This week we trained on sexual violence and every facet that entails - from men to women to children, porn to prostitution to rape to incest. I feel like I've been through an emotional wringer. It is tough to look any of the world's suffering in the eyes and see the broken hearts and raw wounds from hurting people. But I'm glad I know there is hope on the other side.