I stand with Planned Parenthood.
The thing I don’t get about trauma is how people tell you to get over it. Stuff happens. Stuff does happen, but it doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t make it all right.
Abuse happened to me through other children, adults I trusted, strangers, and these were all times when I was either vulnerable or strong. There’s no formula for the conditions of abuse. It happens. However, a violence that happens to you is a violation that makes a scarring imprint. How do we heal?
I grew up in a very Hispanic family as I’ve mentioned before. Much of the stuff women in Hispanic families are told is based on maintaining a weird patriarchal-matriarchal tension that has become an ideology. You either listen to your mother or you listen to the man of the house. But you always default to the eldest man of the house. If he isn’t around it’s the mother’s words you heed, but if you’re married or seeing a guy, you default to his needs and wants.
You also are taught to repress a lot to maintain appearances or an upstanding status within the community. Women are always shamed into submitting. Women bring shame, men bring honour. Supposedly. This is why abortion is still illegal in many Latin American countries like Colombia. You get put in jail for having an abortion, regardless of how you got pregnant.
In several circumstances, women and children are silenced within Hispanic families for speaking out against sexual abuse. If you reveal it, the first thing that’s asked of you is how you provoked it or maybe why you didn’t speak up sooner, implying a sort of conspiracy of some sort. This isn’t always the case, but my impression growing up with and around Hispanic families, this was/is the norm for children and women.
And yet, abortion is still illegal in some parts of Latin America. Women are still shamed for not getting married or immediately labelled as lesbian, as if that were a derogatory term.
The way I dealt with trauma was to repress it. Buck up, learn from it, and deal with it. You’re better than your trauma. The problem with that though is if you live many years this way, that trauma manifests itself later on in weird ways. You hurt yourself or hurt others, or your body starts to internally explode with destroying schema. Schemas are supposed to help deal with stress (ie., panic attacks, anxiety, psychogenic seizures, etc.). They help the body deal with mental confusion and pain. It’s injurious though.
There is no obligation to anyone who has had a trauma to speak of it. Everyone finds respite and healing in their own way. I’ve had injurious schema and have lessened it through writing online about it. Why does anyone silence anyone, especially women, who have trauma? If we were allowed to speak of it more, we could understand why it happens. If we understood why it happens, then maybe we could help prevent it from happening so often.
I’m speaking solely as me because I can not speak for every woman, but I can speak to support every woman’s right to choose. I’m writing through the lens of an Hispanic woman who sees abortion as a life saving operation. A women’s right is to be safe and have the potential to do anything that doesn’t involve being with a man. If she chooses not to have a child, regardless of the circumstances, no one has a say in that except because it is her body. A life is not a life unless it is lived. There is no such thing as “potential life.” Maybe we should be imprisoning men who masturbate. Why don’t we? Because they’re men. Why does society try to tell women what’s right and what’s wrong? Because we’re women. That’s the illogical logic.
The attacks happening at abortion clinics around the world are atrocious. They’re trauma over trauma and a way silencing women. You’re killing people. Women who have an abortion are saving themselves. They’re saving themselves from a society that tells them what to do, how to be, how to look, and what to say all in the name of keeping them down and silenced.
There are parts of the world where they arrest women who have an abortion. There are parts of the world where you have to give birth to the child born of rape and incest. There are parts of the world where you are forced to give birth to a child without any regard for the body aka the person it came from.
The terrorists bombing, shooting, and committing violent acts against women to maintain a dominion over them are no better than rapists and violators. They are inhuman pieces of shit procreating a culture of violence and trauma that will never end unless woman take up their inherent right to speak out and claim their own rights.
I stand with Planned Parenthood.