Last night, after a productive and busy day with my elderly parents, I came home, turned on the Christmas twinkle lights, poured myself a glass of red wine, curled up on the couch in front of the gas fireplace and watched a movie. What movie did I decide to watch from the coziness of my festively decorated living room? Was it White Christmas, or Elf, or Love Actually? Nope. It was not a holiday themed movie at all. It was the dark, slightly disturbing, nearly three-hour long movie, The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson.
Admittedly, my attention span wavered half-way through the movie, and I almost turned it off in favour of something lighter (even toyed with the idea of actually reading a book instead!). Some weird fixation, however, kept my eyes riveted to the screen and to Mr Pattinson (as his portrayal of the character is incredibly appealing). And was I ever glad I held on, because, during the final minutes of the movie, my patience and persistence was rewarded with a gem of a monologue that called out to me from my laptop speakers.
While Batman re-evaluated his role, and Gotham's reality, he hit the nail directly on the head with this final summation:
"Vengeance won't change the past. Mine ... or anyone else's. I have to become more. People need hope. To know someone's out there for them. This city's angry ... scarred. Like me. Our scars can destroy us. Even after the physical wounds have healed. But if we can survive them, they can transform us. They can give us the power ... to endure. And the strength to fight."
As an abuse survivor, and (fingers crossed) a published memoir author, those words could not be more true. Sharing my story is, and always was, about offering inspiration and hope to other victims of abuse, to other survivors. That from the darkness of our past, strength is found. But even more importantly, it takes a hell of a lot of strength to simply endure. Abuse survivors are so incredibly strong for living through what someone else subjected upon them. I want to help survivors recognize their strength, embrace their strength and use that strength to go after the life they truly deserve and desire. Because we can't let the darkness of our past destroy our present or our future.
There's a line in one of my favourite songs that also talks about scars. Not surprisingly, it's a line from P!nk's, All I Know So Far. It says you should be "proud of [your] skin full of scars." Now, doesn't that just say it all?
So, on this Winter Solstice day, wrap yourself around that ray of hope and walk on through the darkness and into the wonderfully welcoming brightness. It's there. Waiting for you. It truly is.