Shoes Throughout Time
I have been on a European riverboat cruise for the last two weeks, which is why I have not been posting. I had grand plans to get ahead of my writing and prepare posts while I was gone. Unfortunately, that plan did not work.
In some ways, I am glad that it didn’t work. I align my blog posts with whatever is going on with me that week. My writings are a real-time glimpse into my mind at that moment: the good, the bad, and the sad.
Now, I am back. What a trip it was!
First, it was a great trip. I spent two weeks traveling through five countries in Eastern Europe. How can a trip like that be bad? It really can’t. I met amazing people, had great adventures, and learned much about history.
There is something about being in locations where history occurred. I felt like history was brought to life everywhere I looked.
My feet walked where so many others have walked for hundreds of years. Think about that. We all are a blip in the history of this world. Hopefully, hundreds of years later, someone will be walking down your Main Street thinking the same thing.
It was the closest I would ever get to being a time traveler.
I stood on the banks of the Danube, the Pest side of Budapest, where bronze shoes lined the bank. Shoes on the Danube Promenade memorialize the 20,000 Jewish people the Nazis massacred, their bodies pushed into the Danube.
I stood there in that exact spot, looking across to the hills of Buda. Just as those people would have done, I could feel the fear, terror, anguish, disbelief, and even resignation of their fate.
I reflected upon my life, my time on this planet as I stood there.
What would I like my life to mean?
What I came up with is to write what I know. And what I know is something that most people do not want to think about – is childhood abuse and trauma.
Deniers of Truth
Like the holocaust, some don’t want to believe that childhood abuse and trauma exist. “How can a parent or parents be abusive to their child,” people often ask. Or they blame the victim, “she (the child) deserves that treatment; look how awful she is.”
I wonder if people think about the 20,000 people who were brutally murdered on the banks of the Danube that day in 1944. That perhaps they deserved it? Or they ignore that it happened. Sometimes it is easier to turn away from the uncomfortable truth.
Sadly, I don’t need to wonder that at all. I know some people think that way. That people get “what they deserve.” Unfortunately, not one of those people deserved death that day, just as no child who deserves to be abused and traumatized.
Repeating the Past
And yet, here we are.
We as a collective whole should have treated the people who miraculously survived the holocaust with kindness, empathy, and compassion.
But we didn’t.
We as a collective whole should treat adults who have survived childhood abuse and trauma (anyone who has experienced trauma) with kindness, empathy, and compassion.
But we don’t.
Walking those streets, I feel closer to people who have lived a much different history than I did.
I hope that my writing will do the same for others. We need to learn from history, from the past. We cannot change the past; we can choose how we show up in the present.
How will you show up?