Perceptions of the Lost
“When you are mad, mad like this, you don't know it. Reality is what you see. When what you see shifts, departing from anyone else's reality, it's still reality to you” (Hornbacker, 2008, P. 6). Perception plays a huge role in our lives: whether we realize it or not. I always ask a trusted confidant of mine (and probably the biggest idiot I’ve ever known) about the state of the objects we perceive in our lives. Aside from becoming upset with his complete idiocy, he stated that “there are always two things to view when we speak of perception: the entity itself and our view of it” (J. Lucas, personal communication, November 20, 2012). Essentially, what we may see, hear, touch, etc. could not be the actual truth. This brings a lot of issues when we are examining topics in general. There are more problems present when examining subject matters that are very ambiguous. For example, when examining a narrative we may come to multiple conclusions on what the messages the narrator was attempting get across. This is overtly apparent when viewing Marya Hornbacher’s book, Madness. From reading this book, I believe that Mayra was sexually abused. One of the main reasons I believes so was due to her description of the light that always enters her room. It always leads to her and her “goatman.” I believe this light to be some sort blinding force. This blinding effect would naturally keep a person from seeing any events that are occurring in front of them (i.e.: turning on a bright light after being in the dark for a prolonged period of time). For Mayra, this blinding light forces her to forget (or better yet, suppress) the memories of her sexual abuse behind a huge, seemingly mystical event. When asked of her abuse, she always seemed to forget or deny that it happened. Then this light appears out of nowhere (Hornbacker, 2008, P. 15 -31). She is clearly suppressing something. Chen (2010) states that “It is now known that sexual abuse survivors face a challenging spectrum of physical and mental health concerns” (p.3). It’s very improbable that a person in a healthy state of mind would be seeing the same imagery that Mayra is seeing. Shifting the odds to the highly improbable, let’s assume that she is in a “right” state of mind but still sees this imagery. It becomes more improbable that she is seeing the same imagery on a consistent basis. There has to be some other variable that is leading her to see these images. That variable would be her past sexual abuse. Having experienced events similar to hers and speaking to other people as well, I am inclined to believe this. The sexual relationship that was mentioned in the book also plays a key role in my belief of sexual abuse. She entered a sexual relationship where she had no control over of direction it went in. There was no opportunity nor did she have the ability to give her consent to whatever acts may have occurred. She couldn’t refuse or reject any sexual act that was proposed or forced on to her (Hornbacker, 2008). A relationship like that is not healthy. For any person that goes through it without proper rehabilitation afterwards, is bound to suppress the memories of it. Aside from suppression, according to Conangle (2010) these types of relationships can be “emotionally damaging and severely traumatizing, causing long-term negative consequences, such as adult mental disorders, etc.” (p.3). Since Mayra is suffering from Bipolar disorder in this book, it becomes more prevalent that she was sexually abused. While it is difficult to speak for every abuse victim, it is a difficult event to go through. Without help, all they could do is try to forget about it and allow problems to linger on. If the issue is allowed to linger on, it might lead to other problems. “I study my handiwork. Blood runs down my arm, wrapping around my wrists and dripping off my fingers…I been cutting for...
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