Earlier today, a writer had stumbled upon my blog and took a liking to this post (‘Milestone’) about the two lesbian Navy officers. She too, has a blog, Angels of Secrets; I checked it out. What welcomed me was something I wasn’t prepared for. I don’t think anything could’ve prepared me for what I was about to read. I fell silent, and so did my stomach. My chest tightened. I devoured every word. I can’t remember the last time I engulfed myself into reading as much as I did her blog today.
“I have survived unspeakable crimes against humanity. I survived the hands of a psychopathic killer. I’m the only survivor that can speak for the silenced. I began this blog because I needed to give a voice to the Angels that did not survive. The dead walk with me as Angels of Secrets, I am reminded of them at every turn. I must give them a voice and in doing so, I pray to find peace for my own spirit; forgiveness for the self, forgiveness for each breath I take.” Love, Joan
Painful memories, we all have them, but there is simply no comparison to Joan’s. I’m not even sure if that is her real name (not that it matters, I respect her privacy), I just feel honored to have found her words. They are both insightful, and hard to read. What moves us is not what comes easy, after all. Right now, I am in the midst of feeling an odd mix of awe, disbelief, empathy, admiration and empowerment — in that order.
Nothing I say can encompass the profoundness of Joan’s story, and what it says about the power of humanity, both good and bad. Surely, her words are a blessing to everyone who reads them, as they have been for me, and an immortal testament to the fearless life she led and lived. May she find the strength to keep on writing, not just to inspire us all, but most especially to heal herself.
Courage, that is she.
*Photo by Carmella, Joan’s partner; it links back to the source