Years ago, I read a novel by Sarah Schulman in which she wrote that time doesn’t heal wounds, resolution does. In the autobiographical documentary Charlotte Rampling: The Look, Rampling says something similar about being marked by pain. In Rampling’s case, it the brutal blow (the easiest way for a man to mark a woman with his pain) her character receives across the face in Sidney Lumet’s The Verdict (one of the verdicts is that women apparently cannot be trusted).
“When some form of behavior becomes impossible to accept, you have to take some form of action. You can’t just let it go. It’s cause and effect. If you do something that deserves to be punished then you have to accept some form of punishment, otherwise you can’t actually move on. If you’re unable to mark the moment by something, and you just run away from it—a lot of people run away because the emotional impact is too strong, and they’re frightened of it, and they don’t know how to confront it, and they don’t know how to confront the other, so they just run away. And so they just leave it. And so they think, ‘Well, life will take care of it. Or time will take care of it.’ But it actually doesn’t. Those things fester. Those things linger on in your body. You need to have it shaken out of you. Withdrawing won’t protect you.”