In this post, I chose survivor comments that speak of his/her struggle of self-acceptance. This is a monumental task that all survivors face. Hopefully, by sharing our voices we can lessen the pain of our healing journey.
This post is part of a series of survivor comments on [We Are Survivors] blogs that I’ve written over the past 10 years. Not all of my blogs and comments transferred when we upgraded our website earlier this year and I apologize to those individuals affected.
Survivor #13: I am having trouble crossing the hurdle of undeserving. If it were anyone else but me, I’d be on it. I have worked with abused children for my entire career. Those particular kids have been drawn to me and my girls, and I can recognize, clearly without thought, the look of pain that those eyes hold. I have not come to terms, though, that the unjustness applies to me. I guess that is another step of understanding. Maybe I’m afraid if I give in to that concept, then anger would have to awaken, and in my experience, anger is certain death to heart and soul.
Survivor #14: As a survivor of abuse for all of my childhood from my mother, I have completely accepted that I will always look at that little, skinny girl in the corner. She is rocking herself and making sniffing noises, as though she cannot get her breath. But now, after over 40 years of never quite believing in myself, three years ago I have stopped running. When I look at this girl today, I see someone different. Instead of standing away from her, listening and hearing the same crushing sieving sounds come from my own voice, I walk up to that small broken girl in my mind. I allow myself to pick her up, hold her, and love her. Love all of her, all of me. I will never give up. When one or all of my ghosts show up, when a door slams, I will always shutter. But now I have learned not to run. At 55-years-old, I have just finished my fifth semester of college. I believe I like myself pretty good today.
Survivor #15: I do not think I can manage one more thing, yet I am at work. Then, I need silence and no other stimulation for awhile. I feel like my therapy sessions are important, and my reactions are surfacing. God, it is hard to look at the truth—it is so hard to hold the new meaning of those moments. It is hard to understand that it was not my fault because I have always been certain it could only have been my fault.
Survivor #16: Most survivors who try to bury their past and just move on rarely succeed. Abuse creates anger. That anger can either be turned inwards where it turns on self-hate and leads to depression, self-punishment, loneliness, and isolation. Or that anger can be directed outwards where survivors hurt those they love, their lovers, their pets, their children, and their employers. The anger of survivors is like a lake of magma below a volcano. Survivors who bottle up their emotions and repress them find they fester beneath the surface and build up pressure till their anger erupts like a volcano. It takes a lot of mental energy to repress that anger and to keep it bottled up where it eats away at the survivor from the inside out.