“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
For all of us that have survived the trauma of abuse, we have definitely been a victim of a painful, haunting past. What we have endured we wouldn’t wish on anyone else but know this through doggedly attending therapy sessions and the support of family and friends it is possible to survive the trauma. Possible to have maybe one day without dissociation or flashbacks. Maybe one at first slowly, building over time to two, then three days.
Cutting episodes lessen or alcoholic binges become fewer. Suicide attempts are reduced. Clinic stays are shorter and less frequent. Time with family becomes more ‘present’. You actually are able to listen to their eager stories of their days at work/school without your mind wandering into the past out of your control. Achingly gradually you stop feeling like a victim and haltingly, inch by tear jerking inch work towards becoming a survivor. It takes years and I stumble like a baby taking its first steps along the way. It’s one step forward, two steps back. ICU visit after ICU visit. One Emergency Department after another, Psychiatric Scheduling after another. A gifted Psychotherapist and Psychiatrist and loving partner put me back together piece by little piece until I crawl out from under the depression of Complex PTSD and start to live a life again after four long years.
It is still one day at a time and three therapy sessions a week to keep going but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Today I celebrate my daughters twenty-second birthday, a day I never thought I would see. I deserve to be here to celebrate it. She is Vegan and I have spent the day making a Vegan Curry Night and Vegan Carrot Cake and I’m proud to be able to do it. Proud of the motivation and proud to be her Mum. I am a survivor.