I am a Survivor; that I am. I am also a Victim-that sense of brokenness lies at the centre of the Survivor within me: the two are intimately related, though somehow estranged. I am also neither Survivor nor Victim; I am Me, the Me I was before either of these.
I have found , out of all these selves, the world prefers my Survivor self, and I came to prefer it myself. The Victim oftentimes doesn’t get a real look in; people find her hard to deal with, denying her instead-victimising her again and again.
Having been in survivor mode some 40 plus years, the past two and a half years specifically, the Victim within has taken up certain residency and it has been a great big challenge letting her in and letting her be, as she seemed to go against the Survivor in me.
And as for Me, Me doesn’t know who she is, and would like to be. And because Me wasn’t around very long before disaster stroke, she doesn’t quite know she deserves good things. When it comes to allowing herself what she truly wants and needs, the Victim within makes Me feel ‘worthless,’ like I am asking way too much, and the good things others get to have is not for the likes of Me. Things like a more relaxed existence, a good marriage, meaningful work, a good income, great supportive networks; to be allowed to follow my bliss.
The Survivor in Me oftentimes overlook Victim’s and Me fears and vulnerabilities, wanting to affirm every weakness out, and continue forever forward and on, unaware of the toll-the toll of shouldering it all and soldiering on: carrying the world on my shoulders as if I am God and Great Mother.
So next time you meet a Survivor of any sort, be compassionate and understand, that beneath robustness oftentimes lives the Victim, and that well-being and recovery can be lifelong work-as can, very simply, being one’s own self.
And don’t be quick to tell the Survivor to ‘move on,’ ‘forgive’ and don’t ‘dwell on the past,’ because that will most definitely be like rubbing salt in the wounds and telling the Survivor it’s their fault, however well-intentioned.
Just listen, compassionately, however difficult that may be, because your doing so helps Survivors to see that they are not to blame; they are not alone; that they deserves good things and all the time they need to heal and feel at home in this world. This Survivors needs to hear and know much more than anything else .
Peace & Love,