I used to meet survivors online on a popular internet provider back in the mid-90’s; we grew to counseling each other as best we could, crippled minds and all. They said I was pretty good at it. (Brandi O.? Where are you?) Eventually I guess that provider decided it was too much of a liability issue, and those were among the first chat rooms to go. (I miss those old friends.)
But I used to tell survivors this.
We have a coin all covered in blood, and we all stare at the blood, crying in pain, remembering how it got there. But – under that blood is value – the golden understanding and compassion that only a survivor can have – both for themselves, and others like them. We are compassionate, feeling, and rescuers all, I think – a creative crowd, us survivors. We had to be.
The psychiatrists and counselors, therapists and psychologists (what I call the ‘shrink’ crowd) – many have been ‘there’, and they try to help, so I can’t knock what they are trying to do. But just like you, they are struggling to understand. It took me a long time to realize that what was done made us a better, stronger, more compassionate person – and not by my abuser. By me and my own realizations.
This isn’t to say we haven’t fallen down in our goals; or that am some saint or innocent – we’re far from those things. I’m just a man who was abused.
So we learned – just as in every blessing lays a curse, in every curse there is a blessing – and for us it is those qualities which only those who have survived can have – the rescuers, the ones who bravely smile as the world falls apart (and then fall apart later) – the true souls, saints and sinners alike: my brethren, the abused children who survived, those fallen who didn’t, and those who are struggling on.
Grasp the coin; look past the blood. There is value there more dear to us all than you can imagine: and that value is YOU.
The blessing in a curse; a hard burden to bear – and yet – a gift to the world. Your gift to give.
Thank you very much. I hope this has helped explain – and given you a reason for having endured, survived – and heal and thrive.