A guide to help victims become survivors.
We’ll try to answer the questions that have come in one at a time.
I pray this stirs much discussion which others find useful and encouraging!
I received another email recently and in part, I was asked “how” is it possible to write about all this stuff if it means re-living it, and in essence, going through it all again? How do you deal with the overflow of emotion you sometimes have and why would you choose to go through it all again by remembering and writing a book?
How to Re-live and Remember without Fear
You know, it really isn’t about how to do it without feeling fear or a bunch of other mixed emotions that may rear their ugly heads. Surviving is about having the courage to deal with whatever has happened to you. And courage is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to feel fear or be afraid and do it anyway. It’s not about avoiding or denying what happened. Our feelings come and go according to circumstance, so it’s about rising above them and taking action regardless. By doing this we aren’t letting our emotions and feelings control us anymore. We go from being a victim (a person without a voice who had no control) to becoming a survivor (someone who finds their voice and takes back control.)
What Are You Afraid Of?
Let’s think of some every day examples on a smaller scale which may help us relate to this idea a little better. Think about some fears you were able to conquer as a child, or if you have children, think about the ways you’ve helped them learn to overcome the small stuff…
One of the best examples I can think of is when we learn to ride a bike. When you were learning, did you ever get scared after falling off? Most of us probably did, but we chose to get right back on. Eventually the more we did it, the less fear we felt. We may have needed some encouragement to try again (be it a little or a lot) but the point is, we finally did it and conquered our fear.
Now granted, this might seem like a minor fear compared to the thought of re-living or choosing to remember some horrible event, but it is the same concept, just on a bigger scale. That doesn’t really change “how” we deal with it though I don’t think. It just requires more of the same things like courage, faith, trust, effort, etc.
The Freedom in Remembering
For me, I feel like I have to get these stories down on paper. Kidnapped, Molested and Shattered have become rather easy for me to talk about now, because I allowed myself to re-live it and put it on paper. For me, that took the ultimate amount of courage. It wasn’t until I could finally get it all out that way, that I was able to let go of it.
Yes, it is difficult to do, because it almost requires one to ‘re-live’ in order to ‘remember’. At least, I think it does, if you truly wish to convey the feelings of the moment and hope to bring your readers with you. But, once you do it – that struggle then becomes your success. Those very things which caused you so much grief and anguish, because you kept them bottled up and tucked away – those things can now work for you instead of against you, offering some degree of solace and there by, finally setting you free.
Find Your Release
You know, it doesn’t matter what your talent, passion or interest is. The key is to find your release – a way you can start letting go, a way to start talking about it, a way to accept it…
I am a writer, so it made the most sense to write about it and is what comes so natural. If you are a painter – paint it! If you are a poet – pen it that way. If you are a dancer – dance your heart out! If you play an instrument – play until your heart feels like it can’t beat anymore!
I believe once you are able to re-live the horrible things that happened to you, once you are able to express it through your passions (which will allow the emotions behind it to emerge) I think only then can you begin to accept it. Once you can truly accept what happened to you, without blame and guilt, then you will be able to share it more freely with the world. Believe it or not, once you voice it, it loses its stifling power – that power then becomes yours instead.
The power of silence finds a voice – your voice!
Believe it or not, over time, it does get easier and easier to talk about. It isn’t until I can put my own voice behind it though, that it loses the power it has had to silence me from the abuser. Does that make sense my friends?
I welcome all of your thoughts, comments and questions as we figure this out together!
What are some key things you have discovered to help you move on
and overcome those struggles which were meant to silence you forever?