A guide to help victims become survivors.
QUESTION: As a survivor, how do you let the fight fuel you? Another words, how do you let the fight for survival – the grief, guilt, anger, and even the hate – fuel you instead of drain you, after you’ve been victimized or suffered great trauma?
Have you ever read, “Where Is God When It Hurts?“
(This seems like a good time to recommend such a great book!)
The first step in healing is acceptance and dealing with any denial you might have. You must find your voice (talk about it, share it, find a way of release) in order to begin dealing with what has happened to you and learn to accept it. Only then will you be able to move forward in life once again.
It isn’t about moving past it ~ it’s about learning to embrace it.
Ironically, once you find your voice, you realize it is those very things which caused you so much grief, anguish and despair to begin with (because you kept them bottled up/tucked away inside) that can now work for you instead of against you. Once you come to a place of acceptance, those struggles can now become your success. All of those things begin to offer a degree of solace instead, there by, setting you free.
Use The Tools You Have
While writing has certainly become a great tool personally to help deal with all that’s happened to me, there’s also been another key factor which has aided greatly in overcoming these things.
It’s people… a genuine love for people just like you.
As hard as it was, I had to learn to take my eyes off myself and the only way I knew how to do that successfully was to help other people. I invested myself in other people, instead of focusing on my problems, and God began to work miracles. It wasn’t until then that I began to truly see how He could use all I have survived for the good. It even helps gives all the pain and anguish a purpose.
I couldn’t find my own voice and start by vocalizing it either. Before I could talk, I wrote, but before I wrote, I started volunteering physically. We would take up donations for different causes all around the world, serve at homeless shelters, or volunteer time watching children or visiting the elderly. By making myself available through opportunities like this, it was like an open door, an opportunity for God to bring others into my life who would help me heal too.
Friendships, binds and connections are made on the most basic of levels – pain is pain and love is love – it is where we can all unite regardless of what our stories are or how we got there. That is the basis of our connection. These dynamics helped me build trust and start communicating with people again. It is by helping others and focusing on how to best meet their needs, that my own needs were met.
God’s ways are wonderful!
Then, my own situation caused me to enter a domestic violence shelter for abused women and children. I can tell you, I was not happy to be there, and I mostly just listened at first. It was by watching and hearing other victims tell their stories though, that I eventually gained the strength and courage to share my own. I begin to find my own voice again and reclaim my power.
Perpetrators don’t actually steal our voices, even though it may feel like it. I know it can feel like they have stolen your voice forever, but the truth is, they can only stifle it. People who abuse are experts at finding ways to silence their victims, but it only takes courage to get it back.
Even though talking about how you were victimized may seem like the scariest thing on earth – you may feel like it will swallow you up whole, like it has the power to choke you out, maybe you fear losing your mind or losing your self-control even, because you won’t be able to contain your emotion…
You have to know that as powerful as they are, those are only feelings and not facts. Therefore, you can change it and learn to overcome all of it. Believe it or not, once you voice what’s happened (find your way of release) and come to a place of acceptance, that fear you feel loses its stifling power and you regain control of your life. And that is how you let the fight fuel you. It’s learning how to use all the emotions and feelings that are in your heart and soul, propel you forward to a point of thriving in spite of your circumstances.
The same things that fuel your silence, fuel your healing!
- How To Move On (intro.) (jessiejeanine.com)
- How To Move on (intro cont.) (jessiejeanine.com)
- How To Move On (part 1) (jessiejeanine.com)
- Different Kinds of Grief (smoreforwomenblog.org)
- Flagstaff domestic violence shelter full (azdailysun.com)
- Someone You Should Know: Quasona Cobb (sweetmarie9619.wordpress.com)
- Domestic violence shelter given grant (qctimes.com)
- PEER study says Mississippi held back $1.6 million from domestic violence shelters (gulflive.com)
- Domestic Violence: How to stop someone controlling you (happinessweekly.org)