I was recently asked (again!) why I concentrate on “Survivors” rather than get more actively involved in “committees” and “enquiries” and politics, or what we would have referred to in the North as “dog hangings”(don’t ask!)
There is no doubt that many of these campaigns have been have been invaluable, and have got legislation to the place it is now, so I am not disputing the contributions made by activism and campaigns, I do indeed sometimes march, speak at rallies and conferences, if the subject is near to my heart.
But the reasons for prioritising are very clear, I only have a certain amount of energy, and I have to be sure I use it wisely, so I will do that which feels most important to ME, what is my passion, and that is the connection with, and the empowerment of fellow survivors.
My other passion is the education of the general population the severity and the neuro-biology of childhood abuse, I am passionate about setting that particular record straight, to stop further trivialisation of this crime.
I have had to make similar decisions in my professional life too, for example, I am asked why I don’t do more deliveries of babies, and cosmetic acupuncture? I simply cannot do it all! There would not be enough hours in the day, so there again I have to concentrate on that which is most important to ME, in that case it is teaching about addiction and abuse, and treating existing patients.
Also I only have the skills I have! So it seems to be sensible to utilise and maximise those, and to share what I can.
Often when we have been abused, a common legacy for we survivors is an overwhelming sense of unworthiness.
How often have we thought we don’t deserve love or attention, felt lower than a snakes belly in the grass, unable to make sense of what has happened to us, and why? even presuming that some defect in us has caused this horror, resulting in our feeling guilty and alone.
When you find your survivors voice, the first gift to yourself MUST be to know that you are amazing! A child of the Universe, no less than the trees and the stars and with a right to be here. Made of stardust! Unique and irreplaceable! There has never been anyone like you before ,and there never will be again.
As a human being you are the result of the rarest of possibilities, and as a survivor of the worst betrayals, you are truly awesome!
Just like the miners trapped beneath the Earth for weeks, or like someone coming back from the wreck of the Titanic, back from near death, your survival is something to be celebrated and rejoiced in.
Wether your journey back to wholeness has only just begun, and you re just emerging from your nightmare, or if it happened a long time ago but still haunts you, the fact is that you are here, now, alive and can at last have hope and seek happiness.
Recovery is a growing thing, a process rather than an event, and like all growing things it will take time and gentle nurturing.
Rather than pulling up a tiny shoot to stretch it and make it grow, (which may well kill it!), perhaps it is wiser to tend the soil around it,water and fertilise it’s roots, making it more possible for it to grow tall and strong and become truly independant! I much prefer to see myself in the role of watering can! I will fight if the need arises, but I would rather leave the politics to those that have a stomach for it, I just find it a privelege to share in the lives of others, and more especially the pain of the wounded.