A survivor or a victim by Goofy Mumma
A survivor or a victim? Its upto us, how we look at ourselves. I believe its important for survivors to look at themselves as survivors, and not just poor victims. Being abused as a child sexually or otherwise is indeed very very traumatic situation to deal with. Reading some of thesurvivor stories on the CSAA blog, has actually given me goosebumps. One person assaulted abused by different people, or even the same person over a period of time, its sends shivers up my spine. And the one thing I came away thinking after reading these posts, was, just how brave, and strong these women are to have survived these incidents. And that is what distinguishes them from victims, and makes them survivors.
What I found missing though, is the grasp of that most important thing in these people. Its surprises me, simply because they are immensely strong people to have survived these assaults, and to be leading a normal life today. Yes, inspite of what a lot of you might say, I call your lives normal. Many of you are married with children. I have interacted with you on a personal level, and may I take the liberty to say, even intimately, but never in a million years did I think you were victims of CSA, till you told your stories here. How can you not credit yourself for that strength, how can you underestimate your capabilities such? While they may have been some of the darkest times in your life, these were also the times, that showed you your true strengths.
All the survivors who have spoken out here, are people, with normal lives, an education, many with a family. You have not lost your sanity, nor your lives. There are many who lose that, and can no longer continue, and they my friends are victims, you, survivors. Please please recognise your strength. What you went through was a battle, and battles always leave scars, but it is within us to decide whether we let it be just a scar or we live in the agony of it everyday. I believe that each time a survivor thinks about the incidents, they should also think about the strengths that helped them get through the pain, misery and shame. You need to focus on your strengths, each time you think or talk about the incident. Not only will that make you feel more empowered, instead of being a helpless victim, it will also pave a way for those who may have been in the same situation and are unable to cope as well as have you. I wish each survivor post, atleast summarised, the things that helped them wade through the pain, and reach the place they have today.
While there is no denying the far reaching and deep impact of CSA, but it is important for survivors to focus on themselves, their powers rather than the perpetrator or the incident. Unless one is ready for an open confrontation, which may or may not lead to an admittance of guilt by the abuser, I believe there is little to be gained by focusing on them. If you just turn the picture around, and view it for what it brought out in you, how you coped, and what made you survive, it may help you feel stronger and better. While we cannot pretend that the incident did not take place, carrying it like an albatross around your neck all your life hardly seems fair, especially being the wonderful, courageous women that you are.
More power to you ladies, and here is hoping that you realise and appreciate the amazing strength you have, and embrace yourself for that.