What I Needed as Survivor
Originally posted October 20, 2021
When I think about what I needed as a survivor escaping abuse, I think about how much of my attention was focused on the person who harmed me and how that focus was enabled by others re-living their own trauma vicariously through me.
What was nurtured in me was bitterness and resentment- neither of which supported my ability to heal, reclaim my power and start living my life on my own terms.
I dream of a kind of community support in the wake of abuse where a community asks a survivor what their dreams are and helps them to realize them.
Imagine putting emphasis on fostering a sense of belonging, meaning, and inherent worth.
Of course space needs to be held for all of the experiences that come with surviving abuse.
But in supporting survivors we need to know the difference between validating anger and difficult emotions at the person who harmed them and nurturing resentment and helplessness.
My experience was far too much of the latter and far too little helping me take back my life.
I want us to imagine a new paradigm for survivor support. One that instills the sense of worth and belonging that survivors need to heal.