A Journey from Victim to Survivor…to Living Freely

The Girl Who Lived

on October 30, 2015

“The Boy Who Lived” starts a fantastic journey into what becomes the Harry Potter series.  A few years ago, I  decided that my mission (in grasping and gripping onto a Maya Angelou quote) was “not merely to survive…but to thrive–and do so with with some passion, compassion, humor and style.”  It’s my goal, my focus, my constant question as I process through.  It’s made me wonder though lately, if I remember that living, simply surviving, before deciding to live freely or do so with humor, passion, style, compassion–if I remember that living is a…triumph (I had to think…to close my eyes and think of what word I am trying to choose).  At some points, living or surviving was as triumphant as it could possibly be.

Various times of years bring additional triggories (creating my own word — trigger+memories=triggories).  And, when I work through triggories that take me to be basic point of survival, I can understand (and give myself a little less berating for being triggered) why they are the triggories that take the ground out from under my feet and have me in a frenetic franticness…they are the moments where survival was not in my hands, was very much in the hands of others and was questionable…they are the moments where I knew death was balanced with life and I wasn’t sure which way it would go.  Here’s the thing…taking one trauma, the rape–all of it was horrible and has a plethora of triggers…yet, one part, had me understand that death was in my immediate future…and that’s what changes any focus on thriving or living freely…I simply wanted to live.  Not a time to think about surviving (or to think at all) or having style or passion…my body, my mind, my spirit just screamed “LIVE!”.  That part that replays in my mind is a triggory that comes with a frequency…one that has sensory, auditory and visual triggers…face-down, pinned, unable to breathe, with his voice in my ear…a point at which “No” or “Stop” was no longer the important part…a point at which I wasn’t thinking or reacting or speaking…I was down to core sense that screamed with such urgency “BREATHE”.

There are many horrible aspects of the rape (and other traumas)…the worst parts are those that have led me to believe that “The Girl Who Lived” was triumphant.  That, in healing, in learning to grieve, in processing and trauma work, in conversations with others who lived…honoring and appreciating the “simple” fight to survive, is awfully damn impressive…and that I need to remember that it was a feat that allows me to be here today…that reminds me how much I want to live…that those reminders come when Ed wants to gain footholds or self-harm tries to convince me that it’s all I need.  My will to survive helped me to be The Girl Who Lived.  Later came surviving, thriving, living freely.  It’s there, all of it is….And–we need to allow ourselves some self-compassion to remind ourselves what an impressive victory it is to live.

We can do this, my friends….healing, recovery, standing on our own two feet…we surely can ❤

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style” ~Maya Angelou


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