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#937 - 10/07/05 03:39 PM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
Mystic Rhythm Offline
Member

Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 96
Loc: Limbo, clawing my way out...
Hmmmm... :rolleyes:

Being an innocent human at one time...

turned into something un-human...

working and clawing our way back to being human again, with more self-awareness and strength.


MR

_________________________
"Don't give up and lose the chance to return to innocence" - Enigma, Return to Innocence

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#938 - 10/08/05 05:11 AM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
Nobbynobs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 1286
Loc: Toronto
I don't really know how to clarify it. I would not describe myself as a survivor. To me, a survivor lives through a horrible life-threatening experience. Nothing that was done to me has threatened my life. My abuse has just caused me an immense amount of pain, and as I recover from this pain I don't have any feelings that I would associate with being a "survivor." I feel more like I am recovering from a long illness.

I can't really sum up how I feel about myself in one word like survivor. What word can describe the feeling a child feels when he realises the world is really a river of shit and that there are people out there who are truly evil?

I have largely recovered from my abuse but I don't know if I will ever be able to reconcile the knowledge that there are people out there walking the streets RIGHT NOW, planning to do horrible things to children. Right now children are being tortured for the pleasure and gratification of others.

I have no idea how I can maintain my sanity in such a world. It sickens me to my soul. Nobody I speak to, cops, therapists, etc, has an answer for me. Nobody survives child abuse. Every time another child is abused another piece of our humanity is killed. My only hope is that one day we as a species will stand up and put a stop to it, but to be honest I don't put much stock in this hope.

_________________________
When you go up to the bell, ring it! Or don't go up to the bell.

- Mel Brooks

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#939 - 10/08/05 10:16 AM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Quote:

To me, a survivor lives through a horrible life-threatening experience. Nothing that was done to me has threatened my life.

OK, Now I think I see where you are coming from. I would not have felt my life threatened either except for one thing which really haunts me.

I was not suicidal, my abuser never threatened my life, but throughout my youth I made plans several times to run away. Had that happened I feel it would have surely led to my death or worse, and I believe there can be fates worse than death.

So in that sense I feel my life was in serious jeporady but I did survive it. When I think about how close I came a couple of times to turning that knob and dissapearing, it frightens me.

I hear what you are saying too, about the pain and trying to stay sane in an insane world. I feel that way too at times over the same issues. I do however, try to remember the serenity prayer when I get too discouraged about things. It helps.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

I know that sound so sanctamonious, but sometimes it's the only way I stay sane. I weep for all the unknown boys out there who I know are being abussed but the weeping does them no good. So I try to take the words of the prayer to heart. It's the only thing I know to do.

Thanks for sharing Nobby. I've learned through our exchange.

Courage,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#940 - 10/08/05 11:01 AM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Nobby,

What you have given us here is your understanding of what it means to be a survivor. You have said what it means for you, and that's important.

No single term, at least not an important one, can stand on its own without requiring explanation of its meaning, and it may mean many things to different people. What, for example, is love? Or hate? Justice?

I hear you loud and clear when you speak of the awful feeling one gets with the knowledge that children continue to be abused every day. Every time I see a new young person come in here with another tale of horror I wonder when will it ever stop?

But as John points out, part of recovery has to do with accepting our limitations as individuals and living with them. I think our first priority must be to deal with our own issues first and get back to a position where we can live life fully again. But perhaps there is a paradox in that: how can I live my own life fully knowing what I know and doing nothing further about it?

I often wonder that myself, and in fact there are many things one person can do. One is what we all do here: support one another. Another is supporting organizations like this one or societies for the prevention of cruelty to children. Another would be speaking out when the subject comes up in conversation with others and some ridiculous remark is made. Or volunteer work of various kinds. But all that has to come only when one is ready for those kinds of challenges.

I don't think we will ever eliminate CSA, just as other crimes will never be eliminated. But I think an individual can make a difference, and perhaps that is part of being a true survivor as well. The vast improvement in awareness and support for victims of abuse attests to the achievements of lots of individuals, mostly survivors themselves, who one by one have decided to stand against this terrible evil.

Take care,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#941 - 10/09/05 03:35 AM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
Nobbynobs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 1286
Loc: Toronto
Larry,

I think your last paragraph is what is at the core of my struggle. I am trying to prove to myself that there are actually people out there who have chosen to fight this evil. Its just really hard at the moment. I plan to take a pilgrimage in the near future, nothing religious or anything, but I just need to find that shred of hope that things are going to be ok.

Nobby

_________________________
When you go up to the bell, ring it! Or don't go up to the bell.

- Mel Brooks

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#942 - 10/09/05 04:53 AM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
All of which briings us around to what I said in my original post on this thread

Quote:

“Being a survivor means taking the bad things that happened to me, turning them around, and using what I’ve learned because of them to make my life and the lives of those around me better.”

I determined in my heart that regardless of the emotional pain it brought me that I had to speak out. I related in post on another thread Ever told anyone how they sustained you? the story of the first time I spoke out and what happened as a result.

Our Choir goes somewhere once a month and every time we do, I tell my story. I feel compelled to. If I can prevent what happened to me from happening to just one child, or if I can help just one victim begin to heal, then the pain that I suffered will not have been in vain.

I really don't want to sound like I'm tooting my own horn here. I don't mean to be if it sounds that way. It was very difficult the first time I spoke out, and it has not gotten any eaiser. By the time I finish I am very near tears, but I believe that I have been able to make a difference, however small that difference may be.

Should everyone do what I have done? I think probably not. Not everyone is in the same place I am in their recovery. Their path may take them in a completely different direction to do other things and that's OK.

If we each do what we can in what ever way we can, together we can have a tremendous impact on the thinking of society. We can begin to tear down some of the misconceptions surrounding CSA. I have to believe that.

Thanks again guys for your participation in this thread. Your comments have helped me to learn a little bit more about myself and to be able to verbalize my scattered thoughts.

Courage,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#943 - 10/09/05 10:08 AM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Nobby,

You comment:

Quote:
I am trying to prove to myself that there are actually people out there who have chosen to fight this evil.
This is part of being a survivor for you. A lot of it is about attitudes and ways of thinking, as opposed to trying to reach some specific goal. I have been doing a lot of reflecting on this, and I don't see myself reaching some "goal", in the sense of saying okay, now here I am, I can stop, I'm finished. What happened to me will always remain, it will always challenge me to live a fulfilling life in spite of it all. I think we will all find our own ways of identifying and meeting these challenges (John's quote is a useful and heartfelt example), but we are all on the same path.

The same can be said for your thoughts on pilgrimage. I hope you will share those with us when you feel able to do so. And again, a pilgrimage isn't just about a goal, it is also about a path and ways of thinking along your way.

Perhaps saying "I am a survivor" is a way of looking for the path and for others who are on it.

Take care,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#944 - 10/09/05 10:30 AM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
Grunty1967b Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Australia
John, I wanted to add comment to your re-post on Oct 9th. You mentioned how you travel with your choir around once per month and where possible share your story in the hope of preventing others from having to ensure what you (and many others of us here) have had to.

I'm glad you shared that and also wanted to say that I too have made such a decision. I determined long ago that even if I couldn't get the answers to the why and I realised that the clock couldn't get turned back, I determined that even as painful as it might be, that I would help others and do all that I could in either prevention or helping those that had been hurt. I even prayed that out to God and He seems to answer that from time to time.

It hurts each time I do, and I rarely disclose my own past. I just help any way I can and intend on doing so till my dying day.


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#945 - 10/09/05 10:04 PM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
Nobbynobs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 1286
Loc: Toronto
Larry,

I am going to Auschwitz/Birkenau. I know that it sounds melodramatic but I feel drawn there. I have no idea why. Part of me hopes that I will find an answer to my question, that I will meet someone or feel something there that will restore my hope. Or, at least I will meet someone else who is there looking for the same thing and we can look together. Or maybe I want to put what has been done to me in perspective. People did survive Auschwitz so I guess I need to find what sustained them during those dark hours.

And there's that word survive again.

Nobby

_________________________
When you go up to the bell, ring it! Or don't go up to the bell.

- Mel Brooks

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#946 - 10/09/05 10:52 PM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
I suppose being a Survivor means that you can come here and:

1/ Say what you think and have others understand no matter how different our circumstances may have been.

2/ Just read what others have written without having to post a reply even if you really feel that you should.

3/ Really wanting to start and post your own feelings here, but deciding not to, because it is not really what you want to do at that time.

4/ Feeling guilty knowing that you are progressing, when others still appear to be suffering, because they still blame themselves for what happened.

5/ Know that you want to put your past where it deserves to be (in the past), but also knowing that if you forget, then there is more chance of it happening again either to yourself or someone else.

6/ Know that you/we are not alone!

I could add more!

Being a Survivor is having Self Respect? That takes a bit more working on, but I believe that it is achievable! What have any of us ever done that we should now disrespect ourselves? It was never our fault!!!

Larry - there are many things that sustain us through the darkest hours - I think that what keeps me going is that: "I believe that the majority of humans are good in nature, and that they would not willingly harm others. Why should the minority be allowed to destroy our souls?"

Best wishes ...Rik

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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