another thought just came to me: i used to think i could only help someone else if their circumstances had been the same or worse than mine. i wouldn't even think of trying to help someone who seemed more normal or healthy than me. i didn't feel like i was qualified or had anything to offer. i am starting to see that maybe i can also help those who didn't go through things as bad as my experiences.
when one of our kids had a broken bone, the doctor said that when it healed it would be stronger at that spot than it was before the injury. maybe that can apply to us survivors, too? - that the places we have been hurt and healed might end up stronger than the same place in a "normal" person's life who had never been hurt or needed healing? that is reason to hope.
"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself... And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity." - Paulo Coelho