While I know that a) it is so very hard to be close to someone who is actively healing from abuse, and b) there are resources both online and in book form (good one is Allies in Healing by Laura Davis), I still thought that for what it’s worth, I could sometimes jot down my thoughts on this topic and perhaps someone could find some useful information on this blog if they are in that situation and want to know more about it or want to know what a survivor might expect from them.
I’ll be posting stuff as I go, but in this first post on this topic I’d like to say congratulations for deciding to support a survivor; a lot of them are used to people walking away for whatever reason, so I think even if they don’t say it out loud, they for sure appreciate you and your commitment to stick to it and be there for them on their path towards healing.
It won’t be easy for you – as Pandora’s Project states, supporting a survivor is like secondary surviving. You will encounter situations where you will have to look inside of yourself and do some healing on your own right even if you didn’t endure abuse, and the ability to be open-minded and analytic will come handy.
I have personally been blessed to have encountered wonderful people along the way who have listened and offered a shoulder to cry on. I have also been lucky enough to randomly or not so randomly to meet other survivors – men, women, gays, straight people, white people, black people, rich people, poor people, Brits, Scandinavians, Americans, Africans, and everything in between – who have inspired me and by sharing their stories, they have given me hope. I do think we often look to authorities, therapists, parents, friends and partners for support (which is great! Nothing beats a loving and caring partner who you can confide in and who believes in your strength to survive) but we should never ever forget the healing powers that connecting with another survivor can bring.
Also bumped into a project by Pandora’s Project where they are looking for survivors to volunteer their experiences – check out http://www.pandys.org/videoproject.html for more info! You might see me there….x