The Best Gift is One You Can Give Yourself

Today I’m thinking about my fellow survivors…from those of you who are still being abused, to those who have left your abusers, but still find yourselves shell-shocked and confused, to those who are actively healing, and those for whom abuse is but a footnote in your lives.

Sometimes a survivor will say something that always shocks me, and that is that their abuse was a gift. It’s not my place to judge how any other survivors handle their experiences, but I myself have never thought this way, not even for a second (see? We don’t all handle things the same, and that’s okay). It isn’t the abuse itself but my response to it and the responses I see from so many others, that I view as a gift. The hand we’re dealt, is not our fault or responsibility, but how we play it, belongs to us.

The challenge I want to set out for survivors this holiday season is that if you are struggling with a narrative of being damaged or broken by your abuse experience, that you begin to find a way to re-author that story. I know that abuse has cost me many things that I can never get back, and I cannot pretend that it didn’t influence and shape my life. However, I view my own story as one of resilience rather than brokenness. God knows I have my difficult moments, but for the most part, I believe that I’ve come out on the other side of my abuse experience. On a bad day, while some part of me may fear that I’m broken or damaged, or that others judge me for being abused, that isn’t the loudest voice. I know that despite the fact that I was abused, I am whole, loving, hardworking, and resilient. My healing continues every day that I do.

Re-write your story, survivors. Whether it’s only for yourself in your journal, whether you tell it to your therapist, write a book, or tell your story in front of a supportive group of people, get that story out of your head. If you want to tell it anonymously online, feel free to send it to me, and I will post it, at abuseisntluv@gmail.com.

Sending you all so much love and support during this holiday season.

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