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#947 - 10/10/05 05:57 AM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
Don-NY Offline

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY

You may also want to read "Of Blood and Hope", by Dr. Samuel Pisar. He was in Auschwitz, Dachau, and other camps, from age 13 to 16.

There may be answers in there for you. There were for me.


If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

#948 - 10/10/05 07:03 AM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

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

I don't think it is melodramatic at all to see Auschwitz/Birkenau; it will definitely be a powerful and very upsetting experience though. Another one of that kind is Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem. Again, very powerful but traumatic.

Nobby, do you have a T? If so, maybe you should raise this idea before you go. I am worried that you may well be badly triggered in a place where there is no one to help you or make you feel safe.

Rik I like your defiant and positive attitude when you say:

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?
Basically that's a trust issue. I can accept what you say as a rational adult; the problem is that 11-year-old Larry isn't buying it - trust is simply too scary. Perhaps that's another survivor trait: dealing as an adult with the feelings and fears of a brutalized child.

Take care,

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)

#949 - 10/11/05 02:22 AM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
lacansletter Offline

Registered: 10/04/05
Posts: 70
Loc: St.Petersburg, FL
Wow! What a great thread. I feel like there could be several new threads started just from the replies here but I will try to contain myself to the initial question.

First of all, I think that because I am alive right now, I am a survivor. Perhaps your perp did not threaten your life. Mine only threatened to excommunicate me (that means burn in hell for all eternity- for you non-catholics). Regardless, I don't view the actual abuse events as necessarily life threatening but I don't think anyone would argue the danger of suicide or death by acting out/ self destructive behaviors. I know that I have come close to dying both at my own hands and my own carelessness in the past. i don't know what the statistic is off hand but I have to guess that the suicide rate for CSA victims is higher than the "normal" population. Add to that those of us who have died in other ways due to acting out behavior, and I think Survivor is an apt name.

REgarding Bobby's and Seeker's replies, I agree that there is a continuum. On one end, there is the Survivor that is barely alive. I felt that way when the memories started to unfold. My world was torn apart and all I knew is that somehow, I had managed to still be alive (despite some of my better attempts to the contrary). On the other end of the spectrum are the Survivors described above. I think it is different for everyone. For me, it is realizing that this has impacted so much of my life. that I am not a loser or addict or crazy because of some of the things I did. All this time, I thought my acting out behavior, all of my reckless, dangerous follies were the actions of a loose cannon. someone who could simply not adapt to society like all of the "nice" boys and girls that got along just fine. Now I can point a finger to the SA and say, that is the reason. Now that I can recognize it, I can work on changing it. The most dangerous things are the ones you cannot identify. Like the old axiom of the devil convincing the world that he does not exist.

"The only Zen you find on the mountain top is the Zen that you bring with you" Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

#950 - 10/11/05 02:55 AM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
Born to Resist Offline

Registered: 09/30/05
Posts: 269
Loc: Southern California, USA
I like the idea of a continum. It might even be 2 dimensions creating two axis with 4 quadrants. Interesting research question for the academic types ... but interesting to us to help identify where we are at any given moment.

#256338 - 10/19/08 09:02 PM Re: Survivor - What does it mean? [Re: RICK57]
Puzzled Offline

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 18
SURVIVOR right now for me is just a word. I have been in therapy for 17 months and I am doing alot better then before which was not saying anythings to anyone for 46 years after being sexually abused by my older brother from 9 to 12 years of age. It seems the more I heal the more stuff keeps coming up related to the abuse. My mind tells me to be a survivor you must be totally free from all of it. I want so bad for the abuse let hold of its grip it has had on me and I will have no memory of it but I know that is unrealistic. I have to say things concerning the abuse have never been this good for me because I am not alone anymore.

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