From Victim to Survivor - Introduction
My journey through trauma and then to recovery has taught me many things that I simply could not have ever understood so genuinely without the experiences.
Suffice to say, it was a cruel and painful way to learn. We do not truly appreciate what others are feeling unless we have felt something similar.
I remember a friend once saying to me that throughout my journey she has always felt sad for what I was experiencing and would always look for ways to be supportive, but she never truly understood my trauma until she herself experienced it.
It brings me no joy to know that she needed to experience pain and trauma herself before she could understand mine but when we talk about workplace bullying and how it impacts, yes this can certainly be true.
Any emotional pain or discomfort is easier to understand when you yourself have experienced it. That’s not to say only those who have suffered the trauma themselves can be supportive or helpful.
If that were true then only those who had given birth should be midwives, and only those who have been bankrupt should give financial advice. Not true at all.
However, when friendships are brought into environments where trauma is being experienced, it is sometimes nice to know that the person being supportive actually does know how you feel, and this was the case for me in this instant.
We remain friends and continue to support each other through the many challenges of our journey, and I believe we are both grateful for what we have contributed to each other's healing.
What have I learned as I recovered?
That things are what you make of them.
That you have to keep on going, no matter how hard the days seem or how much crap they throw at you.
That you have to keep forgiving them.
You have to be considerate of everyone, even those that hurt you.
That to overcome the pain you have to try and understand it.
I literally have to remind myself of this all the time.
Trauma has permanently changed me.
There is no going back to the person I used to be, the ‘old me’.
There is no ‘getting over it’ only ‘getting on with it.’
I am grateful for what I have in my life and I am grateful for my lessons.