Survivor Quotes 74

“So many times I didn’t have any hope. Now I love my job and my life. It’s so worth it to stay alive for these times. I’ve never been able to imagine things could be this good. I feel like I’ve landed into someone else’s life. And it’s good.

~ Chris

Donna Raffanello, Can’t Touch My Soul: A Guide for Lesbian Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Survivor Quotes 73

“So many times I didn’t have any hope. Now I love my job and my life. It’s so worth it to stay alive for these times. I’ve never been able to imagine things could be this good. I feel like I’ve landed into someone else’s life. And it’s good.

~ Chris

Donna Raffanello, Can’t Touch My Soul: A Guide for Lesbian Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Don’t Abandon Hope

I belong to a survivor email group, through yahoo. Something happened there a couple months ago. It was very upsetting at the time and it still is. Someone wrote to the group and wrote that it was stupid for survivors of abuse to think that they could stop abuse, any abuse, to change anything, to have a positive impact on the world, that abuse never will be stopped.

I was one of the people who wrote back expressing the opposite belief. Several people believed that she must be uncaring. I was one of them. She wrote back claiming to be caring, claiming to care about survivors, that she was a survivor, and that we all need to abandon hope in order to move on and to have a better life. She wrote that survivors were hurting themselves by believing they could make a positive impact on the world. Which pretty much proved to me that she didn’t and doesn’t care about survivors. 

I used to think that nobody told others to abandon hope. It sounds so, I don’t know, Old Testament or something you would read right before being cast into the fiery pits of hell.

Sometimes abusers join survivor groups. Sometimes victims are still acting out their own powerful programming. I don’t know what the real deal is with this person. But they are wrong.

Myself, I’m a pretty positive gal, one could even say hopeful about most things. At the same time I tend to grasp a lot of the issues/problems/challenges I am going through and tend to understand many political issues, perhaps not with as much depth and knowledge as I would like. Do I think I can stop all abuse? Do I think that I can stop any abuse? Don’t know. But I will keep trying.

There’s a story I heard some time ago, it’s just a story, but it is sort of one of those stories that when you hear them, you know, you just know that is what you think, that that story is a part of you, and that it matters to you and perhaps it always will.

This woman, okay I changed the gender, but the concept works for me better that way. This woman is walking down the beach. The tide is going out and leaving many starfish stranded on dry land. You can see they are trying to move towards the water, but slowly. Many will die before getting to the water, from lack of oxygen.

There is a group of people standing around and talking. One woman is walking down the beach and is picking up one starfish at a time and throwing it back into the water. She keeps doing this until she reached the group standing around. They point out to her that there are miles of beach ahead of her and there is no way she can make a difference.

She picks up the next starfish, throws it in the ocean. Turns to the group, says, made a difference to that one. And moves down the beach, continuing to throw starfish back into the sea.

Can I make a difference in someone else’s life? Can I make a difference in another survivor’s life. Can I stop abuse, even for one person? Can I change the world?

Don’t know. But I make a difference in my life. Having hope makes a difference in my life.

Hope

Hope is one of our central emotions, but we are often at a loss when asked to define it. Many of us confuse hope with optimism, a prevailing attitude that “things turn out for the best.” But hope differs from optimism. Hope does not arise from being told to “think positively,” or from hearing an overly rosy forecast. Hope, unlike optimism, is rooted in unalloyed reality. Although there is no uniform definition of hope, I found one that seemed to capture what my patients had taught me. Hope is the elevating feeling we experience when we see–in the mind’s eye–a path to a better future. Hope acknowledges the significant obstacles and deep pitfalls along that path. True hope has no room for delusion.

Jerome Groopman MD