What Does Being a Survivor Mean?

Today my T phoned me.  Whenever I see her number on my phone I know that she is cancelling the appointment.  Sure enough that’s what happened.  She is not feeling well and the agency that she works for was sending her home. She is not allowed to come back to work for three days.  The agency wants to make sure that anyone who is not feeling well doesn’t have the H1N1 flu. 

I understand this but I hate when the appointment gets cancelled.  I always find it hard to get back into it after being away for a few weeks.  Also this week my thoughts are in high gear and I need to get them out somehow.  I hate it when my brain doesn’t stop.  I hope writing here will help.

What I am about to say only pertains to me and is something I am trying to figure out within myself.  I think this of no one else.

At my last session my T was talking about hope and me being a survivor.  I wasn’t aware of the word survivor in the context of abuse before I started therapy.  I had no idea that a person who lived through abuse was called that.  But I’ve always disliked it when someone has called me a survivor. I have never felt like one.  So I questioned her about what she meant.  She said I was a survivor because I survived the abuse.  And that makes me a strong person.  Well I begged to differ.  I didn’t survive in a thinking way.  I just got through it.  What else would I do?  I actually had no choice in the matter.  I survived only because I wasn’t killed.  I did think about killing myself quite often.  But at that young age I didn’t really know how to go about doing that.  Was I strong?  No, again I had no choice in the matter.  I was along for the ride.

So my question to my T will be “what is the difference of being strong or not strong when going through the abuse?”.  Maybe this is a question for myself.  I can give you many reasons why I think that I wasn’t strong during that time.

My next question to her will be, and it is something I am trying to understand;”what is the difference between being a survivor and not being a survivor”?

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4 Responses to What Does Being a Survivor Mean?

  1. Lindy Abbott says:

    A survivor is any person in any state that has been abused. This is why I separate survivors into two groups 1)a victim and 2)a victor. Every survivor starts as a victim, but only those who push through to reach up for hope/help move out toward being a victor.

    A victor is living life after being a survivor of abuse. A victim is living in what ever life is left after abuse.

    I chose to be a victor of survivors of child abuse.

    Seems like you do also.

    As far as the appointment cancellation depending on your state/stage in therapy your counselor should be able to provide a back up if you need one – only if it is someone to ask questions like you just did on this blog post.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I haven’t thought of it that way. I’ve always equated the word survivor with victor. You have given me some food for thought. Thank you.

  2. Harriet says:

    I’m sorry your appointment got canceled, that sucks. As for being a survivor, well you did survive and that’s a fact. I can’t say whether that makes you a strong person, but judging by what you write I would say you are a strong person.

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