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I’m a survivor

Fat Mum Slim /

I'm a survivor

If you’ve been watching the news, you may well know that there’s a Royal Commission into sexual abuse that happened over many years to many victims, with Cardinal Pell being questioned about his knowledge of the crimes.

To be honest, I don’t know much when it’s comes to the detail on this news. I pay attention for as long as I can, and then I become disgusted and uncomfortable.

Those people suffered, and it’s horrible. To sit there and hear someone speak so dismissively about the incidents just kills me. Seriously? Ugh. I have no words.

What I do have words on is this though. I’ve thought about it each night, and tonight I asked Hubby: “Why are the victims labeled as survivors not victims? In any other crime they’d be victims, right?”

I can’t stop thinking about this.

“I guess it gives them power. Victim seems so negative, survivor feels like they’ve got some sort of power back,” he tried explaining.

It’s such a small thing, but it makes me want to fist pump that they’re noted as survivors.

Why?

I don’t know. Perhaps it’s because I’m a survivor too.


 

Abuse is a bitch really. There’s no better way to describe it. I thought I had cured myself in my 20s. I thought I was done with it. My abuser died, and I was done with it. I didn’t have to think about it everyday like I had in the past. He was dead. It happened. I was OK.

But abuse is a bitch, it lingers. It’s with you forever. Some days/weeks/months will go by, and you don’t think about it, or feel anything about it, but then some days it consumes you.

Abuse lurks in dark moments, and in the most unsuspecting scenarios. There are triggers when you least expect it. You feel them when you watch your own children, and it’s like a sucker-punch to the chest, taking your breath away with one big kick.

Watching the news and seeing the survivors, hearing their stories, and seeing their brokeness {it’s not a word, but I see it in them. The way they hold their bodies. I see it in their eyes. It’s familiar to me. I know it}.

The other day, for the first time ever, I wondered what life would be like if it had never happened. I yearned for that simplicity and wonder. Imagine that.

Two years ago I was an Ambassador for Braveheart, where I shared my story on sexual abuse. It felt brave doing that, but oh boy was it confronting. I was at a point in my life where I thought I had all the details, and the conversation was done. My abuser was dead after all. But something happens when you start talking about it again, people start sharing more, and more details come out, and then you have to deal with a whole new reality.

I imagine for these survivors that this is a whole new level of pain, that they’re experiencing. It must feel like it’s never-ending.

After sharing my story for Bravehearts, conversations started again about abuse in my family. People talked about their experiences. Conversations took place. Tears happened. I learned that people {or to be honest, a person} in my family didn’t believe me, and didn’t believe their own children who were also abused. That hurts.

I haven’t had the experiences of the survivors that I’ve seen on TV. I can’t even begin to imagine what they’ve gone through. But I do know that there must be some healing to just hear words of validation, “Yes I knew he did that to you, and I’m sorry.” I know that’s a simplistic view, but those words would do so much for those survivors, and, yes… for me too.

I hope for those survivors that something comes of this for them. They deserve to be able to move on. They deserve to live life without carrying this on their shoulders every single day.

Abuse is a bitch. And those who abuse, they’re the absolute scum of the earth.

@Fatmumslim