November 14, 2005
From Surviving to Thriving
What other reasons are there for me to do a blog? I think my most compelling reason is my strong desire to stop the silence in order to break the cycle of child sexual abuse. The statistics related to sexual abuse are staggering. The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that one in three girls and one in six boys is sexually abused by the age of 18. This means that the odds are higher that your little girl will get sexually abused than that she will get breast cancer. I see a lot a pink ribbons out there for breast cancer awareness. I believe in this cause and think it is important. But, I have to ask--why can we talk about breast cancer and not sexual abuse? It's not because the problem isn't huge!
We must stop the silence to break the cycle. Child sexual abuse perpetuates in our silence, shame and discomfort.
Why else do I want to do a blog? I want to write about this stuff because I think it is time that we survivors decide we want and deserve to thrive! Those who have endured sexual assault and abuse may start out feeling like victims. As we begin our healing journey, we learn that it took strength and courage for us to survive. We are, indeed, survivors. But being a survivor is not the most we can hope for.
When I asked myself what I want out of this life, I couldn't be honest and answer that I merely wanted to survive. There came a day when I decided I deserved and wanted to thrive. That's what my website, book and blog are for and about: Survivors who choose to thrive. On my personal path of recovery, I learned to thrive. I firmly believe that if I can learn to thrive, anyone can!
A while back, I asked myself these questions: What does thriving feel like? How do I know when I am thriving? What does a day of thriving look like? On my website, I posted a little poem of sorts called, "A Day of Thriving." You can find it in the archives of my "Meditations" page. I'll use this blog to elaborate on thriving vs. surviving.
I think one of the most important changes has been my new-found ability to fall asleep easily and sleep well through the night. This is big for me. For years, I had to have everything in the bedroom and the bed set up just right so that I could fall asleep. These precautionary measures were created by me over the years to prevent certain triggers that could catapult me into hideous flashbacks of my abuse. Another common challenge used to be waking up at the same time in the middle of the night. It got to the point where I had to make sure I could not see my alarm clock from the bed. I dreaded waking up to see those glowing LED numbers reading 2:59, 3:00 or 3:01 night after night.
Nightmares were also commonplace for years. Many terrifying dreams would end with me becoming conscious, only to be launched directly into a flashback. I think my husband is as happy as I am that I am no longer waking him up in the bed with my thrashing, screaming and beating on him!
The next line of my day-of-thriving "poem" talks about what a thriving morning is like. I'll elaborate on that in my next blog entry.
Copyright 2005 by Marj McCabe. All Rights Reserved.
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