February 07, 2006

 

Survivors Reaching Out In Cyberspace

On the last two blog entries where I talked about my A Day of Thriving poem and what thriving looks like for sexual abuse survivors, I was exploring the concept of reaching out. It's about breaking the isolation that abuse survivors so often struggle with. My poem (that can be viewed in the archives section of my "Meditations" page on my website www.survivorscanthrive.com) says, "I don't isolate." It also says I'm assertive with others and, "I'm not afraid to express my feelings or voice my opinions."

I guess, even on the days when I'm overwhelmed with the challenges of life and/or don't feel like I'm really thriving that well, I am still reaching out, expressing my feelings and voicing my opinions. Look, here I go again. I'm doing it right now. I launched my website in September and continue to express myself through it. I began this blog in November and have started to update it more often and consistently. Hey, I'm even playing meme games these days!

What else have I done to break my survivor isolation? Well, after an eight-year hiatus, I joined another support group for survivors of childhood sexual abuse last spring. Quite frankly, I can get really bummed talking about incest and survivor issues, but I really like this group. It's run by an organization in Colorado called
WINGS. When I joined WINGS I received a helpful, well-written survivor's guide. It's a great reference. I also appreciate the fact that the group meetings are well-facilitated and include healthy topics of conversation. I think the recent self-esteem discussion (mentioned in a previous post here) was helpful to all.

Although I spend my days alone, writing at my computer, I've also found ways to reach out interactively over the Internet. There are some very useful survivor forums and message boards out there and, recently, I've joined a few. My favorite so far (because I've had the most exposure to it) is After Silence at
www.aftersilence.org/forum. It has public and members-only forums for survivors of rape and sexual abuse. The members--almost 2,000 strong--are surprisingly intimate with each other and provide a lot of uplifting support. Pandora's Aquarium is even bigger with more than 2,000 members. This is a cool, Tori Amos-inspired site at http://pandys.org. This site is so hip it even offers its own blogs to members. Another board I like is an offshoot of The Wounded Healer Journal at www.twhj.net. The forum at twhj is for abuse, trauma and PTSD recovery support.

Comments:
That is true. After looking at your sight I know you are on the right track. I call the place "The Other Side". It is a neat place to be actually. Of course it took years to work through it all but I wouldn't be who I am today if it were not for me going through the stuff I went through. Keep up The Good Work!
 
Hi Marj,
I am glad I found your site, great material, information with experiences. I would like to let the bloggers that visit my site know about the website, blog. I will link you if you do not mind.
Take care, look forward to reading more.
If any questions let me know please!
Thank you for your dedication to helping others.
 
Yes, there are many of us survivors on the web trying to find ways to heal and find safe spaces to break free from the isolation of PTSD. Here is my blog: http://jewexploringbuddhism.blogspot.com/. Know that you are not alone.
 
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