December 22, 2007


I've Created a "Survivor Needs" Meme

This holiday season, many of us survivors are rushing around trying to get our gift shopping done and get all those items on our lists checked off. For some of us, the holidays are a painful time of triggers and obtrusive memories. Whether you hate Christmas, really get into the holiday spirit, or just tend to run yourself ragged this time of year, it's time to pay attention to some of your own needs.

I know! Let's make a list for ourselves and do it as a meme.

I've created a list of "Survivor Needs" and I've arranged them from 1-25, like an advent calendar counting down to the 25th day of December. I've also sprinkled in a few things that I, as a survivor and a human, just want! For your own list, maybe you need to pretend it's not the holidays. Maybe you can't tolerate touch (even cyber hugs), but you want some healing vibes sent your way. Maybe you don't feel comfortable telling your story, but you want others to know you are a survivor and not feel so alone.

This is your chance to communicate your own, personal survivor needs.

You don't have to wait to get tagged with this meme. Grab it and post a list of your own! Let's focus some attention on self care this holiday season...with an emphasis on getting our needs met in the New Year.

My Survivor Needs

As a survivor trying to thrive:
  1. I need PEACE.
  2. I need some sleep!
  3. I need to feel safe in the shower and in my bed.
  4. I need rapport and effective work with a good therapist who cares.
  5. (Although I've often tried to do without them) I need anti-depressant meds and something for anxiety and sleep when I need it.
  6. I need to be silly and have some fun once in a while.
  7. I need to do safe, healthy anger work.
  8. I need to get in touch with my feelings.
  9. I need to be in my body.
  10. I need safe touch with trusted others and safe cyber hugs.
  11. I need to tell my story and know that I'm not alone.
  12. I need to advocate for and connect with other survivors, and raise awareness about sexual violence and abuse.
  13. I need soft, warm jammies, slipper socks, blankets, hoodies and throws.
  14. I need non-sexual touch and affection with my husband.
  15. I need to exercise assertiveness, boundaries and communication with others to keep myself safe.
  16. I need to get out in nature and know that all can be right with the world.
  17. I need to hold my child and feel his soft cheek against mine.
  18. I need a warm, furry pet.
  19. I need to comfort and re-parent my inner child.
  20. I need to renew my commitment to breaking the cycle...every day.
  21. I need to stay away from most of my family of origin--they are toxic!
  22. I need to continue to work on a healthy relationship with my sister.
  23. I need healthy self-esteem.
  24. I need to know that I am worth good things and I deserve them!
  25. I need to let you know that you're not alone either--I'm here and I care.

And, I also want (but don't necessarily need and/or might not ever have):

  1. I want coffee!
  2. I want chocolate!
  3. I want a cigarette (but I'm not going to have one).
  4. I want a pill that would eliminate my nightmares.
  5. I want to end all forms of sexual violence and child abuse everywhere, forever.

Rules of the "Survivor Needs" Meme:

I tag:

  1. Patricia Singleton at Spiritual Journey of a Lightworker
  2. Enola Survivor
  3. Lynn at Spilling Ink in Public
  4. Matthew at Loving Awareness
  5. Mike at Child Abuse Survivor
  6. Megan at Imaginif
  7. Marcella at Abyss2Hope
  8. Annaleigh at As Waters Passing By/Blessed Fearscapes
  9. Memory Artist
  10. Karma at Jew Exploring Buddhism

Note: Please don't be insulted if you don't see your name on this list. I've left some bloggers off on purpose because I want to give you the chance to tag (and I know you will anyway) each other.

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Hi Marj,
I just noticed the pingback in my incoming links. My blog was set to private for a couple of days. I NEEDED some privacy.

Thank you for including me. I'm not so good about memes, but I like this one. I'm going to give it some thought.
we said we would do ours to enola on holidays meanwhile what do you think on life sapcings of the first ever therapist/client blog writing LOL
Cool, JIP! That sounds FANTASTIC! I would definitely be a regular reader.
MA: I was wondering what was going on. I hope you play with us. I think this is a good thing for us to think about and communicate with each other.
Thank you!

It's hard to say what I need as I seem to have everything I need. A little more peace I suppose.

Right now it appears I've set up something perfect for myself for growth and transformation. Just not for stability. :-) I got let go from my job, a weird and serious illness probably related to the sexual abuse that keeps me from working, and with it, an incredible amount of memories coming up for clearing. Memories of being strangled, body convulsions, all that. So a lot going on!
Hi Marj, I decided that one of the things I need tonight is to spend some loving time with my husband instead of making a cake that no one is expecting me to make. My cooking is over for this holiday.

Since I am relatively new to blogging about incest and reading articles on other blogs, the only blogging survivors that I know are already on your list so I won't tag anyone else. I will write my own list but it will be when I get back from my travels for Christmas. Have a Merry Christmas.
Thanks Marj! It was helpful to write that. You know, I had horrible nightmares too for years. Practicing cognitive behavioral sleep therapy and taking an anti-anxiety has helped a lot with it, so has not talking about survivor issues after a certain time at night and doing traditional psychotherapy. I hardly EVER have nightmares anymore. One day you won't have them anymore either.
This is an outstanding list. Really gave me some good tips too. Thanks. ~ Denise
It looks like a great list.

Hope you have a Merry Chirstmas!!

Also, I really can relate to 13. LOL
Yes, #13 is one of my favorites! Merry Christmas to you, too, RR!
Patricia: Have a wonderful Christmas, safe travels, and we'll see you when you get back.

Denise: thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you liked the list.

Karma: I'm glad the list was helpful and I'm so glad you've had such good "luck" with ending nightmares!
Matthew: I wish you peace and an end to body memories.

What a great list you posted! I smiled in recognition a number of times. Fortunately my daughter knows me well and did give me chocolate for Christmas.
April: I'm so glad you got chocolate for Christmas. Can hardly think of a better gift! :)
Speaking of chocolate, they put a See's Candies in an the closest mall to me. Now I am in real's way to convenient now.
I forgot the Merry Christmas part!!!

Hope you are having a great day!
Wow. I very rarely do memes, but this one went straight to my heart and touched my core. This is an exceptional meme as a healing and releasing exercise for survivors, for a vitally important cause.

I'm going to work on mine and link back to you. I will post it in a few days. Thank you for creating this meme.
This is a great list. I really like it and relate to many on the list. I must say I do indulge my need for fags though!!!
RR: I know what you mean. I go to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory too often. My favorite is chocolate covered English toffee. They have a macadamia nut version that's orgasmic! hee hee! ;)

All this talk of chocolate is making me want to go there right now!

Merrry Christmas to you, too!
Mother W: Thank you and you're welcome. I'm glad you are playing and you stopped by. I'll look forward to seeing your list.

Kahless: I'm glad you like the list. The last time I had a smoke was in September. I can't tell you how many times I've quit smoking. It's kinda rediculous. We'll see how long I go this time. I'm not getting any younger and I wanna quit for good. ;)
Marj, my list is posted at
Thanks for tagging me for this meme.
It was very kind of you to include me in the meme, Marj. I didn't feel confident enough to post it, but I will tell you here that I did know what I needed and I gave it to myself. I needed to hide from others for a while. I still don't know what I want, though. Perhaps I will find out.
Patricia: I'll go over and look at your list. I'm glad you played! :)
Lynn: I'm glad you took care of yourself--that's what this idea is all about!
I posted my list, Marj. I'm not a Blogger blogger, but my link is in my Blogger profile. Blessings in abundance, MW
Mother W: Oh, I'm so glad! I'll come right over and take a look!
Okay. Done. Better late than never I guess. Thanks for including me.
You're not late, MA. I meant for this to be a holiday/New Year's thing. Thanks for playing. I'll come right over and take a look.
Hi Marj,
Great post Marj...wishing you
all the best in 2008, take care.
Keep up the great work.
Those were great. I think in stressful times, we need to learn how to stop, look and listen to what *we* need.

Thanks, and same to you, Holly!

Deb: "Stop, Look & Listen" you say? Using our senses? That means being IN our bodies. Good idea.

Sorry for the delay, but I finally did the meme today.
Marcella: No need to apologize at all. I've already read your list and it is AMAZING! Very empowering--check it out readers!
Phew.....mine's all done. That took some thinking through because there are very few people who know I am also a survivor.

Power to all of us. We have survivied. Mxxx
Megan: WOWWWIEEEEE! Yours is one of the bravest, most empowering lists I've seen. No Megan, you are not a victim. You are a survivor who is truly a THRIVER!

Check this list out, folks! It--and it's writing--are truly amazing. Power to us is right! Megan, your power feels contagious!
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