If there is one word I hate when it comes to discussing trauma, it’s the word “victim”; hence forth known as “V”. I hate using the word to describe a person who have been through hell.
Victim [vik-tim] noun
a person who suffers form a destructive or injurious action
a person who is deceived or cheated, as by his or her own emotions or ignorance, by the dishonesty of others, or by some impersonal agency
When I started my journey, I shuddered at the mere thought that people were saying I was a victim of domestic violence, I was a victim of trauma. The first time I heard it, I refused to allow myself to be called a victim. I didn’t want to admit that I had in fact been deceived and cheated; I had suffered tremendously, but yet, I didn’t want to be another “V”.
I found the “V” word had so many negative concentrations to it. I was already in a negative mindset, I didn’t need a negative label added on to it to perpetuate the negative cycle. I wanted to be free of that label, I wanted to be a thriving member of society.
I grew to hate the word. I saw what other people were doing with that label. Playing the pity me card, and I very quickly decided I wanted no part in that. I didn’t want pity. I wanted people to look at me, and say “hey, look at how well she’s doing”.
It was very early on in my healing process that I decided to be a survivor.
Survivor [ser-vahy-ver] noun
A person or thing that survives
Survive [ser-vahyv] verb
to remain alive after the death of someone, the cessation of something, or the occurrence of some event; continue to live;
to remain or continue in existence or use;
to get along or remain healthy, happy, and unaffected in spite of some occurrence
I wanted to survive. I wanted to live. I wanted to be seen as someone who made it though the dark, fiery storms of hell, and came out into the beautiful garden of life.
And so it was. And so I did.
You know when you just have a word, and you hear it, and it makes you shudder down your back? Or like you grit your teeth and wince at the sound of it? Everyone has one of those words. “Victim” is that word for me. But only when its used in terms of someone who has been through hell.
If you woke up one day and said “screw this, I don’t deserve this”, and you got up and got yourself (and possibly your children), out of a dangerous or potentially dangerous situation, then you my friend, are a survivor.
If you get up out of bed everyday, despite the pounding headaches, and the body aches, despite the feeling emptiness down to your core on the inside, then you my friend, are a survivor.
If you have tightness in your chest, feeling like you can’t breathe, feeling like you’re head is spinning, feeling like you’re going to be sick, sweating with hot ringing in your ears, full blown panic attack imminent, and you still get up, and face whatever is causing you that anxiety, then you my friend, are a survivor.
If you’re constantly plagued with nightmares of true and fictional fears plaguing you thoughts, and insomnia seems like the only alternative, but you’re so exhausted that you have no choice but to face the fear and try to sleep, then you my friend, are a survivor.
I know these feelings. I know all of them down to my core. I have experienced all of them at one point or another.
If you experience any of one of these things, or all of these things, and you still get up every day and face the day, even if its just to get through the day... you should be so incredibly proud of yourself. One of the hardest things to do is face the day when you have no will to do so.
But the day will come. The day will come when you are ready to face all of the demons, both inside and out. You know it’s going to be a hard battle, but you’re so tired of living the way you are... a half life. A half existence because it’s all you can muster at the moment. The day will come when you’re ready to start living instead of just surviving. And that my friends, is the day you become a warrior.
Warrior [wawr-ee-er, wawr-yer, wor-ee-er, wor-yer] noun
a person engaged or experienced in warfare; soldier
a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness
You’ll hit a point where you become tired of just surviving.
You will still be a survivor. But once you battle and face all the things you were just merely “surviving”, you now hit warrior status, and that is a beautiful place to be.
Face the fears, pick up the pieces, and begin living my friends.
Have a great day friends. Be safe, and don’t forget to live a little.
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