Shadow Flying In Daylight (sistahraven) wrote in _survivors_,
Shadow Flying In Daylight

Thought stirring question of the week

For so many survivors, some of the most difficult parts of recovery is regaining your independent. Whether you've had one or many experiences with trauma, there is so much we need to do to become independent. We need to leave our abusers or find a safe place to live, we need to understand the process of therapy, processing memories and feelings, and re-learn how to exist in the world. Whether it's finding your financial independence or your emotional independence, many of us struggle at times to feel as though we can be in control over our own lives again.

For many of us, we make several journeys to independence. Starting small, piece by piece, we can reclaim our lives, our happiness, and our self-confidence. Though it may take time, and a lot of work, we take each step towards the small independence pieces so that we can feel whole and able to care for ourselves.

So this week's question is:
- What independence did you lose after surviving abuse?
- What pieces of independence have you already regained?

and this week's bonus question:
- What sort of independence are you working towards now?

My abuse took away a lot of my independence - mostly because I was in constant fear of who could be the next abuser. I had a lot of flashbacks, intrusive memories, and panic attacks, and I felt almost no confidence in my ability to take care of myself. I could pull myself through almost anything on sheer stubbornness, but came out the other side exhausted more often than not.

The independence I have regained comes mostly in being able to care for myself. Though I'm still learning, I now have a better ability to know what I want, what I need, and what I need to do to get it - even if it means asking someone close to me to help. I think that working towards being able to ask for help and identify what help I needed was the biggest step towards being independent emotionally. Yes, I can't always be 100% independent, but I no longer require someone to help me figure out what I need.

Another piece of independence I've regained is, to a decent extent, the ability to soothe myself when I'm sad or panicked. I can't *always* do it, but I'm much better at it than I used to be. Sometimes I need to try to do a few things before something finally works, but that's been a big help for me to feel more independent. It's only on the bad days where I struggle to keep myself together. I think that's probably what I'm most proud of independence-wise, because I'm able to know that I'm doing okay despite what happened to me.

What independence am I working towards now? That's a tough one to answer. I'm still working on my coping skills so that I can do a bit better when I'm on my own (away from my support network). However, I think the independence I'm working most towards is being okay taking some time to care for myself. I've gotten decent at *doing* it, but I still feel that paranoid, "What if someone needs me??!?!?!!" voice in the back of my head when I take time to take care of myself. I've gotten better at knowing that it's okay for me to make sure I'm doing all right - but it's still a big goal for me right now
Tags: independence, thought stirring post

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