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Maybe I'm looking at my PTSD too negatively? I opened a thread about not feeling strong. Now I have this on my mind. But I question the word 'survivor' for people with PTSD, most specifically with sex abuse issues.

This is my thinking:
Survivor: when it is from Cancer, then the tumors are in remission and you do go back to a healthy(er) state than when the Cancer was up. But this is a physical malady you literally survive or tragically don't.

With mental injuries like PTSD the malady doesn't go into recession. Having had PTSD for 50 years, the healing feels glacially slow. I have not gotten past it, nor over it, when the lucky (or in denial) said I should have. But I will admit I am stronger than I ever imagined I would be. I'm amazed I'm still alive and functioning. I am doing pretty well considering the torture and mayhem I'm lived. Is this why I'm a survivor? Because as 51% pointed out we are resilient? I just don't want people thinking I'm a "survivor' means I'm over it and don't suffer anymore. I think it takes strength to survive PTSD. Am I a survivor because I'm still alive, with friends, and love, and spirituality, and nightmares, and chronic crisis, and general anxiety? What is the definition of a 'Survivor"?
Posted on 01/01/13, 08:42 pm
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Reply #11 - 01/02/13  11:33pm
" Really?

There are cancer patients who don't have anyone to help them. The disease itself can very isolating. You're family abandons you because they are unable to care for you. "
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Reply #12 - 01/02/13  11:34pm
" It's very common for men to leave their sick wives.... "
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Reply #13 - 01/02/13  11:54pm
" I had gotten to a point where my flashbacks had stopped. I felt so good about them stopping. Then before October 2012, I had a major trigger and it started a few of them. Then in October 2012, my Mom died (she was my abuser) and it just opened the flood gate with my flashbacks.

I felt discouraged, I felt depressed and I felt like I falled in keeping the flashbacks at bay. I realize now some triggers occur only once in your life, like my Mom the abuser dying, and it was a Godzilla-sized trigger, and I will eventually work past it. "
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Reply #14 - 01/03/13  12:03am
" There is no doubt at all that grave illness causes the worst financial nightmares possible. At least in the US. Only the extremely rich and insured through the roof go unscathed. Certainly there is suffering beyond the terrible health and fears of life and death are all present. I think the predominant feelings here would not dispute this one bit. But we suffer from social stigma and misunderstanding just by having PTSD. I suffered gravely from my diabetes out of control last summer. My family and work were very supportive and concerned. My family does not support my PTSD and I would never tell my boss that I have it. This is really what I think CrazyCanuk was feeling too. Although I have not asked. It's not thinking physical illness is easier, but except for AIDs and maybe Leprosy, it does not hold the unfairness of social stigma of mental illness or PTSD specifically.

I'm very sorry you might be offended travell3r. Your opinions are as good and valid as any ones. "
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Reply #15 - 01/03/13  3:06am
" I dont want to bring anyone down with this... but I am a victim. I am not surviving and I am definitely not thriving. I am living in fear each day. I am not strong. I do not see a light at the end of the tunnel. My awake hours are bad and my asleep hours can be even worse. My cocktail of meds keeps me from hitting rock bottom every day and I can tell right away if I have not taken them. I am not suicidal! But I am not living either. I dont see a future different from what I am doing right now day to day. "
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Reply #16 - 01/03/13  6:39am
" In regards to my sexual abuse I call myself a survivor, not a victim. As a victim he still wins. For my PTSD and PNES I am a victim of this horrible illness.

Comparing PTSD to Cancer is hard. Cancer can be seen while PTSD is hidden. I still have people tell me PTSD is only effects soliders. If only they knew. "
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Reply #17 - 01/04/13  11:38am
" I think of the victim to survivor move the same way proudaunt does, in that in framing my sexual abuse as something I survived, I diminish my predator's control over me as his victim. The book Victim to Survivor I mentioned guided me in that. "
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Reply #18 - 01/04/13  4:13pm
" To me, survivor means a number of different things. One, I survived the actual torture and abuse that happened to me. I felt like a victim my entire life. Then I did EMDR (at age 49) and that was really really hard, courageous work. I spent a long time doing EMDR and when I finally got through with it, I felt that I had done something that took a lot of work and energy and courage and strength and that lightened me up inside. Of living through those memories I am a survivor and have done some healing. I have been in therapy since I was 15 and still am. Over the years I have worked hard to get better. I've attempted suicide, I've been in hospitals, etc. I can finally say that I am better than I was. i still have work to because I don't want to stay as I am. I want a better life. Yes, sometimes I still feel like a victim, but I have to remember I am a survivor too. I've lived through a lot and think we all have. Even if you still have PTSD symptoms, you are alive and working on getting better. I think survivor also means that I have taken charge of my life and am making choices to better myself and my life. I am not steeped in self-pity all the time and feeling like I am helpless and hopeless all the time. Some of the time, absolutely. I think working really hard to get better makes us survivors. We have to be or the abusers have won. "
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Reply #19 - 01/04/13  4:20pm
" I believe what Stella2011 said puts it in a nutshell for me:
She said " I think working really hard to get better makes us survivors. We have to be or the abusers have won."

I think I have always felt this way too. I won't let my psychopath step father ruin me. He tried so hard, but ultimately it's my choice and I won't let him.

There really are pretty wonderful people here with great thoughts. "
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Reply #20 - 01/05/13  12:03am
" Yep, Stella's comment does say it all, dianahunt! "

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