Written by: Rachel Grant, Trauma Recovery Coach
Moving from victim to survivor is the next important step in recovery. But how will you know when you are ready to take this next step? When acknowledging the abuse occurred is no longer enough and you are instead ready to reflect upon and actively engage in facing and owning what happened.
I often call this the “fed up” stage. We are fed up with feeling out of control, tired, sad, or angry. We are fed up with having unhealthy relationships or healthy ones that break down and end. Fed up with not feeling good about who we are. Finally, we get so fed up that we can no longer deny that the abuse is affecting us and that we need support.
As a result, we take yet another important step on the road to recovery—we actively seek out opportunities to reflect upon, talk about, and process the abuse. One of the most important things to occur during this stage is that we are able to integrate the experience as a part of who we are instead of only talking about it “from a distance.” This is why identifying as a “survivor” is so powerful. It gives us strength, empowers us, and emboldens us to face the past straight on.
Goals of Recovery for the Survivor:
- Able to share thoughts and feelings about the abuse with others and choose when to do so
- Have an increased awareness of your value and worth
- Recognize relationship tendencies that avoid honesty and intimacy
- Recognize the connections between the abuse and the way you feel, think, or behave
Types of Support to Seek Out:
- Counseling or coaching
- Support groups such as The Lamplighters or Adult Survivors of Child Abuse
- Books such as Be Your Own Hero Workbook, by Angela Shelton (go here for a complete list of Resources)
Most importantly, understand that you will have good days and bad days. This stage often feels the most like a roller coaster—going from the high of a new insight and sense of breaking free to the low of noticing something else that needs to be worked on. It is important to be gentle with yourself during this period, lean on those who are a part of your support system, and truly appreciate and celebrate each step forward that you take.
Want to learn more about how you let go of the pain of abuse and feel normal? SIGN UP for Rachel’s monthly newsletter and receive an excerpt of her guidebook, Beyond Surviving: The Final Stage in Recovery from Sexual Abuse.
About Rachel: Rachel Grant is the owner and founder of Rachel Grant Coaching and is a Trauma Recovery Coach. She is also the author of Beyond Surviving: The Final Stage in Recovery from Sexual Abuse. With her support, adult survivors of sexual abuse break free from the pain of abuse and return to their genuine self. Rachel holds an M.A. in Counseling Psychology. She provides a compassionate and challenging approach for her clients while using coaching as opposed to therapeutic models. She is a member of the International Coach Federation & San Francisco Coaches. www.rachelgrantcoaching.com