You, victim, you know my guilt. My shame. My doubt.
You, survivor, know my loss. The depths of the darkness. The panic- paranoia.
You both saved me.
The fellow victim understood why I stayed. Made me feel somewhat normal. Helped me to rationalize. Gave me hope. Not the “right” hope, but still hope. Without you, I would have ended it. Alone in an otherwise normal world, I would have let the shame take its logical last step.
The fellow survivor understood why I left. Made me feel justified. Helped me to stand firm. Gave me strength. Unfounded strength, at times, but still strength. Without you, I would have stayed. Abnormal in an otherwise normal world, I would have let my doubt keep me chained.
You both freed me.
Without you, I would have been alone. Forever wondering what I did wrong, and how to fix it. You gave me answers…
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