The Complexity of Recovery

Survivors are not a homogeneous group. We are all at different stages of recovery. Some of us will never recover. Some found solace from brutality in institutions, others were brutally betrayed by them. Some found prayer a refuge, others were prayed over while being preyed upon.

Do not be fooled, evil is not creative. Only good can make that claim. Therefore my story sounds like your story because offenders more or less use the same predatory playbook. There the similarity may cease.

To be sure most of us tread the same treacherous recovery pathway. Where you are, how you see the journey behind, and your take on the journey ahead, how you cope, what FEELS safe and what IS safe is vastly different for each one who survived.

We MUST work hard to make safe spaces for the slaughtered songbirds. Listen long. Listen hard. Listen to your story. Listen to hers. Listen to his. Seek to be understood and ardently seek to understand. Let the song of sorrow inform your competence and your compassion.

Culture impacts our recovery; the context does too. Disposition, addiction, social support, ethnicity, education, socioeconomics, children, parents, physical/mental health, genetics, geography, gender, access to services, coping mechanisms…

You get it. Recovery is complicated. Let us not paint people with the same brush. Let us listen for the tone; the complexity; the lived reality of our fellows. Many have been cut down. Many will rise.

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