Word For Wednesday (W4W) #64


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This week’s word is:

Triggers.

This morning I was chatting to a friend of mine; the sweetest, most kind-hearted girl you can imagine. I don’t think I have ever seen her be rude, mean or nasty to anyone. She has a beautiful, generous spirit. Today, she was struggling because something had brought back unpleasant memories for her. Something had triggered these recollections and she was in pain. I could relate to her 100%.

Triggers can pop up at the most unexpected times. I was sent reeling from one in a trashy TV crime show a while ago. One minute I was watching a mindless melodrama, the next I was frozen, flooded with unwelcome and suppressed memories, which started a descent that I am just now starting to climb out of.

Another example; I follow several stunningly beautiful women on twitter and they regularly post selfies and full body pictures of their envious physiques. Some days these pictures act as massive triggers for my self-image issues and my history of eating disorders. I spend the day feeling fat and ugly and berating myself for not looking like them.

Likewise, if I scroll through old photos of myself I can get totally caught up in a self-hatred spiral because I no longer weigh 6 stone.

Triggers are a pain in the ass.

They can hit you in the face and ruin your day, without warning. Many times they are unavoidable, such as the TV show that set me off. But we can avoid some of them. If I find myself looking back through pictures of me when I was stick thin I have to force myself to shut down the laptop and stop.

I was sad to see my lovely friend hurting today but I did remind her that, despite the unforgivable things that happened to her that she was recalling, she turned into a kind, generous and loving person. She could have let those experiences ruin her and made her bitter but she rose above them.

If anything acts as trigger for you, please try to step back and see how far you’ve come, how strong you’ve been and how you have survived whatever the trigger represents.

You are not broken and you are not beaten.

You are still here!

Ciao!

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

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Word for Wednesday (W4W) #42


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This week’s word is…

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There is really only one thing in this life we can be sure of, (with the exception of death and taxes as Benjamin Franklin so cheerfully put it), and that is that nothing is certain. We have no way of knowing what is around the next corner; which is a thrilling and exciting concept, whilst at the same time being brilliantly scary.

Personally, I find it rather comforting to reflect on the transcience of life and everything in it.

When dark days hover over us like murky storm clouds, allowing no light to break through, it is reassuring to know that, as the very wise old proverb says, “this too shall pass”. It can be difficult, sometimes it feels impossible to believe that, but if you are fortunate enough to have someone to remind you of this, I think it really can help.

Conversely, knowing that nothing is forever can make the good times we live through feel even more precious. It is a bittersweet knowledge, being aware that the happiness you are experiencing at any one time will also pass, but that you will be left with the memory of it and the hope of more happy days to look forward to.

I think it reminds us to hug those we love closer and tighter, listen harder, love more fiercely and cherish every moment.

And when the Black Dog, (or if you do not experience depression, perhaps its little brown puppy brother), sits heavy on your chest, I hope you can remind yourself that it will not be forever. There will be brighter days ahead.

I hope you can hang on in there until the darkness clears and the light comes back into your life.

Just remember… nothing, not even this, lasts forever.

With love…

Ciao!

💋

Copyright, 2015, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

 

 

Word for Wednesday (W4W) 27


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This week’s word is…

Survivor

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I have blogged about this word before in terms of my depression but today I want to revisit it.

In a former life, I was a Rape Crisis Centre Counsellor and Educator and in our work my colleagues and I found the vast majority of our clients seriously disliked and rejected the label ‘Victim’. They favoured the term ‘Survivor’, so of course we always used that word to refer to a person who had experienced sexual abuse or trauma.

I was having a conversation this morning with a dear friend who sadly had experienced sexual, physical and mental abuse during their childhood and they said the last thing they ever wanted to feel was that they were a ‘Victim’.

I was struck again by the power of the words and labels we use to define ourselves, or our experiences. Labels are both useful and at the same time constrictive.

Allow me a personal reflection here for a minute please…

I have a medical condition that I am still not ready to discuss openly but it makes labels a particular bug bear of mine. For example, I recoil and shudder if someone was to say I suffer with X.

To me that sounds as if, first of all I am to be pitied in some way; that I am this tragic, heroic figure struggling through each day, and also that it somehow defines me as a person. “I am Kat and I am an X sufferer”…

Nope. No thank you. I am Kat and I live with X condition and I am doing very well thank you.

I am so much more than an unfortunate illness that hit me. I am so much more than the horrible experiences I might have lived through. I am so much more than my depression and anxiety. I am not defined by any one thing but by the sum total of my life experiences and the way I have dealt with them. I am not a ‘Victim’, I am a ‘Survivor’.

Back to my friend…My friend is a wonderful person! Strong, with a formidable intellect, a cutting sense of humour, and a kind and generous nature… They have survived what could only be described as an horrific childhood and have yet created a life for themselves which includes friendhsips, relationships and a successful career. How can this person be seen as a ‘Victim’? My friend is a ‘Survivor’!

‘Victim’ implies a lack of power and helplessness, which is certainly appropriate when describing the time of the abuse or assault, because, for a host of reasons, the person being abused is indeed powerless. This could be because of a sheer size and strength differential, going into shock and disassociating from the experience, feeling threatened, to name a few. In the case of child sexual abuse the power differential is extraordinary and techniques such as grooming, threats, bribery and coercion serve to take away what small control a child has over their life and what happens to them.

However, people who have come out the other side of abuse or assault, who have literally SURVIVED it, are some of the most inspirational and strong people I have ever met.

Recovering from any form of abuse is a long and painful process. Some, sadly, do not make it to the end…

Which is why if you are reading this and you experienced any form of abuse ever, and you are here, still waking up every morning, still living, still struggling but still here…

YOU ARE A SURVIVOR!

Ciao!

💋

If you need help, please think about contacting your nearest RCC/GP/Women’s Aid. There are many resources and forms of support out there. It’s probably the hardest phone call you will ever make but it is the first step. The person on the other end of the line wants to listen, to help and support you. They are trained and non-judgemental. You DO NOT have to do this alone.

Copyright, 2015, k1kat.com
All rights reserved.