Your survivor story, the way you live it every day, and the way you tell it to others, evolves throughout the various stages of healing. Each version is your truth, as you experienced it in the past and how you live in the present. Each stage of healing represents how you’ve grown and how much you learn about yourself; and so naturally the details, the way you live each day, and the way you tell it, changes and evolves with you.
Does this mean that we are lying, or that previous versions of our story are no longer valid? Of course not. Your story is always valid because it’s your story, as you lived it, and nobody has the right to second guess your experiences. The way you tell your story depends greatly on where you are in life.
If you’re in the stage of denial, trying to just put it behind you and move on without dealing with it, that version will be very different than when you’re in deep healing work with a therapist, uncovering the memories and learning how they’ve affected you for so long. Conversely, that version of the story is different from when you’ve exited therapy, and are now moving forward with knowledge of what happened, new awareness and a new set of skills and tools at the ready whenever you need them.
How much you share, when you share, and to whom you share it with is always up to you. I can remember years ago working with a therapist, going twice a week for sessions, I was living, eating, and breathing being a survivor. I was reading book after book, watching videos, reading blog posts, writing my experiences on the blog and in journals, attending support groups, I was all in. During that time my version was very deep, dark, scary, and filled with details as I was reliving them during therapy. I outlined my struggles, my fears, my worries for the future as well as my anger for what was stolen from me.
Now, my version is much more succinct and to the point, because I’m not living in the same space I was during those deep healing times. I don’t need to share the details as much or have my story validated as much as I did before. It’s still my truth, yes, and will always be my truth, but it’s not my only truth now, and that’s the result of putting in the hard work of healing. My story has changed as I have changed.
On this episode of the podcast, we’re talking about this very thing; learning how to tell your survivor story, as well as forming relationships with others after your trauma. Rachel Grant, Sexual Abuse Survivor Coach, is a regular on Beyond Your Past Radio, and I’m honored to have her join me via a chat we had recently.
Rachel Grant is a Sexual Abuse Survivor Coach, with an M.A. in Counseling Psychology. Her website, RachelGrantCoaching.com features not only her individual and group work with survivors, but also her book “Beyond Surviving”, Facebook Group, Master Class, and free and low-cost Audible Downloads covering topics such as Shame, Boundaries, Abandonment, and much more.
It’s always a privilege to talk with Rachel on the show; her message of healing is always encouraging and filled with hope for how we can move forward from the trauma and abuse, and be more than a survivor. We can Thrive!
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All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above-mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.