If it was not for my friends and my partner, I would have been lost. Not only would I not have been able to even leave my family, I don’t think I would have made it through the healing either. Having the love and support of those closest to you is so important. I had never felt as vulnerable as when I first cut contact with my parents. Although I was so happy and proud that I had actually done it, I also felt like I had nothing and no-one to fall back on.
I was quite shy about telling people what was going on. So especially in the beginning, only a hand full of people was really aware. My closest friends had met my family too, so they were the people I confided in. It still made me nervous though. How do you start that conversation, right?
To this day, the best response I got was from a dear friend who unfortunately I do not get to see very often. Luckily he was in the country only two months after I cut contact. I ended up just blurting it out. All he did was give me the biggest bear hug ever. That was it.
Sometimes a hug really is all you need. It is like that meme that goes around the internet: One day someone will hug you so tight. That all your broken pieces will stick back together.
Sometimes you need to talk to people who really get it. Once I started plowing through my memories, I needed to make sense of them. The best people to do that with, are people who understand that process. Other survivors in short. But even then, I needed my partner to help me. If not only because he would sit me behind to computer to chat to my Swan Tribe when he sensed I was struggling (and he usually knows before I do).
There are many ways that survivors need their dearest and nearest to help them.
So, if you are a survivor, keep your friends close.
If you are a supporter, there are many ways you can help. No gesture is too small to make a difference.
Want to read more on the topic of supporting a survivor? Check out these posts: