Survivors Quotes

Quotes tagged as "survivors" (showing 1-30 of 276)
Audre Lorde
“and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid
So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive”
Audre Lorde, The Black Unicorn: Poems

Jenny  Lawson
“When you come out of the grips of a depression there is an incredible relief, but not one you feel allowed to celebrate. Instead, the feeling of victory is replaced with anxiety that it will happen again, and with shame and vulnerability when you see how your illness affected your family, your work, everything left untouched while you struggled to survive. We come back to life thinner, paler, weaker … but as survivors. Survivors who don’t get pats on the back from coworkers who congratulate them on making it. Survivors who wake to more work than before because their friends and family are exhausted from helping them fight a battle they may not even understand. I hope to one day see a sea of people all wearing silver ribbons as a sign that they understand the secret battle, and as a celebration of the victories made each day as we individually pull ourselves up out of our foxholes to see our scars heal, and to remember what the sun looks like.”
Jenny Lawson, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

To those who abuse: the sin is yours, the crime is yours, and the shame
“To those who abuse: the sin is yours, the crime is yours, and the shame is yours. To those who protect the perpetrators: blaming the victims only masks the evil within, making you as guilty as those who abuse. Stand up for the innocent or go down with the rest.”
Flora Jessop, Church of Lies

Judith Lewis Herman
“In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure no one listens.”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

Christopher Hitchens
“I once spoke to someone who had survived the genocide in Rwanda, and she said to me that there was now nobody left on the face of the earth, either friend or relative, who knew who she was. No one who remembered her girlhood and her early mischief and family lore; no sibling or boon companion who could tease her about that first romance; no lover or pal with whom to reminisce. All her birthdays, exam results, illnesses, friendships, kinships—gone. She went on living, but with a tabula rasa as her diary and calendar and notebook. I think of this every time I hear of the callow ambition to 'make a new start' or to be 'born again': Do those who talk this way truly wish for the slate to be wiped? Genocide means not just mass killing, to the level of extermination, but mass obliteration to the verge of extinction. You wish to have one more reflection on what it is to have been made the object of a 'clean' sweep? Try Vladimir Nabokov's microcosmic miniature story 'Signs and Symbols,' which is about angst and misery in general but also succeeds in placing it in what might be termed a starkly individual perspective. The album of the distraught family contains a faded study of Aunt Rosa, a fussy, angular, wild-eyed old lady, who had lived in a tremulous world of bad news, bankruptcies, train accidents, cancerous growths—until the Germans put her to death, together with all the people she had worried about.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Judith Lewis Herman
“The ORDINARY RESPONSE TO ATROCITIES is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable.

Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried. Equally as powerful as the desire to deny atrocities is the conviction that denial does not work. Folk wisdom is filled with ghosts who refuse to rest in their graves until their stories are told. Murder will out. Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims.

The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma. People who have survived atrocities often tell their stories in a highly emotional, contradictory, and fragmented manner that undermines their credibility and thereby serves the twin imperatives of truth-telling and secrecy. When the truth is finally recognized, survivors can begin their recovery. But far too often secrecy prevails, and the story of the traumatic event surfaces not as a verbal narrative but as a symptom.

The psychological distress symptoms of traumatized people simultaneously call attention to the existence of an unspeakable secret and deflect attention from it. This is most apparent in the way traumatized people alternate between feeling numb and reliving the event. The dialectic of trauma gives rise to complicated, sometimes uncanny alterations of consciousness, which George Orwell, one of the committed truth-tellers of our century, called "doublethink," and which mental health professionals, searching for calm, precise language, call "dissociation." It results in protean, dramatic, and often bizarre symptoms of hysteria which Freud recognized a century ago as disguised communications about sexual abuse in childhood. . . .”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

“Violators cannot live with the truth: survivors cannot live without it. There are those who still, once again, are poised to invalidate and deny us. If we don't assert our truth, it may again be relegated to fantasy. But the truth won't go away. It will keep surfacing until it is recognized. Truth will outlast any campaigns mounted against it, no matter how mighty, clever, or long. It is invincible. It's only a matter of which generation is willing to face it and, in so doing, protect future generations from ritual abuse.”
Chrystine Oksana, Safe Passage to Healing: A Guide for Survivors of Ritual Abuse

Shannon L. Alder
“Sensitive people care when the world doesn't because we understand waiting to be rescued and no one shows up. We have rescued ourselves, so many times that we have become self taught in the art of compassion for those forgotten.”
Shannon L. Alder

S. Kelley Harrell, M. Div.
“Often it isn’t the initiating trauma that creates seemingly insurmountable pain, but the lack of support after.”
S. Kelley Harrell, M. Div., Gift of the Dreamtime - Reader's Companion

“Instead of saying, "I'm damaged, I'm broken, I have trust issues" say "I'm healing, I'm rediscovering myself, I'm starting over.”
Horacio Jones

Patricia Briggs
“Survivors can't always choose their methods.”
Patricia Briggs, Dragon Blood

Alison Miller
“Punishments include such things as flashbacks, flooding of unbearable emotions, painful body memories, flooding of memories in which the survivor perpetrated against others, self-harm, and suicide attempts.”
Alison Miller, Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control

Joel Osteen
“Be a victor, not a victim.”
Joel Osteen

Laura Hillenbrand
“The paradox of vengefulness is that it makes men dependent upon those who have harmed them, believing that their release from pain will come only when they make their tormentors suffer. In seeking the Bird's death to free himself, Louie had chained himself, once again, to his tyrant. During the war, the Bird had been unwilling to let go of Louie; after the war, Louie was unable to let go of the Bird.”
Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption

“Public truth telling is a form of recovery, especially when combined with social action. Sharing traumatic experiences with others enables victims to reconstruct repressed memory, mourn loss, and master helplessness, which is trauma's essential insult. And, by facilitating reconnection to ordinary life, the public testimony helps survivors restore basic trust in a just world and overcome feelings of isolation. But the talking cure is predicated on the existence of a community willing to bear witness. 'Recovery can take place only within the context of relationships,' write Judith Herman. 'It cannot occur in isolation.”
Lawrence N. Powell, Troubled Memory: Anne Levy, the Holocaust, and David Duke's Louisiana

Michelle Templet
“Always remember, if you have been diagnosed with PTSD, it is not a sign of weakness; rather, it is proof of your strength, because you have survived!”
Michelle Templet

Pete Walker
“Perfectionism is the unparalleled defense for emotionally abandoned children. The existential unattainability of perfection saves the child from giving up, unless or until, scant success forces him to retreat into the depression of a dissociative disorder, or launches him hyperactively into an incipient conduct disorder. Perfectionism also provides a sense of meaning and direction for the powerless and unsupported child. In the guise of self-control, striving to be perfect offers a simulacrum of a sense of control. Self-control is also safer to pursue because abandoning parents typically reserve their severest punishment for children who are vocal about their negligence.”
Pete Walker

Laura Hillenbrand
“Without dignity, identity is erased. In its absence, men are defined not by themselves, but by their captors and the circumstances in which they are forced to live.”
Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption

Jeanne McElvaney
“There is a moment in our healing journey when our denial crumbles; we realize our experience and it's continued effects on us won't "just go away". That's our breakthrough moment. It's the sun coming out to warm the seeds of hope so they can grow our personal garden of empowerment.”
Jeanne McElvaney, Healing Insights: Effects of Abuse for Adults Abused as Children

Judith Lewis Herman
“In situations of captivity the perpetrator becomes the most powerful person in the life of the victim, and the psychology of the victim is shaped by the actions and beliefs of the perpetrator.”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

“If your body is screaming in pain, whether the pain is muscular contractions, anxiety, depression, asthma or arthritis, a first step in releasing the pain may be making the connection between your body pain and the cause. “Beliefs are physical. A thought held long enough and repeated enough becomes a belief. The belief then becomes biology.”
Marilyn Van Derbur, Miss America by Day

Judith Lewis Herman
“when traumatic events are of human design, those who bear witness are caught in the conflict between victim and perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement and remembering.”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

“Dr. Peter Levine, who has worked with trauma survivors for twenty-five years, says the single most important factor he has learned in uncovering the mystery of human trauma is what happens during and after the freezing response. He describes an impala being chased by a cheetah. The second the cheetah pounces on the young impala, the animal goes limp. The impala isn’t playing dead, she has “instinctively entered an altered state of consciousness, shared by all mammals when death appears imminent.” (Levine and Frederick, Waking the Tiger, p. 16) The impala becomes instantly immobile. However, if the impala escapes, what she does immediately thereafter is vitally important. She shakes and quivers every part of her body, clearing the traumatic energy she has accumulated.”
Marilyn Van Derbur, Miss America by Day

Dennis Lehane
“And often the worst thing wasn't the victims--they were dead, after all, and beyond any more pain. The worst thing was those who loved them and survived them. Often the walking dead from now on, shell-shocked, hearts ruptured, stumbling through the remainder of their lives without anything left inside of them but blood and organs, impervious to pain, having learned nothing except that the worst things did, in fact, sometimes happen. (Mystic River)”
Dennis Lehane

“She's terrified that all these sensations and images are coming out of her — but I think she's even more terrified to find out why." Carla's description was typical of survivors of chronic childhood abuse. Almost always, they deny or minimize the abusive memories. They have to: it's too painful to believe that their parents would do such a thing.”
David L. Calof

Laura   Davis
“Many survivors struggle to believe the abuse happened. They don’t want to believe it. It’s too painful to think about. They don’t want to accuse family members or face the terrible loss involved in realizing “a loved one” hurt them; they don’t want to rock the boat.”
Laura Davis, Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Is a Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse

Jonathan Kellerman
“I'd long thought that a surfeit of sensitivity could be a killing thing, too much insight malignant in its own right. The best survivors--there are studies that show it--are those blessed with an inordinate ability to deny. And keep on marching.”
Jonathan Kellerman, Blood Test

“Several psychologists (L. Armstrong, 1994; Enns, McNeilly, Corkery, & Gilbert, 1995; Herman, 1992; McFarlane & van der Kolk, 1996; Pope & Brown, 1996) contend that the controversy of delayed recall for traumatic events is likely to be influenced by sexism. Kristiansen, Gareau, Mittleholt, DeCourville, and Hovdestad (1995) found that people who were more authoritarian and who had less favorable attitudes toward women were less likely to believe in the veracity of women’s recovered memories for sexual abuse. Those who challenged the truthfulness of recovered memories were more likely to endorse negative statements about women, including the idea that battered women enjoy being abused. McFarlane and van der Kolk (1996) have noted that delayed recall in male combat veterans reported by Myers (1940) and Kardiner (1941) did not generate controversy, whereas delayed recall in female survivors of intrafamilial child sexual abuse has provoked considerable debate.”
Rachel E. Goldsmith

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