Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Choices are around us each day.  For so many people the choices are innocent and easy - half fat latte or half caff mocha? For others there are harder choices - food or rent?  And for some of us it is some other things entirely.

I was talking to my best friend and it was apparent that the person I am today is so very different than who I was even a few years ago that I felt compelled to tell him about some of the choices I've made to get here.

Thinking along those lines, I realized as a survivor those choices are sometimes life and death for mind, body or spirit, or all three and sometimes they are healing choices.  I can leave behind the defenses that I needed to survive because I can do it without them!\

I don't need to be all barbed wire, tightly tangled cutting those who would get close with hurting, cruel and sarcastic words and I can set boundaries without having to constantly patrol and defend them.  I can choose not to be an addict hiding from the world, I can choose not to be an abuser because I was abused, I can choose to be kind even in when I've beheld cruelty.  I can honour gentle and giving spirits and I know I can be one.

I am still a bit sarcastic but not to cause hurt.  Acid Tongue is retired, the evil bitch has been replaced with the Alpha Bitch.  You see I know I can be a strong woman without being hard, I can be brave without being cruel and I can have faith without accepting hypocrisy.

I can be a better person without imposing myself on someone else.

I can choose the healing path, and I can honour my scars.  Scars are important to me, they show me that I can survive long enough to heal!  They remind me to help others gently honour their own scars.  

I will not live my life being silent to abuse, nor will I live my life hiding away in a toke or a bottle or a pill and I won't deny my healing by denying my abuse.  I will keep seeking and I will keep choosing the light, even though I know full well what lives in the dark.

Don't get me wrong, I still don't park next to vans, I still scan for 'too interested' faces at the mall when I'm with my son and I still can be outspoken and advocate.  

What I am doing differently is choosing to use my words for helping and healing instead of hurting.  I don't need to cause more hurt, I need to cause less.  

However, if what I say makes someone uncomfortable then it is good because comfort zones can be as dangerous and deadly as any back alley or dark corner.

If what I have to say on my path to healing bothers someone I'd like to have them as themselves why before they ask me to be quiet.  After all, I believe that if you can choose differently for yourself then others can also decide to at least try to if not understand, then respect you for it. 


  1. I agree! Choices are the spice of life! I used to be so afraid to make them because I was so scared to make the wrong ones; that was part of my survival mode too. But I am stronger now. I am not as afraid to make a mistake either, because I know that I can always change my mind.
    Great post!
    Hugs, Darlene

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with what you said and what Darlene said. This is a great post.

    When I was a child, I had no opinion about anything because you might not like me if I did. As a young adult, I had a sarcastic opinion about everything and let you know about it in very strong terms. Both positions are extremes - the exact opposite of each other and both very unhealthy. Today, thanks to my own efforts and support from 12-Step programs, friends and family, I have more balance in that area of my life.

  3. I think, for me too, realising that I *did* have a choice was a critical part of my healing. That started with recognition of having an opinion about the little things, but ultimately became a matter of realising I had a choice to continue living in chains or to step into freedom. And the saddest thing in the world, I still find, is a soul who refuses to accept that they *do* have a choice about whether or not to be free from their past. I cannot change what happened, but I can choose whether to move on or not. Thank you, Shanyn, for another thought provoking post.... :)

  4. Thank you for your heartfelt and thoughtful comments Zoe, Patricia and Darlene. On our own we have stories to tell and knowledge to share - together we weave together a rope of understanding that can hold people together, give someone a line to hold on to and a way to reach out to each other...thank you!