Seven Commandments for Survivors of Trauma
1. Thou shalt not blame thyself when others do not get it. They suffer from short-sightedness and blind spots. You are not responsible for changing that--they are.
2. Thou shalt not set a time-table for your healing or for the healing of the larger community. While time alone cannot heal, healing takes time.
3. Thou shalt not accept, without question, anyone else's prescription for your healing. You alone can judge when and how to proceed, when to take a rest, and when to celebrate.
4. Thou shalt not fail to celebrate small successes. you may be the only one who recognizes them and the only one who can reward yourself for them.
5. Thou shalt not isolate thyself, no matter how strong the temptation seems or how overwhelming the struggle. Taking time to be alone may help, but staying in isolation stifles creativity and leads to "over-awfulizing."
6. Thou shalt surround thyself with beauty . . . beautiful people, nature, beautiful music, and enriching experiences . . . reminding yourself that all of these good things produce strength and growth.
7. Thou shalt stand tall, even when feeling low, showing to the world what you are learning about yourself as you overcome.
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www.takecourage.org by Dee Ann Miller, author of two books on the topic of sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy: How Little We Knew: Collusion and Confusion with Sexual Misconduct and The Truth about Malarkey.