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Survivors, not victims

(21 Posts)
Anne58 Thu 14-Aug-14 20:35:29

Reading threads, and posts on other threads, and thinking back to something on Radio 4.

rosesarered Thu 14-Aug-14 20:43:41

I'm puzzled phoenix did you leave something out of your post?

rosesarered Thu 14-Aug-14 20:44:24

or is it that you mean victims should be called survivors?Is it the same thing though?

Grannyknot Thu 14-Aug-14 21:16:51

phoenix I think I understand what you are saying. And therefore, I agree.

Ana Thu 14-Aug-14 21:17:44

One can be both, surely? Perhaps a subject for another time, given the number of threads dealing with depression and suicide on here at the moment? Just a thought...

Anne58 Thu 14-Aug-14 21:26:57

roses I don't think that some victims can be called survivors, especially now.

Ana there are currently a whole load of people who might be classed as victims, and only time will tell if they are survivors.

Ana Thu 14-Aug-14 21:30:50

Quite. confused

Anne58 Thu 14-Aug-14 23:00:30

Sorry, didn't mean to be so obtuse, (if that is even the right word?)

There was an item on Woman's hour, included someone talking about what had happened to her, and the phrase "victim of abuse" kept being used, but I felt that the person being interviewed may have at one time been a victim, but was now a survivor, because she showed such strength.

I do of course realise that this doesn't apply to everyone who may have endured such things.

kittylester Fri 15-Aug-14 07:19:34

I so agree phoenix. Victim is such a negative word. Survivor sounds much more positive!

Are people who are still suffering domestic abuse victims at least until they leave the relationship?

DS1 calls himself a stroke survivor even though it has had a devastating effect on his life.

vampirequeen Fri 15-Aug-14 07:25:42

I think we slip into both victim and survivor role depending on how we feel. Sometimes I get on with life and my past doesn't appear to affect me. That's when I'm a survivor. But other times my past clouds my present and at that point I'm still a victim.

I prefer to be called a survivor rather than a victim because he's dead and burning in hell (I hope...yes I know that's vindictive lol) whereas I'm alive and living my life.

JessM Fri 15-Aug-14 07:28:15

Survivor is definitely an improvement as long as someone has survived and is not still suffering. Not that keen on it in the long term though - I do not define or ever describe myself either as a "survivor of domestic violence" or a "survivor of breast cancer" - they are just bits of my past. Survivor is a good word in the recovery phase of whatever it is, and that takes as long as it takes.
But if anyone ever says "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" I feel like shrieking. It is a modern day platitude to replace "You'll get your reward in heaven" . Some people emerge stronger from awful situations and events but it is not always the case and really not for someone else to say.

vampirequeen Fri 15-Aug-14 07:56:18

Your right JessM. A lot of us emerge permanently damaged.

penguinpaperback Fri 15-Aug-14 08:22:45

So true Jess my breast cancer is stage 4 but I am not a cancer victim. I, for now, live with breast cancer.

Grannyknot Fri 15-Aug-14 08:47:28

Hiya vampirequeen long time, no hear smile

Grannyknot Fri 15-Aug-14 08:47:53

... or even - no here grin

vampirequeen Fri 15-Aug-14 11:55:26

Hi Grannyknot. It's nice to be back.

Eloethan Fri 15-Aug-14 14:44:09

JessM I agree with you. Some people, whilst perhaps eventually coming to terms with what has happened to them, would probably be feeling a lot stronger if they had not experienced fear, pain and emotional turmoil. There are those who might describe themselves as "stronger" as a result of surviving trauma, but everyone is different and I think these platitudes are not helpful.

It's the same when people talk about "fighting" an illness, "bearing it bravely", "keeping positive", etc. etc. I sometimes think this must place enormous pressure on people to put on a brave face even when they feel alone and frightened. It's great when someone can stay cheerful and positive but I think it's important that people can also feel comfortable in expressing less upbeat feelings.

KatyK Fri 15-Aug-14 15:27:23

JessM - I too hate that 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger' thing. I agree with everything you say above. People have said to me when awful things have happened 'I don't know how you coped' or 'you must be a very strong person' or 'I couldn't have coped with that?' Really? What would they have done then I wonder? I feel like saying 'what choice did I have? It happened, I had to deal with it.' If what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, then I (and a lot of other folks) must be made of flippin' iron by now.

Penstemmon Fri 15-Aug-14 15:31:37

I have known different people who have managed or responded to very similar situations very differently. Perhaps that is what the OP meant? My friend, who died not long ago, after 16 years of living with cancer had a very different outlook than a former colleague who is also ill with a similar cancer. The latter would be seen by others as a victim of cancer whereas my friend was a survivor

I am not making a judgement as we are all different and each will have different life experiences /personalities that may have an impact on how we react to tough times.

I am always impressed by bereaved parents who work hard to prevent any future 'victims' e.g Suzy Lamplugh's mother.

vampirequeen Fri 15-Aug-14 15:52:30

Jeepers if what doesn't kill you makes you stronger I must be like Superman by now.

I think the problem is not to let what doesn't kill you make you bitter. You have to try to let it go or you never escape.

glassortwo Fri 15-Aug-14 20:10:35

You are only a victim when you let them win, and I am a survivor not a victim.