On Being Alive

Can I admit something? I kind of hate the word “survivor.” I actually prefer the word “victim.” The word “survivor” doesn’t really imply that one had any agency over the situation, only that they endured it. The word “victim” implies that someone else actively victimized the person. So I will own it. I was a victim. Caleb victimized me. I may have survived his abuse, but he was my victimizer, and the agency there was his.

I = victim.

Caleb = victimizer.

I just sent the complete draft of my book to my editor. I was greeted with an auto-reply that she’ll be out of the office until the 24th, and I’m dying. A friend said that this gives me time to relax, but I am so adrenalized right now. I finished this book, and it will need many, many revisions, but the bones are in place, and I am proud of that.

What does it take to let go of a story? Can I let go of this story now? Will I ever be able to let go of this story?

I have been flirting with someone. I have not told him my history. How do I tell someone I am interested in that I have been broken?

I know that I am not broken now, but how do I convey that over a beer or coffee?

To survive is merely to be alive, but not to live.

I am not a survivor. I didn’t survive that shit; I lived through it.

After I sent my final chapters, I felt euphoric. I wanted to cry happy tears. Then, I felt something else. I felt alone.

I had achieved something so important, yet I had no one to share it with.

I sat on my couch with my aloneness, and I allowed myself to feel it, then I realized that, if I hadn’t been alone, this book would not have been written.

So much of what I have accomplished has happened in solitude, so, though it has been lonely, I give thanks for my solitude.

And after sitting with my solitude for a while, I decided to write a blog post because I knew that would be a way for me to connect with other people. I knew that would be a way of expressing that I’m alive.

So, thank you dear readers, for helping me to feel less alone and more alive. I appreciate you.

I am alive, and so are you, and we are all survivors.