Monday, 18 March 2013

My thoughts on Resiliency


If it's of any interest, I can tell you how I became resilient.
I am a survivor of prolonged physical and sexual child abuse, numerous rapes and sex trafficking. During my initial therapy, I needed to go through many stages of recovery, including acknowledgement,acceptance,anger, indignation and grief of lost childhood, to name but a few. Following the therapy, and although I felt somewhat relieved after relaying my trauma. I still hadn't found closure. It was just not enough to be merely a 'survivor'. I came to realise, that my trauma would remain with me and that I had to 'manage it' or it would interfere with my daily life. And the way I did that was to paint images of my story of abuse in chronological order. Firstly, I painted for myself, I wanted to capture my traumatic thoughts onto canvas, so that they became tangible and therefore easier to process. I had no photographic evidence of my abuse, only my memory and emotions could provide that within the medium of paint. I would create these images from subconscious doodles, because any logical thought thwarts your true feelings and limits your creative boundaries. To cut a long story short, I then began posting my art and my story on community websites and received hundreds of messages of thanks from other survivors for giving them a voice. This was it, this was turning all of my 'bad' into 'good'..this was my antidote...I have also had my memoirs published and my art and insight are being utilised into teaching/training programmes for clinicians, social workers, police and other advocates to aid/extend their knowledge base and insight into the areas of abuse,trauma,recovery,secondary victimisation and resiliency. May I also say that empowerment really does stem from breaking the silence and the self discovery that you are not merely a number, a statistic or a defect...and that you can put your abusers in the that dark,desolate place where they once left exposing their crimes to the world.  


  1. your work illustrates the real condition of negligence,dishonest feelings and manipulative emotional contracts. I wonder if people would enjoy horror if they could actually smell it. In the world of the social internet it seems as though people have more opportunity to be irresponsible, deceptive and replace real human values with corporate values.

  2. Hi Mitchell, and thank you so much for your articulate and intelligent words. I agree, and yes..people don't want to address the 'real' horrors in this world and if they continue not to..then evil will prevail.

  3. I try to be articulate, sometimes it's a shot in the dark. I started reading your book last night Suzzan. I have not read anything like that before. I found myself getting very tense over some of your experiences. I talked to my wife about it which made it feel less claustrophobic. it's hard to read but it's also difficult to stop reading.

  4. Don't sell yourself short Mitchell! Oh really...I know it's difficult to read, as I found it difficult to write...there were many tears. But I'm glad that it's done and is out there, and I hope that it touches people. I would love to know your thoughts when you've finished it...