For some reason, readers at this site tend to write emails directly to me, rather than post their thoughts here. For me that’s great, but then others miss out on the conversation.
Today I heard from a gentleman who attended a book event that Arturo and I did a few days ago in the Bay Area (yep, I’ll post about that soon). He sent a link for an excellent article on HIV and sexual abuse survivors.
The article has good advice for survivors dealing with doctors–whether they are HIV positive or have other health issues, so I want to share the resource with the rest of you.
It’s called Two Time Survivor. Incest survivors who are dealing with AIDs aren’t the only “two timers.” When I was diagnosed with a rare cancer four years ago, my first response was “I’m already a survivor! I don’t need a second time around.”
But in the next few days I realized that dealing with a sexual abuse history had taught me a lot that helped me with this new event. First of all, I knew I wasn’t going to try to do this alone or in isolation. I told all my friends and those who could deal with it did and were great support, and those who couldn’t, well bless them, we can’t be all things to all people.
I also recognized the feelings I was going through. A serious diagnosis is a trauma, and I had a traumatic reaction–fear, disbelief, anxiety. But going through healing from child abuse has given me a lot of tools. I’ve faced terror and walked through it. I know that tough realities can be faced, and lived through. I have the skills I need to calm myself and get centered, to stay focused in the present. And I knew how to ask for help and organize a healing team.
Fortunately my health is great right now. But going through that tough time gave me a new appreciation for all that the healing process had given me.