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ONE Moment at a Time

December 21, 2011

by Jacqui C., Sexual Violence Center Volunteer

In the “Journey Through the Arts” support group hosted at our office in North Minneapolis, group members process their individual experiences through conversation and art. One victim/survivor’s idea of a healing activity might be to smash plates in order to make a new mosaic from the shattered pieces. Another victim/survivor might prefer to draw a timeline of their life before and after their assault, while still another’s favorite activity might be to visualize their experience using shapes and colors.

It’s hard to come up with activities that fit the needs of each individual in the group because something that one person finds empowering might feel tedious or overwhelming to someone else, and vice-versa. Healing from trauma is somewhat like a Rubik’s cube: like the colorful 3-D mechanical puzzle, a person’s healing process is multi-dimensional, can take on a virtually infinite number of variables, and, if you’re at all like me, can sometimes feel absolutely impossible to solve without support.

The reason this puzzle is so complex and unique to each individual boils down to one thing: the process of healing from trauma is nonlinear. I wish that I could tell our clients, all of whom have been affected by sexual violence in some way, that you only need to take steps 1, 2 and 3 in order to get from point A to point B and then the hurt and trauma will be gone. It’s just not that simple. Everyone is different, and so is their path after sexual assault or abuse. They might not have any idea where to begin, and that’s okay. They might take a few steps forward and then stall or backtrack, and that’s okay, too.

At SVC, we support survivors by giving them the options, information, and referrals they need to make informed decisions for themselves. We believe that the only person who knows what each individual truly needs is that individual him/her/hirself. We know that our role is just one piece of the puzzle, and we want the victim/survivor to feel in control of their healing process.

Taken from the last pages of Erica Staab’s new book, “The In-Between”:

if we pay attention,
if we listen to that little voice of wisdom,
if we trust

we will know when we need to do what,
when we need to move forward,
when to rest,
when to seek help,
AND — when to trust ourselves.

ONE breath at a time,
then ONE hour at a time,
then ONE day at a time,
ONE healing moment at a time.”

An advocate is available to talk to you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call our crisis line at 612-871-5111 for support and resources.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Teresa O. permalink
    December 22, 2011 11:34 am

    Great article Jacqui! I’m going to copy that passage from “The In-Between”, THANKS for sharing it-

  2. sarah permalink
    December 26, 2011 5:24 pm

    Great Article Jacqui, you have an awesome way of explaining things, I love that you volunteer there it’s awesome.

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