Recently, I blogged over on my other page about the problem when everyone follows the same exact travel advice, and how what might work for one person, kind of falls apart when everyone does it.
That really doesn’t have much to do with survivors, at least I didn’t think so. That was until I read something over at Seth Godin’s blog about loneliness that got me thinking.
The minute we realize that the person sitting next to us needs us (and our tribe, our forward motion and the value we create), we’re able to extinguish their aloneness as well as ours.
This struck me as something that absolutely is a problem in the survivor community as a whole. Survivors typically do not reach out. It’s the very opposite of what we’ve been groomed to do, and it’s one of the most fearful things to attempt for anyone with that sort of background. So, we tend to take the safe approach and wait for others to reach out to us. This is our own little, highly efficient, defense mechanism in that it serves two purposes. One, it keeps us from ever worrying about rejection, and it forces people who might want to help us to jump through a few hoops first, to prove that they really do care.
This is a fine example of behavior that might make sense to us as individuals, but what happens when everyone engages in this same behavior? How do you find fellow survivors to build a support system, or a sense of community with, when everyone who might be part of that community is waiting for someone else to reach out?
Eventually someone has to take a small chance and open up about being a survivor and be willing to share their story. If you feel like there’s no one around you who understands, maybe you can be the one to break the stalemate of everyone doing the same thing, and simply share your story. Nothing more. Just share the truth about yourself. I think you’ll be surprised how many people around you are dealing with the same things, in one way or another, and just don’t know who to talk to about it.
Just make sure that you’re taking care of yourself, and have the strength to tell your story with no expectations on what kind of response you get. You’re not sharing to manipulate people into supporting you, you’re sharing just to share and find others who might need support. That’s the kind of sharing that leads to truly supportive communities.