I discovered isurvive at a time in my life when things were going more than a little crazy. After searching the internet looking for help, and being bitten several times from other online groups, I finally found this priceless sanctuary. I am in a better emotional place now than l have ever been, largely thanks to the encouragement and support through the members of this site. isurvive gave me the courage to quit running away and continues to remind me how important it is to ‘talk it’ out loud.
I live in the UK and have been an active member and a volunteer of isurvive for several years now. It is an honour for me to spend time working to ensure this site remains such a valuable resource to those who stumble across us.
It is my pleasure to welcome you here and hope that you too will benefit from the wealth of compassion and experience that is so freely gifted within our community. We really are a family.
Like many others I found isurvive through a desperate Google search. I was desperate to find answers as to why it seemed like my entire world was crumbling all around me. It took me a couple weeks to work up the nerve to register and post an introduction. What I discovered was kindness, compassion and understanding. I wasn’t alone! There are people who get me, even when I don’t understand myself. I will be forever grateful for isurvive and all of the wonderful people here who have helped me so much just by being here and “getting it”.
I won’t even pretend to have all the answers as a Moderator. What I do have is all the kindness, compassion and understanding that I’ve received from so many here, and I want nothing more than to be able to help spread all that around.
I was completely broken, alone, ashamed and terrified. After many online searches I arrived at isurvive and, for the first time ever, felt that I had a place in this world, that I was a human being. I no longer needed to punish myself, I had done nothing wrong.
I have been an active member for several years now and the support, encouragement & compassion I’ve received from fellow survivors/members of isurvive has never ceased to amaze & inspire me. My healing journey continues and I feel honoured to be asked to help out with the moderating. I can’t promise to have any answers or words of wisdom but I can promise that everything I do will be from my heart.
I am a survivor of SA, PA and RA but this is not all that I am. I am a dreamer, who dreams that all of us will one day find the peace that we deserve and each of us will become the people that we want to be.
Ashia (Moderator – retired)
I came across isurvive quite by accident when searching online for answers. I felt like I was crazy and that no one would ever possibly understand me. By opening up and sharing here, I have been shown real compassion and understanding. This gave me the courage I needed to face up to my past.
I experienced EA, VA, PA, SA and RA throughout my childhood and, as a consequence, I developed CPTSD and DID. It has been a gradual, and at times difficult, process learning about the system I am a part of and for each of us to learn how to work as a team. Over time, my insiders have come to trust me more and some have shared their past trauma. This still happens to this day, as we all continue to develop and grow.
One of the most important lessons I have learned is that healing is a journey, not a race. Some days are easier, others are bumpier, but that’s alright. Despite that, I have found there is always hope. I don’t know everything and I may not always have the answers but, as a moderator, I hope I can share what I’ve learned on my journey so far and encourage you to hold on to hope.
Ashia is an Arabic name, which means ‘life’ and ‘hope’. It is my very real wish that you’ll all come to have lives filled with hope.
Aspen (Moderator – retired)
I joined isurvive in 2010 and have cherished the support and community it has provided for me. I stumbled upon the site when I was trying to understand why my world felt so upside-down. While I had been in and out of therapy for 20 years, I hadn’t fully healed. At the time I was in therapy for PTSD and child abuse issues, and felt very much alone. There were very few people in my life I could speak with about my background, and the intense hurt and shame that accompanied it. After I found this place, I felt that I could be open and honest about who I really was. For the first time in my life I felt that I was loved, accepted and understood, in spite of the horror I survived. The shame I felt started lifting.
I am a married mother of two living in the United States. In my childhood, I experienced physical, sexual (incest & rape), emotional and verbal abuse. My parents were both horribly abused as children and they chose not to heal, rather passing on what was done to them.
Dignity is something I cling to, and I believe strongly in the fundamental dignity for every person. Because of healing, I see how abuse strips that from children before it ever has a chance to develop. Dignity and Freedom are very closely related to me.
An aspen grove is the largest living organism in the world. Aspens are beautiful trees that cover entire hillsides and mountainsides, and, while they look like individual trees, hundreds of them are grouped together sharing common roots. Everyone who comes to isurvive shares common roots, and deserves to heal.
I found isurvive just as my world began to fall apart. Its members, moderators and directors have held me together when I thought nothing could. I come from a narcissistic family and am a survivor of EA, PA, VA, RA and incest.
In my darkest moments isurvive has been there for me. With support and compassion that I didn’t know existed, I have learned to love myself. I found here a family that I love, and one who love me, which is something I have never felt before. I always felt alone but when I joined isurvive that changed for me. I found my voice. I have been supported and been able to support others. This wonderful place has restored my faith in people, allowing me to know love, kindness and peace.
I believe that all people should know love, kindness and peace, that all children are special and should be cared for and protected, that no person is broken, dirty or wrong, that every person is worthy of respect and dignity, that no person should be ashamed due to any abuse they have survived.
Fireflies are tiny little creatures. They produce a light which they can turn on and off as a signal, a tiny flickering light in the darkness telling the other fireflies where they are and that they want company. Letting them know that they are not alone. I believe isurvive is a place for all of the world’s fireflies to come together, producing the bright light that is healing.
It means so much to me to have this opportunity to help behind the scenes. isurvive has given me so much, I am honored to be able to give back as a moderator.
freshstart (Moderator – retired)
I am a survivor of sibling incest, sexual abuse and emotional neglect. I was the one who had it all – the world by the tail – no holds barred….except that it was a lie. On the inside, I was insecure, emotionally stunted and completely unavailable and unable to express any emotion. I have been with isurvive since the early days of 2005 – it seems like a lifetime ago! Since joining and adding my then tentative voice to the mix, I have learned that I am NOT worthless, I am NOT dirty and I do, indeed, have a great deal to offer to the world around me. We cannot be “fixed” because we aren’t actually broken. We coped in the best way that we knew how as children. We can, however, change – our perceptions, our actions and our day to day outlook on the life we are given. I live in gratitude today. I am grateful for my past (all of it!) because, without that past, I would not be who I am today. There is great peace in healing and I hope that you find it now.
Harmony (Admin/ Moderator)
My journey with isurvive was an organic need to find support for myself in April of 2009 while in therapy for child abuse. My own abuse includes SA, VA, PA and EA. It took years of work to break
through denial and finally admit all of it. While successful in life, who could I share my secrets and pain with? The initial pain and shame was barely tolerable.
I found isurvive like many in a desperate Google search. I felt so alone and frightened. Looking for survivor abuse support sites, I checked many of them all out. The one site that was the most inviting
and supportive without giving advice or dogma was isurvive. The gentle voice of the place and director felt healthy and right. It fit right into my healing journey. I have even copied and printed some of my posts for my talented therapist. While my therapist was (and at times is still) skeptical of this forum it remains for me extremely helpful. I have found genuine friends and connection at isurvive. This forum reaches out to people across the world just like me. Here we are never alone.
As a moderator I do not know all the answers. I will work doggedly to find answers when they exist. I’m determined to speak with heart and honesty. Let us all find our way out of the trauma and PTSD of child abuse together. Let us move on towards health. isurvive provides our mutual opportunity for recovery. My goal here is to peacefully and gently support our healthy growth. As with any service work I get way more than I receive here. It is my honor to serve isurvive as a moderator.
PeacefulNinja (Moderator – retired)
I lived in silence for decades. I battled demons no child should face. I stumbled upon isurvive at one of the lowest point in my life. As a survivor of SA, VA, EA and PA from childhood through adulthood, I lived in denial, to the extent that I even believed it wasn’t abuse; that somehow what happened was ok. isurvive was a lifeline for me; a safe harbor as I navigated the past while living in the present. In this healing journey I have come to realize I need not be alone, I have a right to set boundaries, self-preservation is a good thing even if it means cutting contact from past abusers and it was not my fault. The love, support, and validation I received through isurvive members was, and is, a blessing. I used to feel like a ninja, battling my past alone and in silence. Now I am a Peaceful Ninja, with strength and stealth, driven by peace but not alone. It is my honor to serve isurvive members; You are precious.
I, too, stumbled onto isurvive after a Google search. It had been years since I saw my T back home. I had seen her for many years. She is a specialist in her field. I got referred to her through a specific medical clinic. My diagnosis was SA, which stunned me. I did not believe them. But I started seeing my T anyway. She never pushed the issue. But a couple of years later, my first memory surfaced while I was home alone and my life has not been the same since. I don’t have any magic, but maybe in some small way I can assist with isurvive. We really should stick together, you know. We are stronger as a group. PTSD is too stressful to suffer alone. I’ve been a member for many years. I have even met some of you in person and I can say that you are all lovely people. Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to make your life easier.
Sequoia (Moderator – retired)
I found isurvive during a time in my life when I was under a lot of stress….not a good thing for someone with PTSD! After a Google search, I found the support I was needing here at isurvive. I found a place where I could be supported with compassion. As a survivor of severe childhood PA and EA I needed a safe place, and I found it at isurvive. I look forward to the opportunity to give back as a Moderator…to continue to help make isurvive a safe place for those struggling with the effects of abuse so together we can become more than survivors, we can be thrivers!
tommy (Administrative Support – retired)
isurvive has given me so much understanding over the past years; there’s just no place like it. I still have much growth to gain as I try to move forwards but I now listen, speak and see… not closed to all the past and world around me like before. I am glad of this place beside you all here. You will not see me posting much on the forums but I hope I can give back in some small way as I serve our community behind the scenes.
wings (Moderator – retired)
isurvive has been a godsend for me. I arrived here some years ago feeling scared, helpless and alone. I had begun recovering memories of childhood SA, PA and EA, had been diagnosed with depression and PTSD and although I had a few kind understanding friends in real life, the shame and self-blame I felt prevented me from opening up to anyone. I was positive that if I told anyone what had happened to me they would run for the hills without looking back. At the same time I desperately needed to talk to someone who would understand what I was going through.Writing that first post was immensely scary. I think it is for all of us. I was sure no one would reply or be interested in what I had to say. Abuse makes you believe you’re all alone in this world. But over and over again, as I became braver and told my story, people would respond with love, kindness, compassion and empathy. They would say, ‘that happened to me too. I understand.’ And I would sit at my computer and cry tears of pure relief. Finally I wasn’t alone anymore.
I see so much of myself reflected in the other members here. We are all facing the same issues in our own ways. Denial, self-hatred, self-blame and judgement, terror, isolation, profound grief. Recovering from child abuse is no walk in the park. Yet the love, unconditional acceptance and friendship I found here made healing and self-acceptance possible. I am a very different person today to when I first joined. I will always be grateful to this place and I am humbled and honoured to be able to give something back in a small way as a moderator.
A dear friend suggested my name (wings). For me it fits well. I think we are all trying to find our wings – grieving and healing from the abuse, rediscovering who we are and always were, handing back the shame that doesn’t belong to us and learning how to fly.
I felt unique, totally unrelated. In doing a Google search, I discovered that not only were my symptoms and behaviour recognised but that there were often links to support groups! At various times, I have experienced VA, PA, SA, EA.
I’m here to add my smidgen and help others by sharing my experiences.
Yoriko (Moderator – retired)
I first came upon isurvive in the search for answers about a past and a reality I felt couldn’t possibly fit me. I was fiercely stuck in denial and was looking for confirmation of that denial outside myself. In isurvive, instead I met a community of people that listened to the intense emotional turmoil I was in, that supported me and encouraged me to be patient with myself and to find my own truth within. The people I met on isurvive helped me immensely in my acceptance of my story and while having felt isolated for so long a time, they gave me a place where I could go to and be part of a welcoming group whichever hour of the day.
I experienced sexual, physical and emotional abuse since I was a small child and developed DID which became since part of daily functioning. The process of getting to know the others with who I am in a system and the traumatic past they brought with them was (and sometimes still is) a scary one. But gradually as we started to get more familiar with each other, we started to function more like a team, helping each other, protecting and taking care of each other. We learned to appreciate and rely on each others’ qualities and strengths.
The shame and fear I felt so long a time at finding out my reality, is now well behind me. We survived the horrors of childhood with the possibilities we had and there is no shame in that. As a moderator I hope that I can draw from the understanding and insights I gained and can help other people on their own path to finding inner peace and strength and acceptance of who they are.
Yoriko is a derivation of Yo-ri which in Japanese means as much as ‘trustworthy, reliable’. Trust is vulnerable in many survivors. I didn’t have any trust in my emotions, in my memories, in the stories my others inside told me of our past, nor did I trust other people on the outside. Yoriko is a gentle reminder to me as well as to to others I hope of the confidence that it’s okay to listen to what lies within, a soft encouragement that in isurvive you can find a safe haven and of the quiet trust that whatever one’s (hi)story it IS possible to thrive.