It's a strange thing about surviving: guilt. It doesn't matter if you're a survivor of genocide, war, conflict, rape, natural disaster, cancer...it's going to be there. Guilt. Why did I survive when so many did not? Why did I not fight back? Why me, not them?
Sometimes surviving can be ugly. There are nightmares you can't quite wake up from, and scars that time can't quite heal. There's anger and rage, and a palpable grief. There's a loss that can never be replaced. You can never go back, never be the same. Sometimes you walk through pathways littered with stolen innocence, broken dreams and taunting vestige of what should be.
Whether we persevere or merely endure as survivors, the most important thing to remember is that we are still here, and there is a reason for it. The narrative of our lives have meaning, and by examining our stories and listening to our own voices, we empower ourselves to give a purpose to our lives.
We are still here. Our presence means we've won.