http://www.pods-online.org.uk/riskofrescuing.htmlRob Spring - PODS wrote:At first glance, it seems obvious why the survivor needs rescuing: their life is chaotic and out of control. They switch between parts of their personality and have no memory of what has just taken place. They are not able to decide for themselves on a course of action and they need a safe adult to take care of them. Psychiatric care is out of the question as they are so afraid and so ashamed, and surely it will only make things worse. Many people, in all sincerity when faced with such a scenario, would respond with a heartfelt, gut-wrenching “Of course they need rescuing!”
But the person in question is a survivor. That does not mean that they are weak, and incapable, and powerless. It means that even as a child they survived things that most of us cannot even imagine. If they survived overwhelming trauma as children without any support, surely they can survive the aftermath of it now as an adult? Support is vital, but we cannot do it for them. We have to recognise their autonomy, their responsibility, and their capability. Many survivors struggle to see this for themselves and are convinced that they are ‘crazy’, ‘pathetic’, ‘weak’ and that they ‘can’t’. But the powerlessness that they subjectively feel in relation to their current circumstances is a symptom of trauma, not an objective reality. Somehow, they have managed to survive thus far, and somehow they will continue to survive. Although I take very seriously the risks of self-harm and completed suicide, I do continue to believe in the resilience of survivors: they have had good reason, every single day, to kill themselves, and yet somehow they are still alive. And that should be a source of huge encouragement both to them and everyone around them. If miracles of survival have already taken place, there is no reason why they shouldn’t continue.
I really liked this article.
I thought of the support forum here and other support forums and what we do for each other as 'supporters'/'survivors' (where survivors are supporters for each other). If you read the complete article, the author gives scenarios of how 'rescuing' can become 'controlling' - as well as abandonment, etc.
We see this happening as a community at IG - and, over the years - the 'controlling' factor come in - as well as survivors falling into the role of the powerless, needy, and helpless role - the supporter being given control.
I view the support forum here as a safe place to kind of play through these roles without getting drawn into the pitfalls that can happen. If we can do that, as a community, it becomes a safe place where we don't fear rejection, we can all move forward with a sense of free will and strength, and there is no need for some controlling force to make sure we all play nicely with each other. We take responsibility for our actions, but are still there for each other without rescuing - and, though we may be scared or vulnerable, we can expect that others will see our strength and respect our ability to get through - knowing that we are there really caring and understanding. Yes, we follow the terms of service, because we respect our own ability to do so without someone policing us. We aren't children and shouldn't be treated as though we are.
As many long-term members of IG know - we have had our share of rescuers come along over time - and, the control that survivors give them goes to their head creating chaos for us to return things to 'normal' where we are again back to 'supporting' each other to 'get through' our crisis on our own with real support.
But, then - sometimes, it feels like we are never going to make it through - like no one really cares 'enough'. Then, other times when we feel like we aren't 'doing enough' to support. Or, saying the right thing. That possibly we will say something to make things worse or that we might upset someone already upset enough. Or, maybe we shouldn't write how we are feeling, because it will trigger others or make them feel helpless - when we really do know that we have to get through ourself. Or, sometimes we might feel that someone is not trying enough, because we get frustrated when they don't seem to listen to support. Well, you get the idea - this is all part of participating on IG - that is for sure. And, wow - we have been here the times when the 'rescuers' came to control everything - that really is so much easier - teddy bears and hugs and love - and mommy talk. Easier than being treated as an adult survivor - strong and able - right? That sort of 'control' never lasts long on IG -
We are back to normal again, now.
All in all, I just want to say that I am so proud of the folks at IG. I have watched for 9 years as you all have gone through so much - and, the support is always given for each others best interest and with respect for your strength and free-will. We have faith in each other as autonomous and compassionate. Wow - that is quite amazing when you think about it all.
What do you think - I liked the article and thought it was thought-provoking especially since we are all 'survivor'/'supporters' here. And, many of us are irl also.
@ Pat Goodwin 2015