From Victim to Hero
Fighting Opression by Being Neither Opressor Nor Opressed
It starts with the Self.
It takes Healing. It takes Practice. It takes Power and Love.
I am broken, but not defeated.
There has been generational, inherited trauma, as the child of Holocaust survivors. There has been childhood trauma: Mother lost at first to mental illness, then to death. Father emotionally absent and harshly critical. I have been beaten with the belt and hit with the ruler. Immigrated twice, on my own, changing cultures and climates. Lived years of abuse with a cruel man. Gone through war. Lost loved ones. Lost love. Faced social isolation.
And here is why I’m not a victim:
I am alive. I am, and have remained curious to learn. I have done tons of work on myself. I’ve asked and received help and support. When losing track of my strengths and values, I asked my friends and helpers to remind them to me. I have never given up living, learning, striving to grow, even when regressing, and looking for what’s beautiful, good and true.
Most important of all, I have used adversity to ask questions and grow stronger, kinder, wiser, and better skilled at living. I have learned oodles, and still learning, about power: what it means and what it takes to have power, to position oneself in a place of power, the importance of embodying both power and love, and the practices needed to do that.
I used my spiritual practices to look at the most cruel, and most compassionate behaviours in others as mirrors of myself – I’ve done, and doing daily, deep Shadow work. I found the Angels AND the Demons in my own psyche, and befriended them with love, because if I am to live by my values of kindness and love the World, I have to start with all of who I am, and nothing less than that.
I have crashed in despair a thousand times. And picked myself up a thousand and one times. I’d like to tell you how, if this is useful to you.
There have been times of sickness that felt almost like dying. And times of renewed vitality and hope, and with it a renewed commitment to be of service.
I have promised myself, and am promising you, that when I have recovered and grown strong enough, I will show you how to recover and grow strong, and be well.
I chose to drop the narrative of Victim, and chose instead to be the Hero, the dragon-slaying Hero. I dance, and lift weights, and do comedy improv, and laugh, and hug people and pets and wear lipstick and take walks in the park when the sun is out. And I have head and body aches, and I cry often, and am slow to rise, because I’m wounded – because when you fight dragons, that’s what happens, you get wounded.
But what’s a few wounds and bruises, when you’ve slayed a dragon? Because fuck it, I am the Hero!