Survivors

Tonight I am thinking of survivors. How many survivors read this blog? I wonder.

  • Survivors of sexual abuse.
  • Survivors of abusive relationships.
  • Survivors of addiction–their own or of people they love.
  • Survivors of marriages that died along with long cherished dreams.
  • Survivors of churches, spiritual homes that chucked you out, and in one violent rejection invalidated years of sharing, serving and love.
  • Survivors of the ex-gay movement, still believing somewhere in your brain that there might be something wrong with being queer because you have been told this so many times by so many people you respect and who stand in places of authority over you.
  • Survivors of the closet, a self-imposed society-enabled tomb. Those years of silence, of hiding, of fearful expectation that you will be exposed and denounced and rejected. Afraid to even admit to yourself who you are, afraid that if you did accept that one part of you, it would somehow overtake the rest of you and turn you into a stereotype or statistic.
  • Survivors of parents who never worked out their own issues, who maybe even loved their children the best they knew how but it was not nearly enough. Parents who are not willing to even admit the wrong and instead blame their children for the trauma they themselves caused.
  • Survivors of racism, institutional attacks because of color and personal attacks even from friends who when you tell them about your experiences, they immediately try to convince you that it is really not that bad. Then behind your back they talk about how angry and bitter you seem.
  • Survivors of transphobia and gender difference bashing, even from “friends” who won’t yet come around to calling you by the name you have chosen for yourself, the only name that makes sense to you.
  • Survivors of deep losses who wonder where was God when I needed God the most?

So many survivors. So much wisdom learned and learning. So much pain you bear.

Thank you for pushing on, for not giving up, for making it through another day, even when you don’t know why you press on and for whom. Thank you for the courage even though you mostly feel like a coward. You are alive still and by your own choice. And maybe most people in your life don’t even realize what a miracle that is.

Perhaps, one day, you will hear someone say, Thank you for your life because knowing you has made all the difference.
And perhaps you will even be able to look in the mirror and say the same words to yourself and mean it.

This post has 9 Comments

  1. alex resare on January 28, 2007 at 9:04 am Reply

    I just want to say: Thank you for your life because knowing you has made a huge difference in my life.

  2. Daniel C on January 28, 2007 at 10:34 am Reply

    Word with alex.
    Knowing you have made a difference!

    / Daniel C (now from Stockholm)

  3. Anna HP on January 28, 2007 at 11:35 am Reply

    Word with Alex and Danni, knowing you Peterson has indeed made a huge difference, not only in my Tartex-consumation. Survivor of parent with obvious issues CHECK. Okay, not there quite yet but sooner then I expected it will work itself out in a very special way. I am about to take the biggest step in my life. Pröva vingarna as we say in swedish.

  4. KJ on January 28, 2007 at 3:58 pm Reply

    And thank you, Peterson!

  5. Willie Hewes on January 28, 2007 at 7:20 pm Reply

    Wow, where did that come from? That was excellent. Yes, check, and, word.

    Ha! minimalist communication.

  6. Diana_CT on January 29, 2007 at 1:13 am Reply

    We are all survivors; we made it through life this far, navigated through the bumps and rough spots that were in our path. We will continue because that is our nature and we will smooth the road for the others that are to come.

  7. Carol on January 29, 2007 at 2:02 am Reply

    You know of what you speak, and have spoken for so many. I thank you for all you say, the words written, the thoughts you express. Thanks so much.

  8. Peterson Toscano on January 29, 2007 at 7:34 am Reply

    Thanks all! It is so strange but as I wrote this entry last night, as soon as I posted, I checked my e-mail and there was this amazing message from someone who had been at my show last night. He gave me permission to re-post it, so I will soon. What struck me was how the themes were so closely connected.

  9. Elliot on January 30, 2007 at 12:01 am Reply

    Peterson, you truly are amazing. This post is beautiful. From the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU.

    Knowing you has made a difference in my life, too.

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