Make Your Life Work for You Rather Than the Other Way Around

by Cathy
(U. S. A.)

Variety of Sunflowers

Variety of Sunflowers

Cathy's Bench of Sunflowers

It’s no secret that most child-abuse survivors wrestle with lifelong emotional-and-physical issues, but I look at “The Lighter Side” of life this way: Either I rehash the abuse I went through and stagnate in the cesspool my abusers created, or I move forward and enjoy the time I have left on earth. Years ago, I gave up drinking and smoking. I never took illegal drugs so that wasn’t a concern of mine, yet I can truly understand how people can get hooked on substances since all of us are always looking for our great escape from traumatic, physical-and-psychological issues. The only major debacle in my life now is food; I am addicted to it though I haven’t grown to enormous proportions yet…ahem.

When my main abuser died (my mother) in 1993, sad to say I breathed a sigh of relief though many in my family to this day chastise me for feeling that way. My father, who was my mother’s enabler in torturing me, was just as sadistic as she was. He died a few years later. I now refer to my mother and father by using their first names since they both lost the right to be called mother and father when they made a conscious choice to delight in savagely abusing me from the time I was born.

At any rate, on a lighter note, I found my great escape from child abuse at the age of three with the written word when I taught myself how to read and write. As years progressed, writing and photography became essentials and I made it a point to always travel with my best friend; a camera. A few years ago, I developed a keen interest in sunflowers. In 2006, teeny sunflower seedlings were planted in my front yard and, as you can see, grew to the height of the sun.

Make your life work for you rather than the other way around; enjoy what nature has to offer. View colorful leaves in Fall as you take a visual tour of thick defined clouds hovering in a pastel-blue sky. Hear the crunch of the leaves, and bend down so you can pick up those leaves with your hands. Get in tune with your emotions. Make a snow fort in Winter like you did when you were a kid, breath the aroma of fresh daffodils in Spring, and hone the lull of a waterfall in Summer…all yours for the asking.

Comments for Make Your Life Work for You Rather Than the Other Way Around

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Oct 03, 2007
Life's work . . .
by: Darlene Barriere

You are such a gifted photographer, Cathy! Sunflowers that "grew to the height of the sun"; a metaphor, a true symbol of your courage and will to survive in the face of adversity. I am delighted that you found your talent with your best friend; the camera. In true "best friends" fashion, the two of you have discovered the perfect balance, a synergy of vision and enlightenment. Enlightened eyes really do heal the heart.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Oct 04, 2007
by: Steph

Thank you so much for expressing this. As a survivor this is exactly the type of therapy I use. I am in touch with the world around me, that is, nature and all the simple things. I might add that I also have sunflowers. They are a sign of peace. I have a plastic sunflower attached to the side of the front door of my house. It signifies peace in my home and peace to anyone who enters it.
Your message needs to continue-keep spreading the word!

Mar 20, 2012
Making My Life Work
by: Will

I thank you for sharing and I do appreciate how you entitled your post. I too was sexually and physically abused. I grew up being the enabler of the family. Taking care of everyone emotional issues, and excluding mine. I have dissociative amnesia and I do enjoy photography also. When I was younger and didn't understand my illness I used to be afraid of losing good memories so I developed a habit of taking photos of everything that gave me joy. I do get a sense of belonging and love from nature and people. I love people. Photography is one way in which I made my life work. I didn't realize this until I just read your post. I'm no longer an enabler to my family. I'm taking care of me and still loving people in a healthy way. I do still enjoy photography but my camera is done, I need another one..Always loving the beauty and awesomeness of nature. Thanx again for sharing. It shed enlightenment on how I've been making my life work for me.

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