Information for Survivors

Information for Survivors

‘Will I ever be better?’, ‘How do I become a Thriver?’, ‘How do I get over this?‘………………..there are no simple answers but HAVOCA believes every survivor has the right to become a Thriver.

From Victim to Survivor to Thriver




Doesn’t deserve nice things or trying for the “good life.” Struggling for reasons & chance to heal Gratitude for everything in life.
Low self esteem/shame/unworthy Sees self as wounded & healing Sees self as an overflowing miracle
Hyper vigilant Using tools to learn to relax Gratitude for new life
Alone Seeking help Oneness
Feels Selfish Deserves to seek help Proud of Healthy Self caring
Damaged Naming what happened Was wounded & now healing
Confusion & numbness Learning to grieve, grieving past aggrieved trauma Grieving at current losses
Overwhelmed by past Naming & grieving what happened Living in the present
Hopeless Hopeful Faith in self & life
Uses outer world to hide from self Stays with emotional pain Understands that emotional pain will pass & brings new insights
Hides their story Not afraid to tell their story to safe people. Beyond telling their story, but always aware they have created their own healing with HP
Believes everyone else is better, stronger, less damaged Comes out of hiding to hear others & have compassion for them & eventually self Lives with an open heart for self & others
Often wounded by unsafe others Learning how to protect self by share, check, share Protects self from unsafe others
Places own needs last Learning healthy needs (See Healing the Child Within & Gift to Myself) Places self first realizing that is the only way to function & eventually help others
Creates one drama after another See patterns Creates peace
Believes suffering is the human condition Feeling some relief, knows they need to continue in recovery Finds joy in peace
Serious all the time Beginning to laugh Seeing the humour in life
Uses inappropriate humour, including teasing Feels associated painful feelings instead Uses healthy humour
Uncomfortable, numb or angry around toxic people Increasing awareness of pain & dynamics Healthy boundaries around toxic people, incl. relatives
Lives in the past Aware of patterns Lives in the Now
Angry at religion Understanding the difference between religion & personal spirituality Enjoys personal relationship with the God of their understanding
Suspicious of therapists– projects Sees therapist as guide during projections Sees reality as their projection & owns it.
Needs people & chemicals to believe they are all right Glimpses of self-acceptance & fun without others Feels authentic & connected, Whole
“Depression” Movement of feelings Aliveness

©Barbara Whitfield 2003

HAVOCA’s ethos, ‘Every Survivor has the right to become a Thriver’, isn’t supposed to dictate a route for your journey, it isn’t even supposed to inspire you on that voyage.  The phrase simply gives you the right to be what ever you like, when ever you want to be it. There are no time limits or milestones to achieve on the healing path.  Each day can be taken one step at a time; no one will criticise or comment if you stand still for a while, you can even look back if you like. Your journey is ‘yours’ and yours alone, however, here at HAVOCA, as you take each step, we’ll be here right behind you.

There is a wealth of information for survivors available on the internet but it does tend to be rather difficult to find. Since starting HAVOCA in 2001 we have tried desperately to locate useful, recovery related, material and locate it all in one place. Where possible we have included the copyright information and/or a link back to the source material. If no copyright exists the information was either written by HAVOCA and/or publicly available.

Try not to be overwhelmed by the shear amount of detail. Recovery should happen at your pace and it shouldn’t be dictated by lists and menus. The information for survivors has been ordered alphabetically so it is easier to find; the order does not bear any resemblance to the importance that subject has. Every survivor’s recovery is different and therefore the way you use this website will also vary. Just do what feels right, copy and print what seems pertinent or simply bookmark useful areas within your browser.


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