You, victim, you know my guilt. My shame. My doubt.
You, survivor, know my loss. The depths of the darkness. The panic- paranoia.
You both saved me.
The fellow victim understood why I stayed. Made me feel somewhat normal. Helped me to rationalize. Gave me hope. Not the “right” hope, but still hope. Without you, I would have ended it. Alone in an otherwise normal world, I would have let the shame take its logical last step.
The fellow survivor understood why I left. Made me feel justified. Helped me to stand firm. Gave me strength. Unfounded strength, at times, but still strength. Without you, I would have stayed. Abnormal in an otherwise normal world, I would have let my doubt keep me chained.
You both freed me.
Without you, I would have been alone. Forever wondering what I did wrong, and how to fix it. You gave me answers, and direction.
And yet, I wish I was still a victim. Still lost. Still doubtful.
I wish I was completely alone.
You gave me answers because you first had questions. Doubts. Shame. You were there first, and mapped the exit.
That’s what kills me.
Having company in this is worse than being alone.