Survivor Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Survivor. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal. I was a survivor, and I was strong. I would not be weak, or helpless again I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.
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Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
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You realize that our mistrust of the future makes it hard to give up the past.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
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To die, it's easy. But you have to struggle for life.
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Art Spiegelman (Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Maus, #1))
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A girl calls and asks, "Does it hurt very much to die?" "Well, sweetheart," I tell her, "yes, but it hurts a lot more to keep living.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
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Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim--letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from victim to survivor.
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C.R. Strahan
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The only difference between a suicide and a martyrdom really is the amount of press coverage.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
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and when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcomed but when we are silent we are still afraid So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive
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Audre Lorde (The Black Unicorn: Poems)
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Reality means you live until you die...the real truth is nobody wants reality.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
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do not look for healing at the feet of those who broke you
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Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
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Did perpetual happiness in the Garden of Eden maybe get so boring that eating the apple was justified?
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Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
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You have a choice. Live or die. Every breath is a choice. Every minute is a choice. Every time you don't throw yourself down the stairs, that's a choice. Every time you don't crash your car, you re-enlist.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
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Sometimes, Ms. Lane," he said, "one must break with one's past to embrace one's future. It is never an easy thing to do. It is one of the distinguishing characteristics between survivors and victims. Letting go of what was, to survive what is.
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Karen Marie Moning (Darkfever (Fever, #1))
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People don't want their lives fixed. Nobody wants their problems solved. Their dramas. their distractions. Their stories resolved. Their messes cleaned up. Because what would they have left? Just the big scary unknown.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
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Six hundred and forty fish later, the only thing I know is everything you love will die. The first time you meet someone special, you can count on them one day being dead and in the ground.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
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But if I'm it, the last of my kind, the last page of human history, like hell I'm going to let the story end this way. I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity's last war, then I am the battlefield.
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Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1))
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Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain there are no heroes.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Honest is how I want to look. The truth doesn't glitter and shine.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
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It's only in drugs or death we'll see anything new, and death is just too controlling.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
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I can see we're going to get along like a house on fire," said Miss Tick. "There may be no survivors.
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Terry Pratchett (The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30; Tiffany Aching, #1))
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What people forget is a journey to nowhere starts with a single step, too.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
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On the day the tree bloomed in the fall, when its white apple blossoms fell and covered the ground like snow, it was tradition for the Waverleys to gather in the garden like survivors of some great catastrophe, hugging one another, laughing as they touched faces and arms, making sure they were all okay, grateful to have gotten through it.
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Sarah Addison Allen (First Frost (Waverley Family, #2))
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There are only patterns, patterns on top of patterns, patterns that affect other patterns. Patterns hidden by patterns. Patterns within patterns. If you watch close, history does nothing but repeat itself. What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can't decipher. what we can't understand we call nonsense. What we can't read we call gibberish. There is no free will. There are no variables.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
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My scars remind me that I did indeed survive my deepest wounds. That in itself is an accomplishment. And they bring to mind something else, too. They remind me that the damage life has inflicted on me has, in many places, left me stronger and more resilient. What hurt me in the past has actually made me better equipped to face the present.
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Steve Goodier
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I had just heard tales that the Valkyrie were large warriors, akin to Amazons.” β€œIf you’re the sole survivor of an army attacked by us, are you going to say we had our asses handed to us by petite, nubile females, or by she-monsters who can bench Buicks?
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Kresley Cole (No Rest for the Wicked (Immortals After Dark, #2))
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I guess I always felt even if the world came to an end, McDonald's would still be open.
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Susan Beth Pfeffer (Life As We Knew It (The Last Survivors, #1))
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For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and for the living. He has no right to deprive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.
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Elie Wiesel (Night (The Night Trilogy, #1))
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Each of the scars, the chipped teeth and broken claws, the mutilated tailβ€”Β­they Β­weren’t the markings of a victim. Oh, no. They Β­were the trophies of a survivor. Abraxos was a warrior who’d had all the odds stacked against him and survived. Learned from it. Triumphed.
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Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
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History isn't the lies of the victors, as I once glibly assured Old Joe Hunt; I know that now. It's more the memories of the survivors, most of whom are neither victorious or defeated.
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Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
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People used what they called a telephone because they hated being close together and they were too scared of being alone.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
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Over time as most people fail the survivor's exacting test of trustworthiness, she tends to withdraw from relationships. The isolation of the survivor thus persists even after she is free.
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Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
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She has fought many wars, most internal. The ones that you battle alone, for this, she is remarkable. She is a survivor.
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Nikki Rowe
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You can get used to anything - haven't I already said that? Isn't that what all survivors say?
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Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
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If you ever see a war," she says, not looking up from her clipboard, "you'll learn that war only destroys. No one escapes from a war. No one. Not even the survivors.
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Patrick Ness (The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2))
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Survivors aren't always the strongest; sometimes they're the smartest, but more often simply the luckiest.
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Carrie Ryan (The Dark and Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #3))
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What we share may be a lot like a traffic accident but we get one another. We are survivors of each other. We have been shark to one another, but also lifeboat. That counts for something.
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Margaret Atwood (Cat's Eye)
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I let you die. To save myself, I let you die. That is the danger in keeping company with survivors.
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Leigh Bardugo (Ninth House (Alex Stern #1))
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Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen.
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John le CarrΓ©
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Don't judge yourself by what others did to you.
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C. Kennedy (Γ“morphi)
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Justice is for the victim.” Kick. β€œVengeance is for the survivor.
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Rachel Vincent (Shift (Shifters, #5))
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A scar is a sign of strength. . .the sign of a survivor.
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Laurie Halse Anderson (Chains (Seeds of America, #1))
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The joke is, we all have the same punchline.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
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I don't want a knight in shining armor. I don't want a knight in scuffed armor. I want his helmet to have dents. I want my knight to be real, and dark and savage. I want my knight to be a survivor. Someone who's been tested and got through his trails. Not some pussy in gleaming metal.
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Belle Aurora (Raw (RAW Family, #1))
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So often survivors have had their experiences denied, trivialized, or distorted. Writing is an important avenue for healing because it gives you the opportunity to define your own reality. You can say: This did happen to me. It was that bad. It was the fault & responsibility of the adult. I wasβ€”and amβ€”innocent.” The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis
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Ellen Bass (The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse)
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I wonder if I'll ever have to decide which is worse, life as we're living or no life at all.
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Susan Beth Pfeffer (Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1))
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I never really thought about how when I look at the moon, it's the same moon as Shakespeare and Marie Antoinette and George Washington and Cleopatra looked at.
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Susan Beth Pfeffer (Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1))
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Do you know why most survivors of the Holocaust are vegan? It's because they know what it's like to be treated like an animal.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Lullaby)
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Many abused children cling to the hope that growing up will bring escape and freedom. But the personality formed in the environment of coercive control is not well adapted to adult life. The survivor is left with fundamental problems in basic trust, autonomy, and initiative. She approaches the task of early adulthood――establishing independence and intimacy――burdened by major impairments in self-care, in cognition and in memory, in identity, and in the capacity to form stable relationships. She is still a prisoner of her childhood; attempting to create a new life, she reencounters the trauma.
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Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
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It feels like we’re the last survivors of a zombie apocalypse. Wonder Woman and a gay dementor. It doesn’t bode well for the survival of the species.
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Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Simonverse, #1))
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You realize that people take drugs because it's the only real personal adventure left to them in their time-constrained, law-and-order, property-lined world. It's only in drugs or death we'll see anything new, and death is just too controlling.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
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In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure no one listens.
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Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
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To those who abuse: the sin is yours, the crime is yours, and the shame is yours. To those who protect the perpetrators: blaming the victims only masks the evil within, making you as guilty as those who abuse. Stand up for the innocent or go down with the rest.
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Flora Jessop (Church of Lies)
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When you come out of the grips of a depression there is an incredible relief, but not one you feel allowed to celebrate. Instead, the feeling of victory is replaced with anxiety that it will happen again, and with shame and vulnerability when you see how your illness affected your family, your work, everything left untouched while you struggled to survive. We come back to life thinner, paler, weaker … but as survivors. Survivors who don’t get pats on the back from coworkers who congratulate them on making it. Survivors who wake to more work than before because their friends and family are exhausted from helping them fight a battle they may not even understand. I hope to one day see a sea of people all wearing silver ribbons as a sign that they understand the secret battle, and as a celebration of the victories made each day as we individually pull ourselves up out of our foxholes to see our scars heal, and to remember what the sun looks like.
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Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
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You can recognize survivors of abuse by their courage. When silence is so very inviting, they step forward and share their truth so others know they aren't alone.
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Jeanne McElvaney (Healing Insights: Effects of Abuse for Adults Abused as Children)
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. . .only the victims and survivors can truly comprehend the awfulness of that time and place; the rest of us live on the other side of the fence, staring through from our own comfortable place, trying in our own clumsy ways to make sense of it all.
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John Boyne (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas)
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As long as you keep secrets and suppress information, you are fundamentally at war with yourself…The critical issue is allowing yourself to know what you know. That takes an enormous amount of courage.
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Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
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Yes,” I whisper. The red blinking light on one of the cameras catches my eye. I know I’m being recorded. β€œYes,” I say more forcefully. Everyone is drawing away from meβ€”Gale, Cressida, the insectsβ€”giving me the stage. But I stay focused on the red light. β€œI want to tell the rebels that I am alive. That I’m right here in District Eight, where the Capitol has just bombed a hospital full of unarmed men, women, and children. There will be no survivors.” The shock I’ve been feeling begins to give way to fury. β€œI want to tell people that if you think for one second the Capitol will treat us fairly if there’s a cease-fire, you’re deluding yourself. Because you know who they are and what they do.” My hands go out automatically, as if to indicate the whole horror around me. β€œThis is what they do! And we must fight back!” I’m moving in toward the camera now, carried forward by my rage. β€œPresident Snow says he’s sending us a message? Well, I have one for him. You can torture us and bomb us and burn our districts to the ground, but do you see that?” One of the cameras follows as I point to the planes burning on the roof of the warehouse across from us. The Capitol seal on a wing glows clearly through the flames. β€œFire is catching!” I am shouting now, determined that he will not miss a word. β€œAnd if we burn, you burn with us!
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Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
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Samuel Beckett once said, "Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness." ...On the other hand, he SAID it.
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Art Spiegelman (Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began (Maus, #2))
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I'm not sure I would label it a 'survivor,'" said Iko, her sensor darkening with disgust. "It looks more like a rotting pumpkin.
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Marissa Meyer (Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1))
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The more we lose, the more we become the survivors.
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Carrie Ryan (The Dead-Tossed Waves (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #2))
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Being the survivor stinks.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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We are survivors, of each other. We have been shark to one another, but also lifeboat. That counts for something.
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Margaret Atwood (Cat's Eye)
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MATTHEW'S RULES OF SURVIVAL 1. Sometimes, the people who mean you harm are the ones who say they love you. 2. Fear is your friend. When you feel it, act. 3. Protect the little ones. 4. If you coped before, you can cope now. 5. Always remember: In the end, the survivor gets to tell the story.
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Nancy Werlin (The Rules of Survival)
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Some of the most beautiful things worth having in your life come wrapped in a crown of thorns.
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Shannon L. Alder
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Even in times of trauma, we try to maintain a sense of normality until we no longer can. That, my friends, is called surviving. Not healing. We never become whole again ... we are survivors. If you are here today... you are a survivor. But those of us who have made it thru hell and are still standing? We bare a different name: warriors.
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Lori Goodwin
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Survivors can't always choose their methods.
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Patricia Briggs (Dragon Blood (Hurog, #2))
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Instead of saying, "I'm damaged, I'm broken, I have trust issues" say "I'm healing, I'm rediscovering myself, I'm starting over.
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Horacio Jones
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If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, doesn't it just lie there and rot?
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Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
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Love is the Answer, God is the Cure!
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Aimee Cabo Nikolov (Love is the Answer God is the Cure)
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One thing you who had secure or happy childhoods should understand about those of us who did not. We who control our feelings, who avoid conflicts at all costs, or seem to seek them. Who are hypersensitive, self-critical, compulsive, workaholic, and above all survivors. We are not that way from perversity, and we cannot just relax and let it go. We’ve learned to cope in ways you never had to.
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Piers Anthony
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You know what my mother said to me when she came to say good-bye, as if to cheer me up, she says maybe District Twelve will finally have a winner. Then I realized she didn't mean me, she meant you!" bursts out Peeta. "Oh, she meant you," I say with a wave of dismissal. "She said, 'She's a survivor, that one.' She is," says Peeta. That pulls me up short. Did his mother really say that about me? Did she rate me over her son? I see the pain in Peeta's eyes and know he isn't lying. Suddenly I'm behind the bakery and I can feel the chill of the rain running down my back, the hollowness in my belly. I sound eleven years old when I speak. "But only because someone helped me.
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Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
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Anyone who cannot cope with life while he is alive needs one hand to ward off a little his despair over his fate...but with his other hand he can jot down what he sees among the ruins, for he sees different and more things than the others; after all, he is dead in his own lifetime and the real survivor.
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Franz Kafka
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...the dead have a way of becoming saints in the eyes of their survivors...
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Rachel Vincent (My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1))
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Survivors do not mourn together. They each mourn alone, even when in the same place. Grief is the most solitary of all feelings. Grief isolates, and every ritual, every gesture, every embrace, is a hopeless effort to break through that isolation. None of it works. The forms crumble and dissolve. To face death is to stand alone.
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Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
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We cry survivor to survivor.
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Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
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Survivors of abuse show us the strength of their personal spirit every time they smile.
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Jeanne McElvaney (Healing Insights: Effects of Abuse for Adults Abused as Children)
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The leaves let go, the seeds let go, and I must let go sometimes, too, and cast my lot with another of nature’s imperfect but tenacious survivors.
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Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)
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And the most important lesson I learned is that I’m not a victimβ€”I’m a survivor.
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Elle Kennedy (The Deal (Off-Campus, #1))
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Punishments include such things as flashbacks, flooding of unbearable emotions, painful body memories, flooding of memories in which the survivor perpetrated against others, self-harm, and suicide attempts.
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Alison Miller (Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control)
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If God wanted a world filled with saints, He never would have created adolescence.
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Susan Beth Pfeffer (The Dead and the Gone (Last Survivors, #2))
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The Black female is assaulted in her tender years by all those common forces of nature at the same time that she is caught in the tripartite crossfire of masculine prejudice, white illogical hate and Black lack of power. The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerence. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors and deserves respect if not enthusiastic acceptance.
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Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
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We may not have a future, but you can't deny we have a past.
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Susan Beth Pfeffer (Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1))
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I loved and lost and survived.
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Rae Carson (The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1))
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Most people say developing is linear, but for survivors it is cyclic. People grow up, victims grow around; we strengthen around the place that hurt, become older and fuller, but the vulnerable core is never gone.
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Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
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He looked him right in the eyes and saw a man who was great and good and human, who had done extraordinary things and terrible things and been broken and reassembled as a shell, only then to do the bravest thing of all: He had kept on living, though there are easier paths to take.
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Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1))
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Offer it up personally,then. Right now. I thought of how many people go to their graves unforgiven and unforgiving. I thought of how many people have had siblings or friends or children or lovers disappear from their lives before precious words of clemency or absolution could be passed along. How do the survivors of terminated relationships ever endure the pain of unfinished business? From that place of meditation, I found the answer-you can finish the business yourself, from within yourself. It's not only possible, it's essential.
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Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
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What about desserts?" I asked. "If the world comes to an end, I'm going to want cookies.
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Susan Beth Pfeffer (Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1))
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When I listened to her, I understood: You have to hold out to see how your life unfolds, because it is most likely beyond what you can imagine. It is not a question of if you will survive this, but what beautiful things await you when you do. I had to believe her, because she was living proof. Then she said, Good and bad things come from the universe holding hands. Wait for the good to come.
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Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
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Often it isn’t the initiating trauma that creates seemingly insurmountable pain, but the lack of support after.
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S. Kelley Harrell, M. Div. (Gift of the Dreamtime - Reader's Companion)
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and i can't stand the idea of being alone. i can't bear the thought of being free.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
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Don't call me crazy.I'm a survivor. I do what I have to do to survive.
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Stieg Larsson (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3))
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We wrap our arms around each other and we cry. We cry mother to daughter. We cry aunt to niece. We cry victim to victim. We cry survivor to survivor.
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Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
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Monica's eyes were fierce and fiery, but she didn't move, and after a second she turned and ran up the steps to the second floor, where her formally dressed friends were huddled like the cast of Survivor: Abercrombie & Fitch Island.
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Rachel Caine (Midnight Alley (The Morganville Vampires, #3))
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It is important for people to know that no matter what lies in their past, they can overcome the dark side and press on to a brighter world.
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Dave Pelzer (A Child Called "It" (Dave Pelzer, #1))
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Only fools pity survivors their scars and you should never kowtow to fools
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Jeaniene Frost (Twice Tempted (Night Prince, #2))
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What's your status?" she asked him. "Healthy, wealthy, and wise. What's yours?" "Ha. Mean, crafty, and rude.
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J.D. Robb (Survivor In Death (In Death, #20))
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Sensitive people care when the world doesn't because we understand waiting to be rescued and no one shows up. We have rescued ourselves, so many times that we have become self taught in the art of compassion for those forgotten.
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Shannon L. Alder
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You are stronger than you know.
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Lori Osterman
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No amount of me trying to explain myself was doing any good. I didn't even know what was going on inside of me, so how could I have explained it to them?
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Sierra D. Waters (Debbie.)
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I can almost hear Haymitch groaning as I team up with this wispy child. But I want her. Because she's a survivor, and I trust her, and why not admit it? She reminds me of Prim.
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Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
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Maybe I'm wrong," Mom said. "Maybe the world really is coming to an end." "Should I try Fox News?" I asked. Mom shuddered. "We're not that desperate," she said.
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Susan Beth Pfeffer (Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1))
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But she's wrong about hell. You don't have to wait until you're dead to get there.
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Susan Beth Pfeffer (Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1))
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It’s the leftover humans. The survivors. They’re the ones I can’t stand to look at, although on many occasions I still fail. I deliberately seek out the colors to keep my mind off them, but now and then, I witness the ones who are left behind, crumbling among the jigsaw puzzle of realization, despair, and surprises. They have punctured hearts. They have beaten lungs. Which in turn brings me to the subject I am telling you about tonight, or today, or whatever the hour and color. It’s the story of one of those perpetual survivors –an expert at being left behind.
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Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
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Death ends a life, but it does not end a relationship, which struggles on in the survivor’s mind toward some final resolution, some clear meaning, which it perhaps never finds.
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Robert Woodruff Anderson (I Never Sang for My Father)
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Some people wouldn't see a traitor when they looked at me. Some people would see a survivor. Call me anything you likeβ€”I sleep fine at night. But you will look at me when you say it. Or I'll get so far in your face you'll be seeing me with your eyes closed. You'll be seeing me in your nightmares. I'll scorch myself on the backs of your eyelids. Get off my back and stay off it. I'm not the woman I used to be. If you want a war with me, you'll get one. Just try me. Give me an excuse to go play in that dark place inside my head.
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Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
β€œ
Her Kind I have gone out, a possessed witch, haunting the black air, braver at night; dreaming evil, I have done my hitch over the plain houses, light by light: lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind. A woman like that is not a woman, quite. I have been her kind. I have found the warm caves in the woods, filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves, closets, silks, innumerable goods; fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves: whining, rearranging the disaligned. A woman like that is misunderstood. I have been her kind. I have ridden in your cart, driver, waved my nude arms at villages going by, learning the last bright routes, survivor where your flames still bite my thigh and my ribs crack where your wheels wind. A woman like that is not ashamed to die. I have been her kind.
”
”
Anne Sexton (To Bedlam and Part Way Back)
β€œ
Violators cannot live with the truth: survivors cannot live without it. There are those who still, once again, are poised to invalidate and deny us. If we don't assert our truth, it may again be relegated to fantasy. But the truth won't go away. It will keep surfacing until it is recognized. Truth will outlast any campaigns mounted against it, no matter how mighty, clever, or long. It is invincible. It's only a matter of which generation is willing to face it and, in so doing, protect future generations from ritual abuse.
”
”
Chrystine Oksana (Safe Passage to Healing: A Guide for Survivors of Ritual Abuse)
β€œ
What a beautiful woman. She moved with grace, she was entirely feminine, and yet, she possessed incredible inner strength. She’s a survivor.
”
”
Jan Moran (Scent of Triumph)
β€œ
YOUR ABUSIVE PARTNER DOESN’T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH HIS ANGER; HE HAS A PROBLEM WITH YOUR ANGER. One of the basic human rights he takes away from you is the right to be angry with him. No matter how badly he treats you, he believes that your voice shouldn’t rise and your blood shouldn’t boil. The privilege of rage is reserved for him alone. When your anger does jump out of youβ€”as will happen to any abused woman from time to timeβ€”he is likely to try to jam it back down your throat as quickly as he can. Then he uses your anger against you to prove what an irrational person you are. Abuse can make you feel straitjacketed. You may develop physical or emotional reactions to swallowing your anger, such as depression, nightmares, emotional numbing, or eating and sleeping problems, which your partner may use as an excuse to belittle you further or make you feel crazy.
”
”
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
β€œ
Life is merely a series of moments and is in fact an unflinching serial killer, since it kills steadily each moment one after the other. Memory is the only survivor. (β€œJust for a moment”)
”
”
Erik Pevernagie
β€œ
I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.
”
”
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
β€œ
...after all, who isn't a survivor from the wreck of childhood?
”
”
Nicole Krauss (Great House)
β€œ
... in practice the standard for what constitutes rape is set not at the level of women's experience of violation but just above the level of coercion acceptable to men.
”
”
Judith Lewis Herman
β€œ
Abuse manipulates and twists a child’s natural sense of trust and love. Her innocent feelings are belittled or mocked and she learns to ignore her feelings. She can’t afford to feel the full range of feelings in her body while she’s being abusedβ€”pain, outrage, hate, vengeance, confusion, arousal. So she short-circuits them and goes numb. For many children, any expression of feelings, even a single tear, is cause for more severe abuse. Again, the only recourse is to shut down. Feelings go underground.
”
”
Laura Davis (Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Is a Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse)
β€œ
Paranoia: the gift of the survivor and the burden of the overtired, stressed, and terrified...
”
”
Patricia Briggs (Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7))
β€œ
What happens to people living in a society where everyone in power is lying, stealing, cheating and killing, and in our hearts we all know this, but the consequences of facing all these lies are so monstrous, we keep on hoping that maybe the corporate government administration and media are on the level with us this time. Americans remind me of survivors of domestic abuse. This is always the hope that this is the very, very, very last time one's ribs get re-broken again.
”
”
Inga Muscio (Cunt: A Declaration of Independence)
β€œ
It was only when the giant got halfway down the incline that he suddenly, happily, burst into flame and continued his trip saying, "NO SURVIVORS, NO SURVIVORS!" in a manner that could only indicate deadly sincerity. It was seeing him happily burning and advancing that startled the Brute Squad to screaming. And once that happened, why, everybody panicked and ran...
”
”
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
β€œ
When you notice someone does something toxic the first time, don't wait for the second time before you address it or cut them off. Many survivors are used to the "wait and see" tactic which only leaves them vulnerable to a second attack. As your boundaries get stronger, the wait time gets shorter. You never have justify your intuition.
”
”
Shahida Arabi
β€œ
I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them...
”
”
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
β€œ
But no matter how much evil I see, I think it’s important for everyone to understand that there is much more light than darkness.
”
”
Robert Uttaro (To the Survivors: One Man's Journey as a Rape Crisis Counselor with True Stories of Sexual Violence)
β€œ
[T]he unnamed soldier is a gift. The named soldier--dead, melted wax--demands a response among the living...a response no-one can make. Names are no comfort, they're a call to answer the unanswerable. Why did she die, not him? Why do the survivors remain anonymous--as if cursed--while the dead are revered? Why do we cling to what we lose while we ignore what we still hold? Name none of the fallen, for they stood in our place, and stand there still in each moment of our lives. Let my death hold no glory, and let me die forgotten and unknown. Let it not be said that I was one among the dead to accuse the living.
”
”
Steven Erikson (Deadhouse Gates (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2))
β€œ
Every breath is a choice. Every minute is a choice. To be or not to be. Every time you don't throw yourself down the stairs, that's a choice. Every time you don't crash your car, you re-enlist.
”
”
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
β€œ
I can’t cry so I have to laugh.
”
”
Maria Nhambu (Africa's Child (Dancing Soul Trilogy, #1))
β€œ
Some people get to live life. Some people survive it. We’re survivors. We can carve out our piece of happy, and, I swear to God, baby, right now, you got my vow, for you and for me, the rest of our lives, I’ll bust my ass to carve our piece of happy.
”
”
Kristen Ashley (Creed (Unfinished Hero, #2))
β€œ
The worst part is wondering how you’ll find the strength tomorrow to go on doing what you did today and have been doing for much too long, where you’ll find the strength for all that stupid running around, those projects that come to nothing, those attempts to escape from crushing necessity, which always founder and serve only to convince you one more time that destiny is implacable, that every night will find you down and out, crushed by the dread of more and more sordid and insecure tomorrows. And maybe it’s treacherous old age coming on, threatening the worst. Not much music left inside us for life to dance to. Our youth has gone to the ends of the earth to die in the silence of the truth. And where, I ask you, can a man escape to, when he hasn’t enough madness left inside him? The truth is an endless death agony. The truth is death. You have to choose: death or lies. I’ve never been able to kill myself.
”
”
Louis-Ferdinand CΓ©line
β€œ
My whole life is about forgetting. It's my most valuable job skill.
”
”
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
β€œ
Beneath the surface of the protective parts of trauma survivors there exists an undamaged essence, a Self that is confident, curious, and calm, a Self that has been sheltered from destruction by the various protectors that have emerged in their efforts to ensure survival. Once those protectors trust that it is safe to separate, the Self will spontaneously emerge, and the parts can be enlisted in the healing process
”
”
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
β€œ
The only way you can be the best at something is to be the best you can be.
”
”
Susan Beth Pfeffer (Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1))
β€œ
Shouldn't there be more distaste in our mouths for the abusers than for those who continue to love the abusers?
”
”
Colleen Hoover (It Ends with Us)
β€œ
As a professor in two fields, neurology and psychiatry, I am fully aware of the extent to which man is subject to biological, psychological and sociological conditions. But in addition to being a professor in two fields I am a survivor of four camps - concentration camps, that is - and as such I also bear witness to the unexpected extent to which man is capable of defying and braving even the worst conditions conceivable.
”
”
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
β€œ
I will never quit. My nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.
”
”
Marcus Luttrell (Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10)
β€œ
Every minute with you, Darling Eve, is a minute to treasure." She slid a glance toward him as she uncoded the seal. "You really do want sex." "I'm still breathing, so that would be yes.
”
”
J.D. Robb (Survivor In Death (In Death, #20))
β€œ
This is passive-aggression in action.
”
”
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
β€œ
Willow sees her before any of the others. A walking skeleton, the victim of some terrible wasting disease, like something out of the history books, a death camp survivor. It takes Willow a moment to realize that the girl is none of those things. She's just a girl, a girl like Willow, who's chosen to inflict terrible pain on herself. Only this girl's weapon isn't a razor, it's starvation.
”
”
Julia Hoban (Willow)
β€œ
Nothing shows you the straight line from here to death like a list.
”
”
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
β€œ
REMEMBER YOUR GREATNESS Before you were born, And were still too tiny for The human eye to see, You won the race for life From among 250 million competitors. And yet, How fast you have forgotten Your strength, When your very existence Is proof of your greatness. You were born a winner, A warrior, One who defied the odds By surviving the most gruesome Battle of them all. And now that you are a giant, Why do you even doubt victory Against smaller numbers, And wider margins? The only walls that exist, Are those you have placed in your mind. And whatever obstacles you conceive, Exist only because you have forgotten What you have already Achieved. Poetry by Suzy Kassem
”
”
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
β€œ
What determines how we remember history and which elements are preserved and penetrate the collective consciousness? If historical novels stir your interest, pursue the facts, history, memories, and personal testimonies available. These are the shoulders that historical fiction sits upon. When the survivors are gone we must not let the truth disappear with them. Please, give them a voice.
”
”
Ruta Sepetys (Salt to the Sea)
β€œ
She'd been in love with the man, and love is a scary thing. If not reciprocated, it can turn a person into a monster.
”
”
Michele Young-Stone (The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors)
β€œ
Everyone has the right to tell the truth about her own life.
”
”
Ellen Bass (The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse)
β€œ
The problem in this case was you can't be a middle-aged virgin in America without something being wrong with you. People can't conceive of a virtue in someone else that they can't conceive in themselves. Instead of believing you're stronger, it's so much easier to imagine you're weaker.
”
”
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
β€œ
Here's the funny thing about the world coming to an end. Once it gets going, it doesn't seem to stop.
”
”
Susan Beth Pfeffer (Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1))
β€œ
The heat of the summer transformed the green grass into long brown straw, only the weeds were green. Claire didn't mind, the weeds had pretty flowers. Unlike Tony's flowers, which had been sentenced to his yard, gardens, or clay pots, these flowers grew free wherever they wanted. Furthermore, weeds were survivors. When all else died, the weeds remained. Yes, Claire liked weeds.
”
”
Aleatha Romig (Consequences (Consequences, #1))
β€œ
Nobody has ever killed themselves over a broken arm. But every day, thousands of people kill themselves because of a broken heart. Why? Because emotional pain hurts much worse than physical pain.
”
”
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories (Omnibus): How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began - a Memoir)
β€œ
Disaster is my muse.
”
”
Art Spiegelman (Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Maus, #1))
β€œ
All emotions, even those that are suppressed and unexpressed, have physical effects. Unexpressed emotions tend to stay in the body like small ticking time bombsβ€”they are illnesses in incubation.
”
”
Marilyn Van Derbur (Miss America by Day)
β€œ
I hate the moon. I hate tides and earthquakes and volcanoes. I hate a world where things that have absolutely nothing to do with me can destroy my life and the lives of people I love.
”
”
Susan Beth Pfeffer (Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1))
β€œ
To stand here and try to fix her life is just a big waste of time. People don't want their lives fixed. Nobody wants their problems solved. Their dramas. Their distractions. Their stories resolved. Their messed cleaned up. Because what would they have left? Just the big scary unknown.
”
”
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
β€œ
Be a victor, not a victim.
”
”
Joel Osteen
β€œ
Deep connection is the antidote to madness.
”
”
Stefan Molyneux
β€œ
I have no privacy. But I feel so alone.
”
”
Susan Beth Pfeffer (Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1))
β€œ
Every last minute of my life has been preordained and I'm sick and tired of it. How this feels is I'm just another task in God's daily planner: the Italian Renaissance penciled in for right after the Dark Ages. ... The Information Age is scheduled immediately after the Industrial Revolution. Then the Postmodern Era, then the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Famine. Check. Pestilence. Check. War. Check. Death. Check. And between the big events, the earthquakes and the tidal waves, God's got me squeezed in for a cameo appearance. Then maybe in thirty years, or maybe next year, God's daily planner has me finished.
”
”
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
β€œ
You were born a winner, a warrior, one who defied the odds by surviving the most gruesome battle of them all - the race to the egg. And now that you are a giant, why do you even doubt victory against smaller numbers and wider margins? The only walls that exist are those you have placed in your mind. And whatever obstacles you conceive, exist only because you have forgotten what you have already achieved.
”
”
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
β€œ
I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen 200 limping, exhausted men come out of lineβ€”the survivors of a regiment of 1,000 that went forward 48 hours before. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.
”
”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
β€œ
I too entered the Lager as a nonbeliever, and as a nonbeliever I was liberated and have lived to this day.
”
”
Primo Levi (The Drowned and the Saved)
β€œ
A child that’s being abused by its parents doesn’t stop loving its parents, it stops loving itself.
”
”
Shahida Arabi (Becoming the Narcissist's Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself)
β€œ
I once spoke to someone who had survived the genocide in Rwanda, and she said to me that there was now nobody left on the face of the earth, either friend or relative, who knew who she was. No one who remembered her girlhood and her early mischief and family lore; no sibling or boon companion who could tease her about that first romance; no lover or pal with whom to reminisce. All her birthdays, exam results, illnesses, friendships, kinshipsβ€”gone. She went on living, but with a tabula rasa as her diary and calendar and notebook. I think of this every time I hear of the callow ambition to 'make a new start' or to be 'born again': Do those who talk this way truly wish for the slate to be wiped? Genocide means not just mass killing, to the level of extermination, but mass obliteration to the verge of extinction. You wish to have one more reflection on what it is to have been made the object of a 'clean' sweep? Try Vladimir Nabokov's microcosmic miniature story 'Signs and Symbols,' which is about angst and misery in general but also succeeds in placing it in what might be termed a starkly individual perspective. The album of the distraught family contains a faded study of Aunt Rosa, a fussy, angular, wild-eyed old lady, who had lived in a tremulous world of bad news, bankruptcies, train accidents, cancerous growthsβ€”until the Germans put her to death, together with all the people she had worried about.
”
”
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
β€œ
Imagine how you’d feel if your whole life turned into a job you couldn’t stand.
”
”
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
β€œ
Our world is not safe. It is a toxic swamp populated by predators and parasites. The odds are stacked against us from the moment of conception. We survive only because we fight the elements, hunger, disease, each other. And, although civilization promises us safe harbor, that promise is a fairy tale. Only the storm is real. It comes for each of us. And we cannot win. We can only choose how we will suffer our defeat. We can meekly take our beatings, and die like lemmings, finding solace in the belief that we shall one day inherit the earth. Or, we can plunge into the chaos with eyes wide open, taking comfort instead from the bruises, scars, and broken bones which prove that we fought to live and die as gods.
”
”
J.K. Franko (Life for Life (Talion #3))
β€œ
The police are asking through the bedroom door, why did I make a batch of strawberry daiquiris before I called them? Because we were out of raspberries. Because, can't they see, it just does not matter. Time was not of the essence.
”
”
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
β€œ
We force her to think hard about what this will mean for his life, even though he never considered what his actions would do to her.
”
”
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
β€œ
I truly believe that the death of my mother has made me the way I am today. I am a survivor, mentally strong, determined, stronwilled, self-reliant, and independent. I also keep most of my pain, anger and feelings inside. I refuse to be vulnerable to anyone, especially my husband. The only people who see that more emotional or softer side are my children. That too because of my mother.
”
”
Hope Edelman (Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss)
β€œ
What about desserts?" I asked. "If the world comes to an end, I'm going to want cookies." "We're all going to want cookies if the world comes to an end," Mrs. Nesbitt agreed. "And chips and pretzels. If the world is coming to an end, why should I care about my blood pressure?" "Okay, we'll die fat," Mom said.
”
”
Susan Beth Pfeffer (Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1))
β€œ
In situations of captivity the perpetrator becomes the most powerful person in the life of the victim, and the psychology of the victim is shaped by the actions and beliefs of the perpetrator.
”
”
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
β€œ
Dear Child, Sometimes on your travel through hell, you meet people that think they are in heaven because of their cleverness and ability to get away with things. Travel past them because they don't understand who they have become and never will. These type of people feel justified in revenge and will never learn mercy or forgiveness because they live by comparison. They are the people that don't care about anyone, other than who is making them feel confident. They don’t understand that their deity is not rejoicing with them because of their actions, rather he is trying to free them from their insecurities, by softening their heart. They rather put out your light than find their own. They don't have the ability to see beyond the false sense of happiness they get from destroying others. You know what happiness is and it isn’t this. Don’t see their success as their deliverance. It is a mask of vindication which has no audience, other than their own kind. They have joined countless others that call themselves β€œsurvivors”. They believe that they are entitled to win because life didn’t go as planned for them. You are not like them. You were not meant to stay in hell and follow their belief system. You were bound for greatness. You were born to help them by leading. Rise up and be the light home. You were given the gift to see the truth. They will have an army of people that are like them and you are going to feel alone. However, your family in heaven stands beside you now. They are your strength and as countless as the stars. It is time to let go! Love, Your Guardian Angel
”
”
Shannon L. Alder
β€œ
Here, from her ashes you lay. A broken girl so lost in despondency that you know that even if she does find her way out of this labyrinth in hell, that she will never see, feel, taste, or touch life the same again.
”
”
A. S. (The Cliff)
β€œ
I feel myself shriveling along with my world, getting smaller and harder. I'm turning into a rock, and in some ways that's good, because rocks last forever. But if this is how I'm going to last forever, then I don't want to.
”
”
Susan Beth Pfeffer (Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1))
β€œ
So I'm not crazy after all! I thought it looked good myself once I cut it all off. Not one guy likes it, though. They all tell me I look like a first grader or a concentration camp survivor. What's this thing that guys have for girls with long hair? Fascists, the whole bunch of them! Why do guys all think girls with long hair are the classiest, the sweetest, the most feminine? I mean, I myself know at least two hundred and fifty unclassy girls with long hair. Really.
”
”
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
β€œ
The ORDINARY RESPONSE TO ATROCITIES is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable. Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried. Equally as powerful as the desire to deny atrocities is the conviction that denial does not work. Folk wisdom is filled with ghosts who refuse to rest in their graves until their stories are told. Murder will out. Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims. The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma. People who have survived atrocities often tell their stories in a highly emotional, contradictory, and fragmented manner that undermines their credibility and thereby serves the twin imperatives of truth-telling and secrecy. When the truth is finally recognized, survivors can begin their recovery. But far too often secrecy prevails, and the story of the traumatic event surfaces not as a verbal narrative but as a symptom. The psychological distress symptoms of traumatized people simultaneously call attention to the existence of an unspeakable secret and deflect attention from it. This is most apparent in the way traumatized people alternate between feeling numb and reliving the event. The dialectic of trauma gives rise to complicated, sometimes uncanny alterations of consciousness, which George Orwell, one of the committed truth-tellers of our century, called "doublethink," and which mental health professionals, searching for calm, precise language, call "dissociation." It results in protean, dramatic, and often bizarre symptoms of hysteria which Freud recognized a century ago as disguised communications about sexual abuse in childhood. . . .
”
”
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
β€œ
Whenever I felt like that, I would have a chat with my own Fat Mary. She was like the sweet fresh air after the rain. She brought me newness, clarity, and relief. She managed to get in touch with and resurrect the free spirit deep inside me. Being one with the spirit allowed me to soar above my everyday reality. I marveled at the beauty of all life and savored the power and possibilities of my imagination.
”
”
Maria Nhambu (Africa's Child (Dancing Soul Trilogy, #1))
β€œ
The guarantee of safety in a battering relationship can never be based upon a promise from the perpetrator, no matter how heartfelt. Rather, it must be based upon the self-protective capability of the victim. Until the victim has developed a detailed and realistic contingency plan and has demonstrated her ability to carry it out, she remains in danger of repeated abuse.
”
”
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
β€œ
Or, God, maybe this was just life. For everyone on the planet. Maybe the Survivor's Club wasn't something you "earned," but simply what you were born into when you came out of your mother's womb. Your heartbeat put you on the roster and then the rest of it was just a question of vocabulary: the nouns and verbs used to describe the events that rocked your foundation and sent you flailing were not always the same as other people's, but the random cruelties of disease and accident, and the malicious focus of evil men and nasty deeds, and the heartbreak of loss with all its stinging whips and rattling chains... At the core, it was all the same.
”
”
J.R. Ward (Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8))
β€œ
You never explained the change of heart." "Maybe I got tired of seeing Kevin bend. Or maybe it was the zombies. A few weeks back you and Renee argued contingency plans for a zombie apocalypse. She said she'd focus on survivors. You said you'd go back for some of us. Five of us. You weren't counting Abby or Coach. Since you trust Renee to handle the rest of the team, I'm guessing the last spot is for Dobson. I didn't say anything then because I knew I'd look out for only me when the world went to hell. I don't want to be that person anymore. I want to go back for you.
”
”
Nora Sakavic (The King's Men (All for the Game, #3))
β€œ
We are all damaged. We have all been hurt. We have all had to learn painful lessons. We are all recovering from some mistake, loss, betrayal, abuse, injustice or misfortune. All of life is a process of recovery that never ends. We each must find ways to accept and move through the pain and to pick ourselves back up. For each pang of grief, depression, doubt or despair there is an inverse toward renewal coming to you in time. Each tragedy is an announcement that some good will indeed come in time. Be patient with yourself.
”
”
Bryant McGill (Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life)
β€œ
Perfectionism is the unparalleled defense for emotionally abandoned children. The existential unattainability of perfection saves the child from giving up, unless or until, scant success forces him to retreat into the depression of a dissociative disorder, or launches him hyperactively into an incipient conduct disorder. Perfectionism also provides a sense of meaning and direction for the powerless and unsupported child. In the guise of self-control, striving to be perfect offers a simulacrum of a sense of control. Self-control is also safer to pursue because abandoning parents typically reserve their severest punishment for children who are vocal about their negligence.
”
”
Pete Walker
β€œ
In a healthy relationship, vulnerability is wonderful. It leads to increased intimacy and closer bonds. When a healthy person realizes that he or she hurt you, they feel remorse and they make amends. It’s safe to be honest. In an abusive system, vulnerability is dangerous. It’s considered a weakness, which acts as an invitation for more mistreatment. Abusive people feel a surge of power when they discover a weakness. They exploit it, using it to gain more power. Crying or complaining confirms that they’ve poked you in the right spot.
”
”
Christina Enevoldsen (The Rescued Soul: The Writing Journey for the Healing of Incest and Family Betrayal)
β€œ
Toxic relationships are dangerous to your health; they will literally kill you. Stress shortens your lifespan. Even a broken heart can kill you. There is an undeniable mind-body connection. Your arguments and hateful talk can land you in the emergency room or in the morgue. You were not meant to live in a fever of anxiety; screaming yourself hoarse in a frenzy of dreadful, panicked fight-or-flight that leaves you exhausted and numb with grief. You were not meant to live like animals tearing one another to shreds. Don't turn your hair gray. Don't carve a roadmap of pain into the sweet wrinkles on your face. Don't lay in the quiet with your heart pounding like a trapped, frightened creature. For your own precious and beautiful life, and for those around you β€” seek help or get out before it is too late. This is your wake-up call!
”
”
Bryant McGill
β€œ
He stepped to her again, laid his lips on her brow. "But I want children with you, my lovely Eve. One day." "One day being far, far in the future. Like, I don't know, say a decade when...Hold on. Children is plural." He eased back, grinned. "Why, so it is--nothing slips by my canny cop." "You really think if I ever actually let you plant something in me--they're like aliens in there, growing little hands and feet." She shuddered. "Creepy. If I ever did that, popped a kid out--which I think is probably as pleasant a process as having your eyeballs pierced by burning, poisonous sticks, I'd say, 'Whoopee, let's do this again?' Have you recently suffered head trauma?" "Not to my knowledge." "Could be coming. Any second.
”
”
J.D. Robb (Survivor In Death (In Death, #20))
β€œ
That cat doesn't have a lick of sense,' I said, sighing. Well, honey, he's not right in the head,' Dad said, flipping his cigarette into the front yard. I glared at him. 'And just what do you mean by that?' Dad counted on his fingers. 'He's cross-eyed; he jumps out of trees after birds and then doesn't land on his feet; he sleeps with his head smashed up against the wall, and the tip of his tail is crooked.' Oh yeah? Well, how about this: he once got locked in a basement by evil Petey Scroggs in the middle of January and survived on snow and little frozen mice. When I'm cold at night he sleeps right on my face. Of that whole litter of kittens he came out of he's the only one left. One of his brothers didn't even have a butthole.' I stand corrected. PeeDink is a survivor.
”
”
Haven Kimmel (Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana)
β€œ
Hold on a minute." She leaned out the window, shouted at the messenger who'd nearly sideswiped her vehicle with his jet-board. "Police property, asshole. If I had time I'd hunt you down and use that board to beat your balls black." "Darling Eve, you know how that kind of talk thrills and excites me. How can I keep my mind off sex now?
”
”
J.D. Robb (Survivor In Death (In Death, #20))
β€œ
Traumatic events destroy the sustaining bonds between individual and community. Those who have survived learn that their sense of self, of worth, of humanity, depends upon a feeling of connection with others. The solidarity of a group provides the strongest protection against terror and despair, and the strongest antidote to traumatic experience. Trauma isolates; the group re-creates a sense of belonging. Trauma shames and stigmatizes; the group bears witness and affirms. Trauma degrades the victim; the group exalts her. Trauma dehumanizes the victim; the group restores her humanity. Repeatedly in the testimony of survivors there comes a moment when a sense of connection is restored by another person’s unaffected display of generosity. Something in herself that the victim believes to be irretrievably destroyed---faith, decency, courage---is reawakened by an example of common altruism. Mirrored in the actions of others, the survivor recognizes and reclaims a lost part of herself. At that moment, the survivor begins to rejoin the human commonality...
”
”
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
β€œ
The paradox of vengefulness is that it makes men dependent upon those who have harmed them, believing that their release from pain will come only when they make their tormentors suffer. In seeking the Bird's death to free himself, Louie had chained himself, once again, to his tyrant. During the war, the Bird had been unwilling to let go of Louie; after the war, Louie was unable to let go of the Bird.
”
”
Laura Hillenbrand (Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption)
β€œ
Inside me is the same desperate hope I have watching the ravenous dead and thinking, Oh please, oh please, oh please. The craving inside of me is to be clutched at by some dead girl. To put my ear to her chest and hear nothing. Even getting munched on by zombies beats the idea that I'm only flesh and blood, skin and bone. Demon or angel or evil spirit, I just need something to show itself. Ghoulie or ghosty or long-legged beastie, I just want my hand held.
”
”
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
β€œ
...repeated trauma in childhood forms and deforms the personality. The child trapped in an abusive environment is faced with formidable tasks of adaptation. She must find a way to preserve a sense of trust in people who are untrustworthy, safety in a situation that is unsafe, control in a situation that is terrifyingly unpredictable, power in a situation of helplessness. Unable to care for or protect herself, she must compensate for the failures of adult care and protection with the only means at her disposal, an immature system of psychological defenses.
”
”
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
β€œ
I want to tell the rebels that I am alive. That I'm right here in District Eight, where the Capitol has just bombed a hospital full of unarmed men, women and children. There will be no survivors." The shock I've been feeling begins to give way to fury. "I want to tell people that if you think for one second the Capitol will treat us fairly if there's a cease-fire, you're deluding yourself. Because you know who they are and what they do." My hands go out automatically, as if to indicate the whole horror around me. "This is what they do and we must fight back!" "President Snow says he's sending a message. Well I have one for him. You can torture us and bomb and burn our districts to the ground, but do you see that?" One of the cameras follows where I point to the planes burning on the roof of a warehouse across from us. "Fire is catching!" I am shouting now, determined he will not miss a word of it, "And if we burn, you burn with us!
”
”
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
β€œ
It's said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That's false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance, it was done by dogma, it was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods. Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known; we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end, the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: "I beseech you in the bowels of Christ: Think it possible you may be mistaken." I owe it as a scientist to my friend Leo Szilard, I owe it as a human being to the many members of my family who died here, to stand here as a survivor and a witness. We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.
”
”
Jacob Bronowski
β€œ
Nobody wants to worship you if you have the same problems, the same bad breath and messy hair and hangnails, as a regular person. You have to be everything regular people aren’t. Where they fail, you have to go all the way. Be what people are too afraid to be. Become whom they admire. People shopping for a messiah want quality. Nobody is going to follow a loser. When it comes to choosing a savior, they won't settle for just a human being.
”
”
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
β€œ
A while ago?” Anaxantis asked. β€œYes, he raped me a while ago. Exactly nine months and two days ago. What's that? Nine months or nine minutes. It's the same. And it is in the past, you say? Then why is it still happening, every day, every time I close my eyes? Every time I hear someone behind me, and I don't know who it is? How is it that I get an almost irresistible urge to kill anyone who happens to touch me unexpectedly? Tell me, Hemarchidas, how do I forgive, let alone forget, something that is still happening, that keeps happening over and over? How? How do I do that?
”
”
Andrew Ashling (The Invisible Chains - Part 1: Bonds of Hate (Dark Tales of Randamor the Recluse #1))
β€œ
Keep your elbows in!" Sturmhond berated Mal. "Stop flapping them like some kind of chicken." Mal let out a disturbingly convincing cluck. Tamar raised a brow. "Your friend seems to be enjoying himself." I shrugged. "Mal's always been like that. You could drop him in a camp full of Fjerdan assassins, and he'd come out carried on their shoulders. He just blooms wherever he's planted." "And you?" "I'm more of a weed," I said drily. Tamar grinned. In combat, she was cold and silent fire, but when she wasn't fighting, her smiles came easily. "I like weeds," said said, pushing herself off from the railing and gathering her scattered lengths of rope. "They're survivors." I caught myself returning her smile and quickly went back to working on the knot that I was trying to tie. The problem was that I liked being aboard Sturmhond's ship. I liked Tolya and Tamar and the rest of the crew. I like sitting at meals with them, and the sound of Privyet's lilting tenor. I liked the afternoon when we took target practice, lining up empty wine bottles to shoot off the fantail and making harmless wagers.
”
”
Leigh Bardugo (Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2))
β€œ
Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still. For once on the face of the earth let's not speak in any language, let's stop for one second, and not move our arms so much. It would be an exotic moment without rush, without engines, we would all be together in a sudden strangeness. Fishermen in the cold sea would not harm whales and the man gathering salt would look at his hurt hands. Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire, victory with no survivors, would put on clean clothes and walk about with their brothers in the shade, doing nothing. What I want should not be confused with total inactivity. Life is what it is about; I want no truck with death. If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving, and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves and of threatening ourselves with death. Perhaps the earth can teach us as when everything seems dead and later proves to be alive. Now I'll count up to twelve and you keep quiet and I will go.
”
”
Pablo Neruda
β€œ
The abuser’s mood changes are especially perplexing. He can be a different person from day to day, or even from hour to hour. At times he is aggressive and intimidating, his tone harsh, insults spewing from his mouth, ridicule dripping from him like oil from a drum. When he’s in this mode, nothing she says seems to have any impact on him, except to make him even angrier. Her side of the argument counts for nothing in his eyes, and everything is her fault. He twists her words around so that she always ends up on the defensive. As so many partners of my clients have said to me, β€œI just can’t seem to do anything right.” At other moments, he sounds wounded and lost, hungering for love and for someone to take care of him. When this side of him emerges, he appears open and ready to heal. He seems to let down his guard, his hard exterior softens, and he may take on the quality of a hurt child, difficult and frustrating but lovable. Looking at him in this deflated state, his partner has trouble imagining that the abuser inside of him will ever be back. The beast that takes him over at other times looks completely unrelated to the tender person she now sees. Sooner or later, though, the shadow comes back over him, as if it had a life of its own. Weeks of peace may go by, but eventually she finds herself under assault once again. Then her head spins with the arduous effort of untangling the many threads of his character, until she begins to wonder whether she is the one whose head isn’t quite right.
”
”
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
β€œ
I want you to tell me about the Survivor," he finally said. "He was lord of the mists," Demoux said immediately. "Not the rhetoric," Elend said. "Someone tell me about the man, Kelsier. I never met him, you know. I saw him once, right before he died, but I never knew him." "What's the point?" Cett asked. "We've all heard the stories. He's practically a god, if you listen to the skaa." "Just do as I ask," Elend said. The tent was still for a few moments. Finally, Ham spoke. "Kell was . . . grand. He wasn't just a man, he was bigger than that. Everything he did was largeβ€”his dreams, the way he spoke, the way he thought. . . ." "And it wasn't false," Breeze added. "I can tell when a man is being a fake. That's why I started my first job with Kelsier, actually. Amidst all the pretenders and posturers, he was genuine. Everyone wanted to be the best. Kelsier really was." "He was a man," Vin said quietly. "Just a man. Yet, you always knew he'd succeed. He made you be what he wanted you to be." "So he could use you," Breeze said. "But you were better when he was done with you," Ham added
”
”
Brandon Sanderson (The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3))
β€œ
In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. Secrecy and silence are the perpetrator’s first line of defense. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure that no one listens. To this end, he marshals an impressive array of arguments, from the most blatant denial to the most sophisticated and elegant rationalization. After every atrocity one can expect to hear the same predictable apologies: it never happened; the victim lies; the victim exaggerates; the victim brought it upon herself; and in any case it is time to forget the past and move on. The more powerful the perpetrator, the greater is his prerogative to name and define reality, and the more completely his arguments prevail.
”
”
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
β€œ
On the back part of the step, toward the right, I saw a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brilliance. At first I thought it was revolving; then I realised that this movement was an illusion created by the dizzying world it bounded. The Aleph's diameter was probably little more than an inch, but all space was there, actual and undiminished. Each thing (a mirror's face, let us say) was infinite things, since I distinctly saw it from every angle of the universe. I saw the teeming sea; I saw daybreak and nightfall; I saw the multitudes of America; I saw a silvery cobweb in the center of a black pyramid; I saw a splintered labyrinth (it was London); I saw, close up, unending eyes watching themselves in me as in a mirror; I saw all the mirrors on earth and none of them reflected me; I saw in a backyard of Soler Street the same tiles that thirty years before I'd seen in the entrance of a house in Fray Bentos; I saw bunches of grapes, snow, tobacco, lodes of metal, steam; I saw convex equatorial deserts and each one of their grains of sand; I saw a woman in Inverness whom I shall never forget; I saw her tangled hair, her tall figure, I saw the cancer in her breast; I saw a ring of baked mud in a sidewalk, where before there had been a tree; I saw a summer house in AdroguΓ© and a copy of the first English translation of Pliny -- Philemon Holland's -- and all at the same time saw each letter on each page (as a boy, I used to marvel that the letters in a closed book did not get scrambled and lost overnight); I saw a sunset in QuerΓ©taro that seemed to reflect the colour of a rose in Bengal; I saw my empty bedroom; I saw in a closet in Alkmaar a terrestrial globe between two mirrors that multiplied it endlessly; I saw horses with flowing manes on a shore of the Caspian Sea at dawn; I saw the delicate bone structure of a hand; I saw the survivors of a battle sending out picture postcards; I saw in a showcase in Mirzapur a pack of Spanish playing cards; I saw the slanting shadows of ferns on a greenhouse floor; I saw tigers, pistons, bison, tides, and armies; I saw all the ants on the planet; I saw a Persian astrolabe; I saw in the drawer of a writing table (and the handwriting made me tremble) unbelievable, obscene, detailed letters, which Beatriz had written to Carlos Argentino; I saw a monument I worshipped in the Chacarita cemetery; I saw the rotted dust and bones that had once deliciously been Beatriz Viterbo; I saw the circulation of my own dark blood; I saw the coupling of love and the modification of death; I saw the Aleph from every point and angle, and in the Aleph I saw the earth and in the earth the Aleph and in the Aleph the earth; I saw my own face and my own bowels; I saw your face; and I felt dizzy and wept, for my eyes had seen that secret and conjectured object whose name is common to all men but which no man has looked upon -- the unimaginable universe. I felt infinite wonder, infinite pity.
”
”
Jorge Luis Borges
β€œ
We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent. I desperately wanted mercy for Jimmy Dill and would have done anything to create justice for him, but I couldn’t pretend that his struggle was disconnected from my own. The ways in which I have been hurtβ€”and have hurt othersβ€”are different from the ways Jimmy Dill suffered and caused suffering. But our shared brokenness connected us. Paul Farmer, the renowned physician who has spent his life trying to cure the world’s sickest and poorest people, once quoted me something that the writer Thomas Merton said: We are bodies of broken bones. I guess I’d always known but never fully considered that being broken is what makes us human. We all have our reasons. Sometimes we’re fractured by the choices we make; sometimes we’re shattered by things we would never have chosen. But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion. We have a choice. We can embrace our humanness, which means embracing our broken natures and the compassion that remains our best hope for healing. Or we can deny our brokenness, forswear compassion, and, as a result, deny our own humanity. I thought of the guards strapping Jimmy Dill to the gurney that very hour. I thought of the people who would cheer his death and see it as some kind of victory. I realized they were broken people, too, even if they would never admit it. So many of us have become afraid and angry. We’ve become so fearful and vengeful that we’ve thrown away children, discarded the disabled, and sanctioned the imprisonment of the sick and the weakβ€”not because they are a threat to public safety or beyond rehabilitation but because we think it makes us seem tough, less broken. I thought of the victims of violent crime and the survivors of murdered loved ones, and how we’ve pressured them to recycle their pain and anguish and give it back to the offenders we prosecute. I thought of the many ways we’ve legalized vengeful and cruel punishments, how we’ve allowed our victimization to justify the victimization of others. We’ve submitted to the harsh instinct to crush those among us whose brokenness is most visible. But simply punishing the brokenβ€”walking away from them or hiding them from sightβ€”only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity.
”
”
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
β€œ
When basic human needs are ignored, rejected, or invalidated by those in roles and positions to appropriately meet them; when the means by which these needs have been previously met are no longer available: and when prior abuse has already left one vulnerable for being exploited further, the stage is set for the possibility these needs will be prostituted. This situation places a survivor who has unmet needs in an incredible dilemma. She can either do without or seek the satisfaction of mobilized needs through some "illegitimate" source that leaves her increasingly divided from herself and ostracized from others. While meeting needs in this way resolves the immediate existential experience of deprivation and abandonment. it produces numerous other difficulties. These include experiencing oneself as β€œbad” or "weak" for having such strong needs; experiencing shame and guilt for relying on β€œillegitimate” sources of satisfaction: experiencing a loss of self-respect for indulging in activities contrary to personal moral standards of conduct; risking the displeasure and misunderstanding of others important to her; and opening oneself to the continued abuse and victimization of perpetrators who are all too willing to selfishly use others for their own pleasure and purposes under the guise of being 'helpful.
”
”
J. Jeffrey Means
β€œ
Why do I take a blade and slash my arms? Why do I drink myself into a stupor? Why do I swallow bottles of pills and end up in A&E having my stomach pumped? Am I seeking attention? Showing off? The pain of the cuts releases the mental pain of the memories, but the pain of healing lasts weeks. After every self-harming or overdosing incident I run the risk of being sectioned and returned to a psychiatric institution, a harrowing prospect I would not recommend to anyone. So, why do I do it? I don't. If I had power over the alters, I'd stop them. I don't have that power. When they are out, they're out. I experience blank spells and lose time, consciousness, dignity. If I, Alice Jamieson, wanted attention, I would have completed my PhD and started to climb the academic career ladder. Flaunting the label 'doctor' is more attention-grabbing that lying drained of hope in hospital with steri-strips up your arms and the vile taste of liquid charcoal absorbing the chemicals in your stomach. In most things we do, we anticipate some reward or payment. We study for status and to get better jobs; we work for money; our children are little mirrors of our social standing; the charity donation and trip to Oxfam make us feel good. Every kindness carries the potential gift of a responding kindness: you reap what you sow. There is no advantage in my harming myself; no reason for me to invent delusional memories of incest and ritual abuse. There is nothing to be gained in an A&E department.
”
”
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
β€œ
The return of the voices would end in a migraine that made my whole body throb. I could do nothing except lie in a blacked-out room waiting for the voices to get infected by the pains in my head and clear off. Knowing I was different with my OCD, anorexia and the voices that no one else seemed to hear made me feel isolated, disconnected. I took everything too seriously. I analysed things to death. I turned every word, and the intonation of every word over in my mind trying to decide exactly what it meant, whether there was a subtext or an implied criticism. I tried to recall the expressions on people’s faces, how those expressions changed, what they meant, whether what they said and the look on their faces matched and were therefore genuine or whether it was a sham, the kind word touched by irony or sarcasm, the smile that means pity. When people looked at me closely could they see the little girl in my head, being abused in those pornographic clips projected behind my eyes? That is what I would often be thinking and such thoughts ate away at the faΓ§ade of self-confidence I was constantly raising and repairing. (describing dissociative identity disorder/mpd symptoms)
”
”
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
β€œ
We know about bad guys, what they do, and often, who they are. The politicians have chosen to send us into battle, and that's our trade. We do what's necessary. And in my view, once those politicians have elected to send us out to do what 99.9 percent of the country would be terrified to undertake, they should get the hell out of the way and stay there. This entire business of modern war crimes, as identified by the liberal wings of politics and the media, began in Iraq and has been running downhill ever since. Everyone's got to have his little hands in it, blathering on about the public's right to know. Well, the view of most Navy SEALs, the public does not have that right to know, not if it means placing our lives in unnecessary peril because someone in Washington is driving himself mad worrying about the human rights of some cold-hearted terrorist fanatic who would kill us as soon as look at us, as well as any other American at whom he could point that wonky old AK of his.
”
”
Marcus Luttrell (Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10)
β€œ
Saint Bartleby's School for Young Gentlemen Annual Report Student: Artemis Fowl II Year: First Fees: Paid Tutor: Dr Po Language Arts As far as I can tell, Artemis has made absolutely no progress since the beginning of the year. This is because his abilities are beyond the scope of my experience. He memorizes and understands Shakespeare after a single reading. He finds mistakes in every exercise I administer, and has taken to chuckling gently when I attempt to explain some of the more complex texts. Next year I intend to grant his request and give him a library pass during my class. Mathematics Artemis is an infuriating boy. One day he answers all my questions correctly, and the next every answer is wrong. He calls this an example of the chaos theory, and says that he is only trying to prepare me for the real world. He says the notion of infinity is ridiculous. Frankly, I am not trained to deal with a boy like Artemis. Most of my pupils have trouble counting without the aid of their fingers. I am sorry to say, there is nothing I can teach Artemis about mathematics, but someone should teach him some manners. Social Studies Artemis distrusts all history texts, because he says history was written by the victors. He prefers living history, where survivors of certain events can actually be interviewed. Obviously this makes studying the Middle Ages somewhat difficult. Artemis has asked for permission to build a time machine next year during double periods so that the entire class may view Medieval Ireland for ourselves. I have granted his wish and would not be at all surprised if he succeeded in his goal. Science Artemis does not see himself as a student, rather as a foil for the theories of science. He insists that the periodic table is a few elements short and that the theory of relativity is all very well on paper but would not hold up in the real world, because space will disintegrate before lime. I made the mistake of arguing once, and young Artemis reduced me to near tears in seconds. Artemis has asked for permission to conduct failure analysis tests on the school next term. I must grant his request, as I fear there is nothing he can learn from me. Social & Personal Development Artemis is quite perceptive and extremely intellectual. He can answer the questions on any psychological profile perfectly, but this is only because he knows the perfect answer. I fear that Artemis feels that the other boys are too childish. He refuses to socialize, preferring to work on his various projects during free periods. The more he works alone, the more isolated he becomes, and if he does not change his habits soon, he may isolate himself completely from anyone wishing to be his friend, and, ultimately, his family. Must try harder.
”
”
Eoin Colfer
β€œ
Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place whereβ€”as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteenβ€”even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their meetings. I still haven't submitted that expenses claim. The misgivings I had were of two types, both of them ineradicable. The first and the simplest was the encounter with everyday injustice: by all means the traffic cops were Jews but so, it turned out, were the colonists and ethnic cleansers and even the torturers. It was Jewish leftist friends who insisted that I go and see towns and villages under occupation, and sit down with Palestinian Arabs who were living under house arrestβ€”if they were luckyβ€”or who were squatting in the ruins of their demolished homes if they were less fortunate. In Ramallah I spent the day with the beguiling Raimonda Tawil, confined to her home for committing no known crime save that of expressing her opinions. (For some reason, what I most remember is a sudden exclamation from her very restrained and respectable husband, a manager of the local bank: 'I would prefer living under a Bedouin muktar to another day of Israeli rule!' He had obviously spent some time thinking about the most revolting possible Arab alternative.) In Jerusalem I visited the Tutungi family, who could produce title deeds going back generations but who were being evicted from their apartment in the old city to make way for an expansion of the Jewish quarter. Jerusalem: that place of blood since remote antiquity. Jerusalem, over which the British and French and Russians had fought a foul war in the Crimea, and in the mid-nineteenth century, on the matter of which Christian Church could command the keys to some 'holy sepulcher.' Jerusalem, where the anti-Semite Balfour had tried to bribe the Jews with the territory of another people in order to seduce them from Bolshevism and continue the diplomacy of the Great War. Jerusalem: that pest-house in whose environs all zealots hope that an even greater and final war can be provoked. It certainly made a warped appeal to my sense of history.
”
”
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
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On the first day of November last year, sacred to many religious calendars but especially the Celtic, I went for a walk among bare oaks and birch. Nothing much was going on. Scarlet sumac had passed and the bees were dead. The pond had slicked overnight into that shiny and deceptive glaze of delusion, first ice. It made me remember sakes and conjure a vision of myself skimming backward on one foot, the other extended; the arms become wings. Minnesota girls know that this is not a difficult maneuver if one's limber and practices even a little after school before the boys claim the rink for hockey. I think I can still do it - one thinks many foolish things when November's bright sun skips over the entrancing first freeze. A flock of sparrows reels through the air looking more like a flying net than seventy conscious birds, a black veil thrown on the wind. When one sparrow dodges, the whole net swerves, dips: one mind. Am I part of anything like that? Maybe not. The last few years of my life have been characterized by stripping away, one by one, loves and communities that sustain the soul. A young colleague, new to my English department, recently asked me who I hang around with at school. "Nobody," I had to say, feeling briefly ashamed. This solitude is one of the surprises of middle age, especially if one's youth has been rich in love and friendship and children. If you do your job right, children leave home; few communities can stand an individual's most pitiful, amateur truth telling. So the soul must stand in her own meager feathers and learn to fly - or simply take hopeful jumps into the wind. In the Christian calendar, November 1 is the Feast of All Saints, a day honoring not only those who are known and recognized as enlightened souls, but more especially the unknowns, saints who walk beside us unrecognized down the millennia. In Buddhism, we honor the bodhisattvas - saints - who refuse enlightenment and return willingly to the wheel of karma to help other beings. Similarly, in Judaism, anonymous holy men pray the world from its well-merited destruction. We never know who is walking beside us, who is our spiritual teacher. That one - who annoys you so - pretends for a day that he's the one, your personal Obi Wan Kenobi. The first of November is a splendid, subversive holiday. Imagine a hectic procession of revelers - the half-mad bag lady; a mumbling, scarred janitor whose ravaged face made the children turn away; the austere, unsmiling mother superior who seemed with great focus and clarity to do harm; a haunted music teacher, survivor of Auschwitz. I bring them before my mind's eye, these old firends of my soul, awakening to dance their day. Crazy saints; but who knows what was home in the heart? This is the feast of those who tried to take the path, so clumsily that no one knew or notice, the feast, indeed, of most of us. It's an ugly woods, I was saying to myself, padding along a trail where other walkers had broken ground before me. And then I found an extraordinary bouquet. Someone had bound an offering of dry seed pods, yew, lyme grass, red berries, and brown fern and laid it on the path: "nothing special," as Buddhists say, meaning "everything." Gathered to formality, each dry stalk proclaimed a slant, an attitude, infinite shades of neutral. All contemplative acts, silences, poems, honor the world this way. Brought together by the eye of love, a milkweed pod, a twig, allow us to see how things have been all along. A feast of being.
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Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)