A Badge of Honor

In many cultures, a person is not considered a man or a woman until they have endured certain rites of passage that challenge them much in the way that what you went through challenged you. In these cultures, survivorship is a badge of honor, to be worn with pride. It may be a journey to see yourself as someone who has endured a rite of passage and grown because of it, but you deserve to wear that badge of honor, too.

The ability to reframe trauma as a rite of passage, one that inoculates you and from which you emerge stronger and better, is a common theme among resilient survivors. What happened to you may be completely senseless, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find meaning in the ways we have grown because of what we lived through. You are changed, yes. But it is time now to appreciate and celebrate the person you’ve become since the trauma.

— Alicia Salzer, Back to Life, p. 25-26

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