Seven Commandments for Survivors of Trauma

by Dee Ann Miller

1. Thou shalt not blame thyself when others do not get it. They suffer from short-sightedness and blind spots. You are not responsible for changing that--they are.

2. Thou shalt not set a time-table for your healing or for the healing of the larger community. While time alone cannot heal, healing takes time.

3. Thou shalt not accept, without question, anyone else's prescription for your healing. You alone can judge when and how to proceed, when to take a rest, and when to celebrate.

4. Thou shalt not fail to celebrate small successes. you may be the only one who recognizes them and the only one who can reward yourself for them.

5. Thou shalt not isolate thyself, no matter how strong the temptation seems or how overwhelming the struggle. Taking time to be alone may help, but staying in isolation stifles creativity and leads to "over-awfulizing."

6. Thou shalt surround thyself with beauty . . . beautiful people, nature, beautiful music, and enriching experiences . . . reminding yourself that all of these good things produce strength and growth.

7. Thou shalt stand tall, even when feeling low, showing to the world what you are learning about yourself as you overcome.

This article, like all at is copyrighted by the author. Other writers, by copyright law, may use up to 300 words in other published works without asking permission, provided the author is given full credit. This also applies to the acronym "DIM Thinking," a term coined by Miller. Please feel free to download and/or distribute copies of any of these articles for educational purposes, PROVIDED the pages are distributed without alteration, including this copyright statement.

Dee Ann Miller is the author of Enlarging Boston's Spotlight: A Call for Courage, Integrity, and Institutional Transformation (2017) How Little We Knew: Collusion and Confusion with Sexual Misconduct (1993) and The Truth about Malarkey (2000)