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  • Louise Coughlin


I started the year with a chest infection, I struggled to sleep at night, I couldn't leave the house without struggling to breathe, I felt like my chest was so tight it could pop. I constantly felt sick. My mood dipped, I couldn't find solace in exercise, my whole body felt battered. I looked awful and my body, at times, felt like it didn't belong to me.

I was lucky, two doses of antibiotics cleared my symptoms. I'm not 100% but I'm recovering. People who have experienced trauma have many of the same symptoms as a chest infection only theirs can't go away with antibiotics, rest won't help them. Survivors of abuse can live with this struggle daily, they can believe that they did something wrong, that they are to blame, that they are disgusting. Would they think the same if they had a chest infection? Probably not, but when you get a chest infection an abuser doesn't usually tell you it's your fault.

Be kind to people, you don't know what they've been through, what they may have survived, be patient. They can recover but it will take longer than recovering from a chest infection.

I told a client last week about an abuse survivor who wrote a poem to encourage other people to talk about their experiences....

My client wrote her own poem and bravely said I could share it with you.

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