Why the Month of March is like Living with a Childhood Abuse Survivor

March arrived today. Across the Canadian Prairies, there is a collective sigh of relief. Could winter be over? Is it done? We are ready for spring!

Hold on! Past experience tells a different story. March often brings more snow than any other month of the year. Kids still have snow days. It’s not over!

For me, the month of March is a perfect representation of what life feels like when you live as a partner to a childhood abuse survivor. It’s up and down, calm and chaos, light and dark all in one.

In honor of March and in honor of life with a childhood abuse survivor, here’s why the two are so similar:

  1. There are extremes: hope and hardship; light and darkness; melting and mud.
  2. Both are unpredictable. Without notice, a winter storm can blow in burying you under six inches of snow. Sometimes the storms last a few hours; other times, they bury you for days. And sometimes the storm blows right by.
  3. You must continue to stay prepared for harsh weather. Keep an emergency kit on hand. Under no circumstances, should you put away shovels, snows plows, and snow gear.
  4. Unexpected, new weather patterns often emerge: freezing rain, flooding, and thunderstorms.
  5. It’s messy outside. There’s mud and more mud. It’s tempting to let the dirt sit on cars and clothes.  But, in the long run, the accumulation of dirt leads to rust and ruin.
  6. The increase of warmth and light dispel the cold and darkness of winter.
  7. Plans for respite and relaxation form: a garden, summer vacation, or time outdoors.
  8. There’s the discovery that underneath the snow, there is new growth and change.
  9. You realize you survived another winter! It’s going to be okay.
  10. Of course, hope is reborn.


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