Living with a ritual abuse survivor can be challenging at times. A lot of patience is needed. It is easy at times to think that you have done something wrong when they may just be triggered by an outside event or memory. Because of their programming they spend a lot of time in their head processing even the most mundane thing like getting out of bed. It is in there nature to have walls up and be guarded even in the safest environments.
One thing I personally struggle with is I am a get up and go type person. When I have a plan, or we make a plan to do something I tend to stick to whatever schedule is in my head. While that is a good thing for most people, it can be challenging for a survivor. I am always doing several things at once. I council several people, run several ministry pages, and assist other ministries around us. I typically work in one way or another from when I get up to well past the time I plan to sleep. That gets overwhelming for Robyn. It is easy for me to forget that taking the extra few minutes to let her emotionally catch up can make everything that much smoother.
Even though she does not seek it, I try to validate her when I sense she needs it. Survivors go their whole lives basically living a double life. The very essence of truth sounds completely crazy to a normal person. The average person that knows nothing of sra or ra would think that there is something mentally wrong or that a survivor had an over active imagination. I make it a priority that she is heard and understood. Even if something sounds crazy to you, at least have the understanding that it was very real to them. A lot of survivors would be disowned by friends and family if they were able to tell them the whole truth. It gets tiresome putting up a front in public so be a safe spot for them to land when you are alone with them.
Trust is very crucial. Most survivors come from generational abuse. It is very difficult for them to trust anyone. When a family member who is supposed to love you and protect you harms or permits harm to them it is almost impossible for them to trust anyone. I personally have a hard time trying to surprise Robyn because I do not want to be deceptive even if it is for a good cause. Even when I do screw up I make a point to be fully honest so seeds of distrust would not be sewn.
Bottom line is love them for who they are. Be as patient with them as you would a young child. Listen to them without being distracted. Pray and read the Bible with them. Having a relationship rooted in Christ Jesus is the best thing for a survivor. Believe them. We live in a world full of distractions. Hardly anyone pays attention to the truth anymore, and even though it may seem out there for you at times, it is their truth.