Victim? Survivor? Thriver?
Different individuals can go through the same circumstance and come out vastly different. Even siblings in the same family can react differently to trauma. What makes one a victim, another a survivor and another a thriver?
This fascinates me. So much so that my book, Torn, begins in Ireland at the time of the Great Famine and follows Mary who chooses to be a Thriver. She survived when the rest of her family died of starvation. But she does much more than Survive.
“The victims are dead. You are a survivor.” Those words are still as powerful today as they were when I first saw them. But, is survival enough? Not for Mary, not for Liam and not for me. My characters want to live the best life they can. Mere existence is not enough.
How far would you be prepared to go to get the kind of life you want? Many Irish famine survivors were prepared to go to the ends of the earth to make a new life. The ships they sailed on were called “Coffin Ships” because of the number of victims they carried. Some victims had no chance of arriving at their destinations because of their physical condition on embarkation. Others died because of the conditions on board, the overcrowding, sickness and disease.
Thankfully, Mary and Liam are not forced onto one of those ships. They, along with their friends and some of Liam’s horses, sail to Moreton Bay, in what was then part of New South Wales. Some years later it became part of Queensland but, that’s another story.