A Message of Hope for Survivors

If you have experience dv or sexual assault or if you know some one, this may be worth you reading. I am writing this because you are not alone. There are many people around the world who have experienced similar, who are also thinking and feeling similar. Except we all don’t know each other, therefore you feel isolated and alone. I am one of those people. When writing about things like this, I often wonder whether I am the right person to be sharing my experience and this message of hope? Every day I feel like hiding under a rock, yet my passion to talk about this and empower other women drives me out from under that rock. I have mentioned in other blogs that I was molested by a family friend on and off between the ages of four to twelve. I think it is appalling and absolutely unacceptable behaviour by any one that does that to a child. Yet I’m also aware that there are many other people who’ve had much more horrific experiences than me. It’s not an uncommon thing for people to have their own family not believe them. I’m lucky my parents believed me. I may have been bullied at school but it was mainly name calling, exclusion and I was slut shamed at the same time I was taking the man who molested me to court, but there are plenty of kids out there who are brutally beaten up every day by other kids. I was in a dv relationship from 2002 to 2007. It was mainly verbal and emotional abuse, intimidation and there were a few physical incidents but we didn’t have kids and I didn’t have horrific injuries. There are plenty  of women who experience horrific injuries, who fear for their lives and they also have kids to worry about. Last year I was raped, it was by some one I knew but it wasn’t a violent attack in a dark alley with a stranger. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who may be in a better position to write this but I think what I have to say is worth sharing. There are many forms of abuse, physical and sexual are just two types. There’s also emotional, verbal, financial, social, not to mention stalking. My thought process about down playing my experience is probably similar to many other people who are survivors. I don’t particularly like to go around calling myself a survivor but at the same time I also don’t think of myself as a victim. We  tell ourselves that other peoples experiences are worse, that we should have done things differently and that it shouldn’t be affecting us so much. We not only beat ourselves up but the rest of the world tells us we should be over it by now. We are constantly blamed for what we did and didn’t do. So we carry this burden with in ourselves and become careful who we share it with. We have learned the hard way that people find this type of thing terrible,  they are aware it happens yet it is often too confronting for them to think about it any more than just having some sort of awareness. Often people don’t know how to react when it is some one they know. They don’t have the skills  to support the person and there are many common misconceptions. Yes it’s very frustrating when it seems so many people seem to judge and not understand. It’s easy to feel angry for what happened and angry at the world but often people can’t truly understand what they haven’t experienced, especially if they aren’t very well informed. It’s perfectly reasonable and human to feel anger but it is unhealthy, a waste of time and energy to live in that state. The only person anger will affect is ourselves. It’s not going to make any difference to the perpetrator or any one else. Perpetrators are usually skilled at doing things behind closed doors or when no one is around. Often they are well liked people and there fore it’s difficult to believe they would do such things. It’s much easier for people to believe the person they put on show to the rest of the world than to accept they are a predator, a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

You may already know this but your experience is real. How you feel is valid.  There is no time limit on healing from these experiences. Trauma may last weeks, months or even years. You were abused, there is nothing wrong with you. Normal human beings don’t go around hurting and destroying other people. You haven’t done anything wrong, they are in the wrong. In fact, you have the strength with in to heal and rise again. When you rise, you will be a much better and stronger version of yourself. These unfortunate experiences don’t define us. As you read these words it may be hard to believe you can get past where you are now. Don’t be too hard on yourself, it takes time. Do what you need to for you so you are in a better space. Whether it be counselling, journaling, art and craft or joining a support group. I’m doing all of the above but my support groups are a couple of Facebook groups, message me if you would like to know what groups they are. There are plenty of people in the groups who have similar experiences, thoughts and feelings. The groups are very well moderated by admin. I’ve found it good to connect with people who understand. Honestly I’m still not entirely over my experiences but I’m fighting to be a better person and to help empower others who are have experienced similar.  A blog and joining a local committee might not be much, but I’m doing my best. We are all doing our best and as I always say ‘our best is enough.’

I thought I might mention here that this also happens to boys and men. The majority may be women but it does happen to men. They are also in need of support. Violence and abuse is awful no matter who it happens to.

(note: I found the wording to this image on Instagram via tinybuddha.com)

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