As I am sitting here at the end of my second day since announcing to all who will listen that I am a survivor of multiple sexual assaults, I must admit I feel drained. So far it has been an incredible experience, I have received so much encouragement and support it has been unreal-- I wish I could share it with the other survivors who I know need it as much as I have the last decade! I also feel more convicted than ever that there are some serious flaws in our society that need to be addressed, I don't think half of the readers would believe how many survivors there are out there- which makes me even more excited to share the stories my fellow survivors are writing! The sheer number of stories I have been told in the last 36 hours has been overwhelming, I was completely caught off guard by the surge of responses. Don't get me wrong, it has been exceedingly encouraging!
This experience has been incredibly freeing and empowering. I am no longer standing in the shadows, but in the light. I am standing before each of you readers as the real me, flaws and all (figuratively, since I'm actually laying on my couch). There have been a few moments where I have thought "what the hell was I thinking?! now thousands of people know you aren't invincible, way to make yourself a target!" and had my anxiety start to kick in, but they have been few and short lived. To calm down and fight the shame from creeping back in, I only have to look at the messages and comments I have received over flowing with support and encouragement, and remember that thousands of people have read my story and as of yet I have not had to deal with any "ignorant" people making "ignorant" comments. Like I said, it has been an incredible experience so far.
By request (from an incredible young woman I have been privileged to get to know more the last couple days), I am going to work on setting up a private group for other survivors to communicate privately with each other for support and encouragement. I would love any feedback or ideas (etc) on this!!
I want to encourage other survivors who are trying to deal with their trauma alone to reach out to someone you trust- a friend, therapist, sister, brother, significant other, parent...this is a burden you should not have to share alone! I have been blessed to have not only great support from my sisters and brother, but also an extremely supportive boyfriend who has probably helped me through more crazy moments than anyone. I kept my secrets for years and it nearly killed me, the relief I felt by telling just one person was indescribable. I have so much more of my journey to share, but it will have to wait until I have gotten some sleep :) Thank you for the continued support! Let's keep spreading the word and bringing these issues into the light!