For many, the aftermath of experiencing sexual violence can feel like it will last forever—the trauma may feel inescapable and the healing, impossible. However, what is integral to understand is that once someone has been affected by sexual violence, that violence does not define them, nor does it consume their identity. You are a person with unique strengths, passions, and personality traits who happens to also be a survivor of sexual abuse—an irreplaceable and captivating life first, who has had a disturbing experience been imposed upon them second. There is hope, and your true self will rise and beam once more.
If you are a survivor of sexual violence, and feel out of touch with your inner being, I encourage you to engage in positive self-talk, or what are also known as self-affirmations—mantras, of sorts. Set aside some quiet, alone time in the morning before the day begins, or at night before bed—both morning and night would be best—and remind yourself of who you are. You are you—not your experience of abuse. Here are some statements that I find particularly empowering:
- I am the sky. Everything else is just the weather.
- I am strong. I am beautiful. I am worthy.
- I am attracting all the love I dream of and deserve.
Remember, you are not your abuse. You are you, in your purest form. If you’ve lost yourself for a little while, there is hope in effectively and tenderly nurturing yourself back.