1. You Are Not Your Tragedy
What happened to you was wrong and cruel and not your fault in any way at all, but you still feel terrible about it. But we cannot let it control us. In the time of my rape, I changed from the insecure girl that just wants to be perfect, to the isolated girl that locks herself in the bathroom crying, to the girl who never eats, to the girl who wants nothing more than to make sure no one ever feels as alone and insignificant as she did. That day flipped my life upside down, but I would not be who I am today if it had not happened. We have to remember not to let our tragedies consume us, but allow ourselves to accept them for what they are and grow from our experiences.
2. Take Your Time
I was raped two years, two months, one week, and one day ago. I am still not “over it” and I don’t think I will ever be. I still see and hear that day all the time, but it doesn’t upset me anymore. It is there, but I am not sad or angry; I am able to continue on with my life happily. I still have days when I find it hard to smile, but I try to concentrate on the good in my life at the moment, not the bad in my past. It took me over a year and a half to get to this point. You’re not going to feel better immediately and that doesn’t mean you are weak or ruined forever. Take your time to recover and if anyone ever asks you “aren’t you over that yet?” flip them the bird because you deserve to take all the time you need.
3. Please Don’t Put Your Recovery All On Yourself
I didn’t tell anyone about my rape until seven months after it happened. My family just thought I was severely depressed and my friends thought I was stressed and pulling away from them for no reason. Once I opened up to those closest to me, I felt as if some of the weight was lifted from my shoulders. The more people I told and the more allies I acquired the more weight that came off. People want to help you and support you. Don’t carry that burden all by yourself because it will crush you. Let those who care help you, and if you think no one cares, you’re wrong. You are more important than you know.
4. You Are Not Broken
One of my biggest fears after being raped was that no one would ever love me. I thought I was broken, forever damaged by the day that had ripped me apart. I was wrong; I was still capable of love and still am. You are not a forever tragedy; you still have an open future and can achieve anything you want. You are not a victim forever. You will become a survivor.
5. You Are Not Alone
Unfortunately, there are many people going through or have gone through the same thing you are. Those are the people who can relate, who can empathize, who truly understand. Chances are, your family and close friends do not entirely understand how you feel, but there are people who do. Talk to those people.There is something so comforting about confiding in someone who knows exactly what you are going through. Help yourself by allowing them to help you.
6. This Is Not The End
It will get better. Please believe me; it truly will. You are stronger than you know.