“There is no easy way to be a survivor. If I only tell you about the pain, I fear I will perpetuate toxic stereotypes of the victim who is broken.
But if I share with you only about my healing, I fear you will believe that time heals trauma, that healing is linear, and that it will minimize the damage of sexual assault.”
-Sarah Super

Accepting My New Normal

I’ve come a long way in the process of healing from sexual assault. It almost feels manageable at this point. However, I think one main thing at this point is holding me back from making peace with my past: I haven’t accepted my new normal. Continue reading Accepting My New Normal

The Little Victories

Here’s an ode to some of the little daily victories this year in my battle against almost-mental illness. I don’t celebrate these accomplishments nearly as much as I should.

  • Swing dancing last Saturday at the house where I got sexually assaulted last November. It was awkward being there, but I did just fine.
  • Getting a little triggered a few times while at said dance and getting it under control in a matter of minutes despite being tipsy at the time. Usually alcohol makes triggers hard to handle
  • My PTSD symptoms flared up during a night of drinking. Despite being actually drunk, I was able to slowly talk myself down.
  • Last fall my PTSD symptoms twice went through month-long phases of them being out of control. Last month I prevented it from happening again. (I guess that doesn’t count as a “small” victory. It’s a big deal. But I’m going to leave it here anyway)
  • A while ago I made a goal to stop thinking about being sexually assaulted unless it’ll actually help me heal. I’ve done a pretty good job of sticking to that.
  • My friend recently touched me on the side of the ribs, forgetting momentarily that getting touched there is my biggest trigger. I looked down at her hand and smiled. I felt nothing — no fear whatsoever.
  • I don’t get triggered as often as I used to and when I do get triggered, I have a lot of coping mechanisms at my disposal.
  • I’ve written a lot of posts I’m proud of in this blog!

Thanks for reading this post. You can find my backstory here.

Thordis Elva and Tom Stranger: Our story of rape and reconciliation

Trigger warning: Rape

“In 1996, Thordis Elva shared a teenage romance with Tom Stranger, an exchange student from Australia. After a school dance, Tom raped Thordis, after which they parted ways for many years. In this extraordinary talk, Elva and Stranger move through a years-long chronology of shame and silence, and invite us to discuss the omnipresent global issue of sexual violence in a new, honest way. For a Q&A with the speakers, visit go.ted.com/thordisandtom.”

This gives me so much hope ❤