Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Healing Moment

I am empowered. I am courageous. I am hopeful. I am determined. I am a survivor. I am incredibly proud to be all of these things, but there are sometimes vulnerable moments in my life when I am forced to remind myself of who I have become by silently repeating the words over and over in my head: strong, empowered, courageous, resilient, determined.
Survivors of sexual assault often have triggers, flashbacks or nightmares. It has been years since I was assaulted and I still at times have feelings of fear, guilt, confusion, anger, and sadness. This is totally normal! Just the other day, I came across something that reminded me of the night I was assaulted. Feelings of pain and fear instantly filled my heart and my mind quickly drifted to a very dark place. I acknowledged what was happening and without even thinking about it, I noticed that I was repeating the words, strong, resilient, empowered, thankful, courageous and determined to myself. (Yes, I talk to myself and you know what “they” say, it’s a sign of intelligence. I am super smart!) Repeating the words and focusing on the positive really helped me to work through this painful and sensitive reflection of my past. I try very hard to turn these moments of reflection into opportunities for healing. Perhaps I’ve been watching too much Dr. Phil, but it works for me.
If you’re a survivor of sexual assault, it’s important to find something that works for you, whether it’s positive self talk, kick-boxing, yoga, journaling, calling a friend or making an appointment with your therapist or a counselor. Our hearts have an amazingly powerful way of healing we just have to learn how to listen to them.

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