LETTERS FROM SURVIVORS
"I see you. The hurting you. The broken you. The you that thinks no one could ever understand.
The one that thinks you’ll never find the strength you need to overcome what you’re facing today; what you have been facing. I am here to tell you that I have been you. I have felt unloved, unwanted and completely replaceable.
I have been on the bathroom floor, drenched in tears. Running conversations and situations over and over through my head. Thinking of ways I could have made it better. Blaming myself for trying to stand up for myself or for saying anything at all. “I should have just kept my mouth shut”.
I have been so low that I doubted with every bone in my body that I’d be able to stand back up, dust myself off and make the changes I needed to make - for me.
After countless punches to my character, pieces of my dignity ripped away and my self confidence completely depleted - I started to see that from the bottom the only direction to go was up. I no longer believed that I needed to be approved by others, wanted by others or even liked by others.
I needed me. I needed to love myself - flaws and short comings. I didn’t need to be embarrassed about what I couldn’t do but be proud of what I could. I didn’t need to feel shame for mistakes in the past - but rather be grateful for my struggles and where they led me.
From the most unlikely place I found the strength to get up and fight; not against my enemies but FOR myself!
So when you find yourself stripped off any sort of will to keep going - remember that you are worth more. You deserve more no matter who says otherwise! There is always someone who looks up to you. Even if you don’t know it!"
"I’m not ok. But one day I will be.
Last week I did the hardest part. I took my daughters and I left.
I own a house I can’t go to right now. It was mine before he entered my life, but right now it’s not the place for us.
Right now I’m in my childhood bedroom in my mother’s house. I’m not ok. But one day, one day soon, I will be.
The hardest part has passed. One day I will see the strength and the bravery it took to leave. They are bigger than the fear of the unknown. I’m showing my daughters that what they have known is not ok. What is ok is the love I have for them.
What is ok is that my four year old daughter had the strength to stand up to a 12 year old bully on the playground because “being a bully is wrong and we always tell the truth, right mummy?” She is my inspiration and my hero. I have learned my biggest lesson.
We tell the truth. Verbal abuse is abuse and it’s not ok.
Physical abuse is not ok. Mental abuse is not ok.
But you know who will be ok? Us. The hardest part is done.
The rest will work out. So, I’m not ok. But one day I will be.
One day this will just be something I lived through.
You don’t have to be ok right now, but you deserve to give yourself the chance to be."
"I had been feeling so down on myself with negative self talk and shaming and blaming myself for the traumas that I personally have been through in my own life.
My sexual assault, my abortion, my past as a sex worker, the abandonment from my mother, the absence of my father, emotional abuse, toxic behaviours from men...I’ve been in my head so much feeling so down and I allowed it to get to me. It’s hard when things hit you suddenly.
Usually I’m so good at pushing things down and pushing through but that hasn’t been healthy. I’ve been projecting traits onto others and in relationships and I haven’t confronted my pain and my emotions enough to feel as strong as I want to.
I’m starting to realize how important it is to learn and grow and grieve from trauma.
I’m still healing.
I’m still hurting.
I’m still standing.
I’ll be ok."