Dear Survivor . . . .

Photo by Kate Macate on Unsplash

Today, and every day, make that choice — choose your truth.

Downplaying what happened won’t help. I know it might feel safer not to admit how bad it really was. I know it might seem easier to take the get-out clauses from the Devil’s advocates and disbelievers, to paint over in grey something you know to be black and white. You have a lot of questions right now, and while I don’t have all the answers, just know that whatever definitions you’re trying to make sense of in your head, the one that fits is rape.

Don’t blame yourself for the things you couldn’t do. Forgive yourself for the things you wish you hadn’t done.

I hate to say it but just because you’ve been raped, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to keep on experiencing all the other shitty things life has in store. That boy is still going to break your heart (you know the one I mean). That friend is still going to turn their back on you (you don’t know the one I mean, but you’ll find out). It also doesn’t mean you’re not going to make mistakes. A few bridges will burn, but that’s ok because the ones worth keeping will stay. Be grateful to the friends that stick by you, but don’t ever accept less from the people close to you than the bare minimum of being believed. And know that just because you’ve been raped, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to keep on experiencing all the other wonderful things life has to offer as well.

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Ariel Narcissus

Ariel Narcissus

(she/her) I’m a twenty-something, UK based, writer-in-hiding mainly covering literature, mental health, and sexual assault survivor-victim advocacy and support.