A Survivor's Thoughts on Getting Help -- Anonymous

A survivor of sexual assault ought never to feel alone during their personal journey of recovery. There is no shame in reaching out for good counseling and support. The most important thing is to challenge yourself by first trying your very hardest to give up the hope that the past would be any different. When you accept that life can be worth living, even if really painful events have occurred, this ensures that the emotionally draining nature--that fear, sorrow and anger all bring--will not hold you back from moving forward. The difference that good support can make in a survivor’s life after sexual assault is immense. Seeking support in a timely manner will help conserve precious emotional energy that can be better channeled toward nurturing that wounded aspect inside of you. The transformative and healing power of good counseling is invaluable to a survivor particularly in coping with the immediate aftermath of assault. As Iyanla Vanzant once said "Until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding…but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and make peace with them." There is no reason experiencing sexual assault should negatively impact your whole life as long as good counseling is sought in a timely manner. The Sexual Trauma Services is the best place to turn—even if you do not have any health insurance because all services are absolutely free during the first 6 months of treatment. Initially, a counselor will immediately help begin the reestablishment of emotional health during the initial three to five weekly sessions.  These sessions help a survivor process the trauma while providing a safe place to best cultivate much needed emotional stability in what feels like an emotionally tumultuous post-assault world. After those initial sessions, you will be handed over to a second highly specialized counselor to formally begin the challenging and ongoing task of rebuilding yourself. The counselors are trained to know how to best interact with and empower a survivor as well as maintain the momentum needed throughout the process of recovery. Be gentle and patient with yourself as time really does heal all wounds.  It takes so much courage—a survivor’s courage—to not merely bandage the wounds but rather attend to them at the core with counseling. I would encourage you to reach out to the specialists at Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands to not only mitigate any emotional pain that has occurred, but also to effectively protect yourself from any lingering emotional harm in the future.