Monday, 25 November 2013
It isn't just healing:
TW: for discussion of sexual assault, surviving and healing. http://feministing.com/2013/11/25/its-ok-to-take-the-time-you-need-to-heal-ok/ Is a good link, but it's incomplete.
It isn't just the time people need. Some of us need other things. Such as:
1. To not be under pressure to have to act devastated all the time and in public.
Some of us have healed, some of us don't want to publicly display our pain for the consumption of others. We especially don't need the pressure to act in a certain way or we'll be accused of being a fake. Not all of us cry and that is okay, what is not okay is expecting every survivor to be weepy.
2. To not get a rote lecture about how it isn't our fault or other platitudes.
If someone says they feel it's their fault, then it's time to comfort them and remind them it isn't. However some of us know that it wasn't out fault and we aren't ashamed. When we tell you about what happened and you launch into a lecture on how it wasn't our fault or any other platitudes? It just feels like your ears shut down beyond "sexual assault/abuse", because you clearly did not listen to us or see what we needed.
3. To not have you treat our normality as if it's shocking.
Even people who have not healed for the most part do not go through every second of every day thinking about the assault. We laugh, we have fun and sometimes we forget it, maybe for a moment, maybe for longer, regardless, we are more than just survivors, don't act like we have to be a survivor 24/7/365.
4. To not treat us like we're damaged forever.
I don't feel damaged, and I daresay many others share that feeling. Let us define this for ourselves.
In short, we're survivors and our healing is as individual as we are. Respect that.