When I say the word survivor what do you think of?
Chances are you think of someone who has beat a disease like cancer – Who continues to fight to live cancer free.
You may even think of someone who has survived a tragic accident – someone who has physical and emotional hurdles that have become their new normal.
Chances are you probably don’t think of someone who has survived rape… unless you are a rape survivor yourself. People don’t readily walk around patting rape survivors on the back – cheering them on, and congratulating them for continuing to try and live a healthy life. Survivors also don’t often talk about their survival, their assaults, their journeys… some do… many don’t. Survivors are able to hide… many of us without physical scars or telltale signs that correlate with our emotional wounds.
Rape is still clouded in shame… and the survivors often burdened with blame. We don’t readily recognize these survivors… these people who have had their souls ripped from them… who fight every single day to feel whole and clean… and capable of choice… to accept love… give love… trust the world. We don’t recognize it because it makes us uncomfortable.
I have survived many things – postpartum depression/psychosis, miscarriage, but one of the greatest being a life altering home invasion and rape. You can read what I first wrote about my attack on a site called Violence Unsilenced.
My husband has nominated me for something called Women Who Shine sponsored by Yahoo. He has nominated me in the Survivor category, and you’ll find me there among so many incredible women who have truly overcome insurmountable odds.
I was not sure if I wanted to write about it on this blog. Already I am fighting the anxiety of having hundreds of people think of me in terms of surviving a brutal rape. Already I am fighting the feelings of not belonging with those other nominated women – of making people feel uncomfortable instead of inspired.
But today I am choosing to fight those feelings. Today I am repeating to myself that I am strong and worthy. Today I am telling you that I will actually be campaigning to win this… because I am a survivor…
because survivors of rape shouldn’t feel ashamed…
because out of the darkness has come much light…
and because I deserve it.
PS – Thank you to my husband. I am honored, and I would deeply appreciate your vote.
* UPDATE: You need to sign in to your Yahoo account or create one to vote. You may also vote by signing in with Facebook. Voting ends October 29th.