Navigating the world as a survivor service provider
I work with survivors of sexual violence as a part of my job...and it can be really difficult to engage in my own healing while I am constantly hearing the trauma of others. Most days are fulfilling. It is special to connect with folks who have experienced something similar to what you have...but it can also be uniquely isolating. I long for the community of survivors I often refer my clients to, but for some reason I feel a barrier to engaging in these services myself. "Too many people know me there," I rationalize...would they have concerns about me working with survivors if they knew I was a survivor myself? I was sexually assaulted by a massage therapist....something that I have very rarely said out loud but still think about nearly every day. I can still feel his sweat dripping onto my body...and have a visceral reaction to even raindrops falling on my bare skin. God I hate that guy...I don't even know where he is now, but I always wonder if what I did was enough. Did his boss take my accusation seriously? Why did I insist that I not be contacted again? I really wish I knew the outcome of my complaint... Despite this unknowing, I really feel like I have came a long way. The anger is still there yes, but my hatred for myself has slowly been materializing. Day by day things get easier, as I try to find spaces that make me feel seen and find people who understand why I do what I do. I hope I can do enough to make this world a little easier for those, like me, who often feel like they are suffering in silence. But I also hope I can rest. And love. And feel peace. Because now I realize I deserve that too.