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How #MeToo Helped Me Say, 'I'm a Rape Survivor'

I am a rape survivor. And it feels weird just writing this sentence. I simply never have before. I only recently got the guts to say this out loud. And maybe someday I’ll have them to write down or tell the story.

But what I know now, is that I am a survivor. Survivor — in bold, in italics, underlined. Effin’ sprinkled with glitter. I made it here. I am breathing. And I am strong, even when I recall that night. I’m strong because I stopped being scared of my own story.

See, there’s some power in admitting things happened. We might never be able to work through trauma completely. We might never be able to get rid of the subconscious fear. We definitely can’t turn back time. The past is well gone. But we still have the present… and we can try to look towards the future.

Healing was a process that took years, almost destroying my relationship, stealing my sexuality, shattering my self-confidence. But it began, with the very first moment I was brave enough to say: it happened. I found the strength in the community, in the voices of women and men I might never meet, in the voices of people I may pass on the streets every day.

Reading the confessions inspired by the #MeToo movement helped me understand: I am not alone. People feel the way I feel. People, as much as that is unfortunate, went through the same paths I walked.

People made it out alive. Breathing, fine and re-finding happiness. Why wouldn’t I?

Reach out to people. Read their stories, their testimonies. You might still be struggling with your own voice, but you are not alone. Cherish the power that comes with survivor stories, remembering  the most important part in them is that there is a life after trauma. Find power in experiences. Find power in not being alone.

If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

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Photo by Ewelina Karezona Karbowiak on Unsplash