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Survivors' Words

"The trauma that happens is unbelievable.
But then, the healing is just as unbelievable."


Experiencing rape, childhood sexual abuse or any form of sexual assault changes a person's life forever. As one rape survivor put it, "Being raped is like being in a car crash and going through the windshield at 100 miles per hour - except the damage is unseen by others."

Although the aftermath of sexual assault sometimes causes people to feel they will never recover or feel happy again, many - especially those who seek support - discover strength, courage and resiliency they had never imagined. They journey from being victims to survivors. They discover that instead of being forever broken, their spirits are actually indestructible. Or, again in the words of a survivor, "The trauma that happens is unbelievable. But then, the healing is just as unbelievable."

In our work, we have the privilege of witnessing the journey of survivors, and walking that journey with them. This page holds the words of some who wanted to share their journeys with others. Sometimes angry, sometimes triumphant, always poignant and inspiring, these words document stages to wholeness.


Butterfly Wingsbutterly wings

Tattered and Torn, one might
think she'd perish
under stresses of elements
which batter fragile wings......

Within her there lies
strength like no other
Lifts up her Spirit
to soar above all things......

Delicate......So very gentle
her beauty still shines
Look beyond all her bruises
her Light is inside.

            Shanna-Marie

 


What Is It

What is it that makes me still think of him?
What is it that makes me miss him?
What is it that makes me still love him?
I think of him because he played an important part of who I am today.
I miss the man that I first met.
I want to see that man I first met, his wonderful smile and gentle touch.
I love the man that I first met, I felt so safe, he had my trust.
I miss the smile I used to get, from the man that I first met.
What is it that makes me still think of him?
What is it that makes me never miss him?
What is it that makes me never want to see him?
What is it that makes me hate him?
What is it that makes me cry when I think of him?
I think of him because he played an important part of who I am today.
I cannot miss someone I never knew.
I cannot see the man that made me look and feel so black and blue.
I hate the man I came to regret, for he kidnapped the man I first met.
I cry when ever I think of him, the scars are still there deep within.
He played an important part of who I am, that is why I still think of him.


Problem Solving

I'm sitting here numb, shocked yet crying too.
Not knowing what to do.
I was just raped, then managed to escape,
I've heard of saves and their number I call.
I hear a voice asking my name, I tell her
Feeling shaky and small.
She wants to know if I need medical, legal help.
"Am I bleeding from the assault?"
I have to stop and look at myself.
I look at self and decide I'm not
Feeling calmed by the thought.
I tell her no I am not physically hurt.
Only that I feel very berserk.
She asks me some questions about what happened.
Gathering information, before taking action.
We mirror to make sure we're interacting.
Listening well to represent fact not reaction.
I find this calming to my nerves,
This is like an inner reserve!
We look at past problems and how I dealt with them.
Giving me back my power and a possible win.
She asks which need is that most important deed.
We think of three options with which to work.
I no longer have to feel berserk!
We talk of pros and cons, I choose one
To help me right the wrongs.
She accepts my choice I made
Giving me back strength without delay.
She tells me I have done well
To have dealt with this hell!
She to talk further with me
Sunday at three.
She tells me of all the steps I took
Glad is she, I picked the phone up off its hook
I feel calmer now that I have a plan
I'm not a slave to that man.


My Child

I said good-bye
To a little girl
Today
A barefoot angel
Dressed in white
A halo of golden curls
Blue eyes shining
With the wisdom
And sorrow
Of all eternity
She turned the corner
Stopped to look back
And wave
Then she walked away
I said good-bye
But then I turned
Around and said
Hello.


Tormented in Silence

Are you still afraid,
thinking.... one day, he might find you....
What was it he said,
"our little secret....if you tell-
no one will believe you...."

So you carry the burden
deep within your soul,
keep it buried, far far away-
silenced, so no one will ever know.....

It seems one moment to be forgotten
~the next, as if you've gone back in time,
to that place where dark shadows lurk,
and demons tear at your soul.....

Oh, my dear precious one,
it really is over now....
No longer can he hurt you.
His reign of terror has ended.
For when he left this world,
Was the moment.....when he finally set you Free.


(Inspired by the countless survivors
I've met on this journey. )


Loneliness

There's something out there in the night,
It feeds and thrives upon my fears,
The dark side of myself hiding from the lights,
It gains its strength from my tears,
The demon called loneliness that lives within.

Damn this merciless beast that causes this pain,
The raging battle is taking its toll,
I must break free from these shackles and chains,
Before it captures my heart and devours my soul,
The demon called loneliness that lives within.

As I'm here down on my knees,
Its torture is always the same,
It uses you as its weapon to destroy me,
I'm tired from playing this twisted game,
The demon called loneliness that lives
Within.

It attacked the only thing I cherish,
It has committed the worst sin,
My love for you will never perish,
Without that it I can never win,
The demon called loneliness that lives within.


Somehow

I'll get through the pain that keeps draining me.

Somehow

I will get through the rain coming from my eyes which pains me

Somehow

I'll get past the shadows which hover over me, covering my pain.
Somehow
The light of day will help to ease my pain, which is draining me.
Somehow
I will no longer allow it to keep draining me for I know the trauma is
A tiny part of my life, that causes strife
SOMEHOW
I will live my life in an undaunting way so the pain will not always be haunting me..
IT WILL GET BETTER
For this I am told;
When the pain lifts I can behold, for the pain will have turned to gold for this I have been told.
SOMEHOW
It is for me to become whole as the shadows linger upon my soul,

SOMEHOW, SOME WAY, SOMEHOW


Therapy

Worn out and near my end
I asked for help to pull me in.
From blackness and despair
I learned to trust and let go of fear.
Through understanding from within
I was guided to explore - a possible new end.
With a ray of insight and a little hope
I learned to see things in a whole new scope.
I wish to thank them from deep within
for helping me to let my life
really begin.