On Feb 14th, many organizations participate in Survivor Love Letters, which allows survivors or people supporting them to offer words of encouragement, or share stories, or share art, or whatever to help survivors know they're less alone, believed, supported, and loved.
I've written and continued to write a sort of poem over the years of healing, and usually write it on this day and share it. This years', instead of writing a new one I've taken bits and pieces of the previous three that I still relate to and feel connected to and edited and tweaked and added things.
Here is the final piece, which may be triggering to read:
- It has been seven years and I still do not know if there is healing here
- some days I am a victim, others a survivor. there are world wars between those words
- there are still days when I cannot get out of bed because I feel all of his weight on top of me
- he remembers the title of my favorite book and finds that reason enough to dismiss the idea that he assaulted me
- I find myself realizing and remembering more and more of my interactions with men have been turned into trauma
- I do not feel like an inspiration. I do not feel like I survived.
- Surviving is not always poetic. Surviving does not always sound like a roar. Surviving does not always have bared teeth and a raised fist. Surviving is not always strength. Surviving does not always have a voice. Sometimes, surviving is sleeping all day because you saw him and want to start over tomorrow. Sometimes, surviving is crying is class because you cannot afford any more skips. Sometimes, surviving is going hungry because you do not want to see him in passing.
- Sometimes, surviving is just surviving, because that’s all you can do.