Written by Marisela Rowley, Intake Manager at The Younique Foundation
Do you believe you are a survivor? As we go through our busy day-to-day lives and years pass by, the pain of trauma can still live within us. When we are alone or have a slow moment, the sad thoughts of our abuse creep in to try to define us. These thoughts try to instill guilt and shame and tell us that abuse was our fault. At these defining moments, you are a survivor instead of a victim because you continue to be resilient and work to thrive in spite of hardship or setbacks you may have.
Once I talked to a woman and told her to ask herself, “Am I a female survivor?” She responded, “I am a female but not a survivor.” I could feel the sadness from her and how she wanted to be a survivor but didn’t believe she could be. I have also talked to women who introduce themselves as a survivor, and joy and confidence radiate from them as they speak those words because they believe it to be true, and it is.
It might be difficult for you to believe that you are a survivor, but there are strategies you can use to help send yourself this message. One strategy is repeating positive declarations. Positive declarations are sentences that you say to yourself to remind you of the positive future you have ahead. You say these as if they are already true, which allows you to believe that they can be true. Positive declarations can change your attitude, behavior, and perspective. The first step to being on a path to heal is believing that you can heal.
Choose to call yourself a survivor to help you on your healing journey. Repeat the words “I am a survivor” out loud. Each time you say this phrase, you have the opportunity to feel validated and stronger. Speaking these words can help you heal more than you might expect. When you change your words to reflect that you are a survivor, you are reflecting who you want to be and who you are becoming.
Marisela Rowley B.S.H.
Marisela is the Intake Manager for The Younique Foundation. She takes honor in supporting women survivors of sexual abuse and is very passionate about helping anyone she can. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Community Health from Utah Valley University. In her free time, she loves photography, graphic designing and spending time with her family.