That’s what a sense of self means to me. That’s what self-worth means to me—knowing that I am an adult, like my neighbors and coworkers are adults. I’m not different and unworthy because of my abuse. I am an adult human with everything that means.
But then I got to thinking. I’ve talked about being a sexual abuse survivor and how it was a male who abused me. What I haven’t talked about and haven’t considered for myself because the incidents are overshadowed by the years of sexual abuse are the occasions when I was sexually victimized without my consent by women.
Kathleen’s point is an important one. We aren’t going to see change when so many people see trafficking, abuse, etc., as something that happens to “those other people.” We need to continue telling our stories so that we remind people that trafficking isn’t something that happens only with immigrants or poor people. It’s the same thing with abuse, sexual assault, mental health. It happens everywhere, and if you don’t know anyone who was trafficked or survived sexual abuse or assault, it’s probably because you don’t seem like a safe person to talk to about it.
In the past few days, I came across a couple of resources targeted toward the LGBTQ community, and I wanted to share them here.
For abuse survivors, I’ve been on record talking about how so many of us are trying to somehow go back to the life timeline that we would have been on had the abuse not happened, and I’ve suggested that you can’t.
What you can be is something new, though. If you have the courage to try it.