I've just talked with another survivor who is afraid of life. In her case, this fear stems from something that happened almost two decades ago. She never received help or told anyone until emailing me. I'm glad that she sent the email but at the same time I am sad for her.
Abuse survivors sometimes find recovery through learning a new skill or doing something different. Some people take up painting or yoga as a way to deal with stress. Other survivors will go to places like the evo wakesurf shop to explore the world of extreme sports.
When it comes to recovering from sexual assault there is one adage that holds true. The same route to recovery doesn't work for everyone. We head into healing from different vantage points and with different life experiences.
The support that a survivor receives from others is critical to the healing process. I can remember feeling terrified about taking a cake decorating class. A friend and I cut a deal. If she would go with me I would pay for the class. It worked, my self-esteem grew and we can both create a mean looking wedding cake.
As my self-esteem grew it helped me try other things. When the opportunity came to go on a mission trip my daughter and I decided to drive instead of flying to Alaska. The support helped me be able to encourage others in different parts of the country.
What I found about recovery is that I didn't only need to heal from the sexual assault. I had a rough childhood and other issues. Support, therapy, family and friends have made the difference. I'm grateful to them for guiding me along.
It's also awakened me to life. There is so much that I want to do. I want to go on a zipline, learn wakesurfing tricks, go para-sailing and travel around the country.
Without the help that I've received these would all be things that other people could do. Not me. Now, I can see that with enough support I can be part of the 'other people' and live life instead of watching it pass me by.