In my early days of healing, helping professionals would often recommend connecting with other Survivors. I would do whatever they asked; journaling, talking, crying, confronting, challenging, drawing, making crafts-whatever. But I would NOT connect with other people who experienced abuse.
Since I was a tiny child victim, I dealt with the physical and mental pain alone. I didn’t want to talk to people who I decided would never understand anyway. And, no one’s “blues were like mine”(Bebe Moore Campbell) anyway.
I stubbornly decided that my pain was between me and folks who knew how to handle it. As in, they went to school and studied how.
So, while I started therapy at the age of 13, I didn’t really share with other Survivors until I was in my late 20’s/early 30’s.
All those years I was wrong to keep the pain to myself. Well, maybe not “wrong” but I did myself a disservice. Human beings can but probably shouldn’t bear the burden of unspeakable pain alone and disconnected. It turned out that sharing did what they said it would. I did feel less alone. I did begin to recognize more than ever before that the rape and abuse weren’t my
It turned out that sharing did what they said it would. I did feel less alone. I did begin to recognize, more than ever before, that the rape and abuse weren’t my fault. And my faith grew and strengthened.
The volunteers here at WESurviveAbuse brainstormed hashtags that would connect Survivors, parents, and allies to others who may have similar experiences, questions, and concerns. We took those hashtags and created a series of images.
We hope they are helpful to you.
- Remember social media is a public platform and what you post lives online forever.
- Not everyone will have your best interest in mind. Watch for scams and manipulation.
- In the past, I have publicly revealed the names of those who raped me as a child, but every case is different. Be careful about sharing names and other personal information.
- Avoid sharing other people’s traumatic truths. The overwhelming majority of child sexual abusers have a large number of victims. It is always best to try to tell your truth without giving details about the pain of others.
- Have a plan in place for self-care. What will you do if someone triggers/upsets you? Who will you talk to? Are there certain times, days, or trends that you need to avoid to take excellent care of yourself?
- Be aware that even though social media feels intimate, you don’t really know the who you are interacting with, especially if you only communicate with them on social media.
HASHTAGS FOR SURVIVORS, CARETAKERS, and ALLIES
Please feel free to add other hashtags in the comment section or via email.