I am a survivor of things most people will never face and will never understand.
I have been pinned down, struck, mocked, lied to, shared, and traumatized. I have looked into the eyes of men who felt nothing but pleasure as they took what was mine. I have iced bruises and fat lips, soaked in hot baths to ease unmentionable pain, and covered scars to keep them hidden from my loved ones.
I have forgiven those men time and time again, without question, because at my core I know that surviving this hell comes by maintaining who I am as a human being. I have wounded myself more than once in my own fight to allow only myself to hurt and no one else, not even them.
I have survived two overdoses, and an attempt at cutting my wrists, abusive relationships, assault, 4 mental illnesses, and the very bloody death of my mother.
Excuse my language, but holy shit, I should not be alive. The odds of me walking away from all of those things relatively unscathed, still capable of going to school and working a full time job, had to have been so slim.
But look, universe, look what I have done.
I want you to know something very important – you are a survivor, too. I don’t know what your battles are or what your war is. I don’t know what demons you lie down with at night and what nightmares you face.
What I do know is this…
You have come this far. There have been nights you have sobbed yourself to sleep. You have lost people along the way. You bear scars both seen and unseen. You are human. You struggle and you fight and sometimes you fall down. You’ve been hurt and you’ve hurt and things aren’t always black and white. Maybe something very important was stolen from you, too. Maybe you’re feeling lost right now, or alone and afraid.
You are a survivor, though. Don’t forget that. When the waves feel like they’re pushing you down and it’s like you can’t breathe, think of all the times you swore you couldn’t go on and how you’re still alive today.
I have faith in you – more faith than I ever had in myself. Keep pushing and keep fighting. Keep your head above water because dammit, you are the storm – not them, not it, not work, not him, not her…you are.