When I help people resolve deep shame, I commonly find that the person has a history of sexual assault. It’s sobering to see just how common sexual assaults are, when you see it face to face.

Not being believed when they tell someone what happened can add to a survivor’s pain. Their experience gets invalidated. Surviving and recovering from a sexual assault is already difficult. Sometimes the invalidation gets further twisted by: denying the assault took place, attacking the victim, rewriting history, or stonewalling. The survivor speaking their truth gets turned into something down-right crazy making.

My message to sexual assault survivors is: whether they believe you or not, heal anyways. Make healing your priority. Make filling the holes in your heart what’s most important. Direct your energy into healing your heart, mind, and soul. Focus on what is within your power: your heart, your soul, your health, your outlook.

You may speak your truth and they don’t believe you. Heal anyway. You may seek justice and it may or may not come. Heal anyway. You may find what you have to deal with in comparison to your assailant incredibly unfair. Heal anyway. You may find it very difficult to trust again. Heal anyway. People may judge you. Heal anyway. It may feel like you are alone on this. You’re not. You are not alone. Heal anyway. You may have lost your sense of normal. Make peace with a new normal and heal anyway. Healing is the path forward.

The message here is to continue moving towards healing and don’t stop until you do. The healing path is rarely a perfect staircase of incremental progression. The path can be messy, two step forward one step back. Regardless of the shape that your healing path takes, continue to move forward. I know it is easier said than done, but you deserve nothing less than a full and loving heart and life.

Whether they believe you or not, believe that there’s good and love in your heart. The love in your heart is the force that pulls you forward. You are worth every second of struggle and every ounce of pain.

 

Is what happened to you in any way, fair, just or right? Absolutely not. But you are still absolutely worth it. Heal anyway. You can do this. You are not alone.