Survivor Love Letter
with Dr. Lydiana Garcia
One of the things that I’m most passionate about is working with sexual assault survivors. It brings me so much joy and it is my honor to be able to witness these amazing souls returning back home to their essence, to their truth, and to their whole, and being able to release a lot of the patterns that were passed on to them.
Unfortunately, most of these sexual assaults occurred during childhood, or by a family member or family friend. These are the ones that is very dear to my heart because of the impact it had developmentally in their psyche, in their way of seeing the world and seeing themselves, and at the same time, the potential of healing. By changing and healing all those things that were put on themselves by the experience, the liberation that comes with it will allow them to find and go back to their real selves.
I wanted to dedicate this blog post for anyone that was touched by or experienced sexual assault, or sexual abuse or rape. I’ll be sharing 10 Loving Reminders with the intention that they be received by the unconscious parts of you that can listen without the filter of the conscious, and all the biases, and all the “I can't, I am not suppose, I'm not good enough”. If you’d allow me, I wanted to bypass all of that and go straight to your heart, straight to your essence, and to your spirit to help remind you of some truth that can be liberating and that can help you in your journey.
Loving Reminder #1
It's not your fault.
It was not your fault. It is still not your fault. This reminder is so important. Here's why - the other person which many people call the perpetrator made you believe that you wanted this, made you believe that you were not good enough, and that this is what you deserved. And in that moment, whatever age you were experiencing this trauma, you probably believed it, especially if it was someone that you trusted, or if it happened during a time where that person was one of the few or only one that displayed any sign of affection of love. That idea that it was your fault, perhaps you shared it and people did not believe you, perhaps you told someone even your caregiver and they kind of pointed back at you, mentioning that you must have done something, you must have been wearing a certain clothing, you must have been provoking the person or being at the wrong time, at the wrong space, with the wrong clothing, said the wrong thing, and again saying that it was your fault.
But that's the first thing that I want to dismantle. That's the first thing that I really want, hopefully, for your heart to listen to this, that it was not your fault. It wasn’t. You could have done anything and still the other person had a choice to make. They could have gone and they could have stopped, regardless of what you were doing or not doing, regardless if you wanted it initially and then you said no, or even if you did not say the word No, but you implied it with your actions, pushing away or doing whatever. It was not your fault. The other person had the 100% responsibility in what they did to you.
Loving Reminder #2
You are whole, not damage.
This is one of the things that I hear a lot from my client survivors. How that experience felt like it broke them apart, they broke into pieces. This could have been part of what the nervous system did in order to not crash completely, what we call dissociate or break apart different memories and put them in different places. Sometimes I like to refer to it as a puzzle where all these different pieces of parts of the memory of what happened get displaced, and you're trying to put that puzzle back but you might not be able to find it or it might be difficult. A lot of people feel that these also reflects that they're not whole, that their damage, that being damaged is for life. And that could have also been words from the perpetrator, or from someone that heard what happened and said things like that.
I want to clarify and remind you that you are whole. You came into this world whole. And no matter what happens to you, no matter what you do, no matter what somebody says and does to you, you're still whole. What happened to you doesn't define your wholeness.
Loving Reminder #3
You are worthy of love.
Yes, you my love, you are worthy of love. This is another thing that I work with in a lot of my clients and a lot of them feel that they don't deserve love, especially again, if that’s what the perpetrator used to get to you, to make you feel like you were not good enough, so then they can do whatever they want. Perhaps even people said things like you won't be able to be in a loving relationship or that nobody will love you because of what happened to you. And that is all BS.
I am here trying to send this message straight to your heart. You are worthy of love today, tomorrow, and even yesterday.
Loving Reminder #4
You’re worthy of happiness.
I see the healing journey, especially for sexual violence in childhood, as a spiral. At times, you might feel like you got this, you're fine, but then something else happens in your life. It can be a different stage or transitions in your life like becoming intimate with a new person or starting a family, and you were like I'm done, I have the puzzle piece complete, but then you’d find new pieces of that puzzle. And then you're like, What do I do with this new piece. A lot of times what happens is when you're constantly going through that, you might think or feel that you will never be happy, that you will never experience fulfillment and joy. Even when you're in your healing process, when you feel joy or happiness, you’d then think that you're forgetting what happened or you're letting it slide.
And I hope this message gets through your heart - you deserve happiness. You deserve joy. What happened to you is not there to take those things away. Your life again is not defined by what happened to you. You get to choose to change to this new way of being. And when I talk about happiness is not like, Woohoo, all that. It's experiencing emotions, experiencing sadness, anger, rage, despair, all of it. If you caught yourself laughing or having a good time and then going straight to, Oh, I cannot feel this way because I'm mad about this, then that's what I'm talking about. You deserve to rest, to have fun, to have joy. And I hope you hear this one because it's so so important.
Loving Reminder #5
You deserve to move on.
Life doesn't stop here. I know it might feel that way wherever you are in your spiral of a journey, that there might be moments in your life where you feel that you're moving forward and at the same time, there are moment where you're being pulled back. That retraction can sometimes throw you really back to spaces or moments where you’d feel like you never want to go back. And let me also give you this reminder, technically, you're not back there, because even if you feel like experiencing it again, you’re a different person, you're in a different age and time and space now. So you're not back to that moment. Sometimes we forget that. Sometimes we go back into those dark spaces, and we forget that we're in a different time and space and age in our life. You're a different person and you might have new resources, although that doesn't mean that it might be easier. It can be seen from a different perspective and I hope it is easier you, but I'm not saying that it would be necessarily.
You deserve to move on. You deserve to keep living your life. You deserve to still have dreams, hopes, goals, and all of that. The perpetrator/s probably mentioned a lot of things that made you believe that that was it - that your life was doomed, that there was nothing, and part of breaking that apart as you're processing it is allowing yourself to move on. When you feel that spark, hopefully, a little spark of wanting to move on, wanting to keep on with your life, that you allow yourself. That is so important.
Read Part II of the blog HERE.