Friday, December 2, 2016

Survivors: Finding Ways to Assert Your Power


Most people don’t usually think about how much power they do or don’t have in their lives, especially if you’re just a kid.  Everything in your life is pretty much a given; that is, until you’re actually forced to confront the issue of how much or how little power you have over your own life.  While I can’t speak for all victims who have suffered some form of sexual abuse, I can speak for at least one for sure.  I’ve also compared that “one” view with others who often feel the same way.  What way is that?  That you’ll do anything to get it back, once the power over your own body has been intimidated, coerced, taken, or stolen away from you.  Seeking ways to empower yourself after being a victim is not only typical, but natural, as in human nature.

I recently read one of the survivor’s posts on their site.  I was literally blown away at the strength and candor this individual displayed in her writing and sharing her truth.  Some readers (particularly those who have never experienced this type of loss of power) may not understand Sarah’s actions. 

Here is a brief blog excerpt:  {}
The adult industry has been what has allowed me to take these past 2 years to heal. There is still a huge stigma about the adult industry. Without it I would be living in poverty. Will I ever be able to be hired at a regular job after being in the adult industry for over 10 years? Nope, probably not. That’s ok, I don’t want to work for other people anyway. One of the amazing things I’ve learned is that I can make my own way. I get to be my true self, no matter what that self is that day. I get to live many lives and explore myself, the artist inside of me, my sexuality. ALL THE THINGS I want are open and waiting for me to experience, to have, to live. I will thrive.

Some readers may be wondering how she could possibly feel a *sense of empowerment by performing sexually related activities.  Perhaps even some actual survivor victims are wondering this, but probably not as many as you might imagine.  As a survivor, I COMPLETELY understand where Sarah is coming from, and I can totally relate to how she described her feelings.  I’m considerably older than Sarah (she’s only 23) and I’ve had a lot more years to outgrow her particular viewpoint, but once upon a time, I was exactly where she is now – I even lived in Las Vegas.  I applaud this young lady for being brave enough to share her truth and I wish her the best in all her endeavors.  I also hope to have her do a guest blog interview on this blog, somewhere in the near future.

All Survivors are Different
While every survivor’s story is different in its own right, still, in a lot of ways, we are all the same.  That’s why it is important to read information like you find here, and determine what best applies to you.  When you can find something that you benefit from – great!  If you find that something is not applicable or helpful to you, ignore it.  This blog, and other formats like it are only meant to provide an open dialogue and pave the way for other survivors.  Hopefully readers can acknowledge and possibly share their own truths.  That is how you get on the road to becoming survivors and not just staying victims.

Some websites and organizations encourage getting therapy and while that might be a good idea, not everyone is willing or even in a good place (mentally) to do that.  Many individuals are still trying to find ways to deal with child abuse triggers that may be hindering their lives even if the abuse was years ago.  Being afraid of conventional therapy is no reason not to seek out some kind of help.  Try to recognize that therapy can come in different ways.  For instance, writing is therapeutic and you can do this in a non-fiction way like the author of the book “Rescued Soul”, or you can hide behind fiction (like me) and share your truth in that way.

Help is Needed
According to the organization called:  Changing Minds Now, “New research shows that witnessing traumatic events…can impact the physical development of a child’s brain — potentially leading to lifelong health and social issues.”  This research was based on children who only witness violence and abuse second-hand.  How much more so is a child’s future and adulthood at stake when they’re the actual victim of abuse?

Getting help for adult victims of child abuse is just as important as the need to get help during the time that the abuse is occurring.  Laws and legalities have “statutes of limitations” not people.  For those who refuse to get some kind of healing, you will NEVER find closure.  There are tons of groups, both online and off, local and nationally, who are devoted to helping “…support those affected by domestic and sexual violence… to empower women and children…”


Rainn is a charity that is the largest anti-sexual violence organization around.  They're available to help with their National Sexual Assault Hotline | 1.800.656.HOPE(4673) | Free. Confidential. 24/7.

* Book Related Connection (Character Analysis: Julie)
When it comes to the above survivor’s idea of a “sense of empowerment,” there is one particular character in the book that demonstrates this same ideology.  “Julie” is a foster sister to the main character (Deandra) and she is also being stalked (more or less) by their foster father predator.  In one instance, Julie makes a comment that suddenly turns a light bulb on in Deandra’s head about her confusing promiscuous behavior.

Here’s the book excerpt:
Hearing those words caused tears to pour down Deandra’s face, but she was quiet so Julie wouldn’t know she was crying.  Suddenly Julie’s promiscuous and flirty behavior made more sense.  It used to confuse Deandra how sometimes Julie even behaved that way towards Leonard.  If she wasn’t complaining about what a “creep” he really was, she’d pretend that all his staring and gawking didn’t matter one way or the other.   Now Deandra knew for sure that Julie’s “I don’t care” and “it don’t bother me” attitude was just another performance.  Denial and rebellion were both defense mechanisms she used to help deal with the bad things happening in her life.  Acting flirtatious helped Julie feel like she was in control instead of being controlled.  Now Deandra understood; this was Julie’s way of regaining her power, just like Deandra had her own way of trying to do the same thing.