The onslaught of sexual assault and abuse in the media has created an incredibly hostile environment for survivors. People are waiting around every corner to shame us for what we’ve been through or felt or experienced. People have taken to social media to share their own stories, and while that can be liberating for most, it can bring back harrowing and painful memories for some.
We live in a world where our pain can be exposed and exacerbated with a single tweet. We were not designed to consume so much in such little time. For those of us who have survived sexual trauma and abuse, we have to take a little extra time to be kind to ourselves.
Our self-care culture tells us to do a face mask and take a bubble bath and all our problems will be cured. But self-care needs to be an ingrained habit in our daily lives in order to really make an impact.
Creating healthier social media and technology habits could be the first step. Blocking people, accounts, and words that give you anxiety or trigger painful memories from your experience. Limiting yourself to only logging on at certain times of the day will help you be more thoughtful about what you consume online.
Be transparent with your support system about what you need from them. Do you need to talk through it? Do you need to scream? Do you just need a hug? Understand that you’re not alone and you don’t need to suffer through the residual pain by yourself.
Your story, your experience, and your pain is valid. Take care of yourself. Take a deep breath. Keep fighting.