By: Dana Zillgitt, Regular Contributor
There is no magic band-aid or pill that helps ease the memory of a sexual assault. Nor is there no magic answer that’ll make the flashbacks go away or any helpful hints for when you see him or his doppelganger picking up flour in the supermarket. There is no one-size-fits-all cure to make the trauma and the lasting effects of rape go away.
But there is time. And there is hope. Believe me, I wish I had a better answer, but coming from somebody who’s been there, it’s the best I’ve got for now. What also helps is knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is often found in the most unexpected places. Like a viral love letter on Tumblr.
There’s a recent blog on the infamously addictive Tumblr known as #survivorloveletter, a site dedicated to reminding survivors that they’ll get through this. And the site is astoundingly beautiful. It’s everything a survivor needs to hear, coming from survivors themselves. #Survivorloveletter reminds us that we’re still useful, we’re still beautiful, and that this crime will never be our fault, no matter how many times we want to believe the contrary. Needless to say, these love letters are a much needed and truly inspiring reminder to us all that no matter what trouble or trauma you’ve been through, it gets better. It gets so much better.
But why are these letters just making the rounds now? Why did they not go viral sooner? And why didn’t somebody think of this sooner? Maybe because the conversation is finally starting that this is not the survivor’s fault. This is not on the victim nor will it ever be. This hashtag is a response to aftercare, especially the nitty-gritty survival of moving forward. And it’s a toast to the idea that survival is often more than just for the fittest but for those who’ll adapt best to change. And our pasts never truly go away, they just become a reminder of what we’ve been through but not what we’re capable of.
Plus, love letters are a great personal sentiment of happiness, courage, and most importantly, love. And what more could a survivor want than a reminder they can believe they deserve all this and more again? These love letters are crucial to getting back on our feet and they’re an inspiring nod to what we’re capable of surviving.
Have you found solace in any online communities? How do these virtual communities help people overcome hardship?
Dana has her BA in International Affairs & Spanish as well as a mild obsession with rescue animals and all things caffeinated. She’s mastered the art of the selfie, fort building, and even the sass battle. Plus, she can quote 95% of Anchorman and Zoolander.