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A Survivor Not a Victim

Overcoming Rape

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Coping

Coping Is Important For Healing

Finding a way to cope with your assault is very important. This gives you an outlet to channel all your thoughts, feelings and emotions through. There are many healthy ways in which a person can cope, and unfortunately there are many self destructive ways in which a person can cope. This post is going to focus on the positive ways because when you are already in such a negative state, it is hard to think of positive ways to cope. I have been there, I have been through the negative coping mechanisms and they just make a person spiral down deeper and deeper into the darkness. So I am going to talk about what other people do that helps them to cope, and I am going to talk about what I do to cope. Please comment below if you do something that is not listed because I know that others would love to know! There is no “manual” on how to recover from rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, molestation, incest, or sexual abuse; so this is my way of trying to aid in the recovery of others.

artArt is one way people cope. Art comes in many forms from painting, drawing, writing, poetry, making collages, photography, performance art (if you play or want to learn to play a musical instrument), ceramic/pottery and making sculptures. Now, you don’t have to be an artist. You only have to enjoy what you are doing. I always wanted to paint, but I never knew how. I can draw, but I didn’t find it an effective coping mechanism for me (but hey, at least I tried it right?). I tried a “Paint Nite” you go to the website, pick a painting that you like, and the location, then they teach you how to paint it. It was really fun, and the painting actually comes out like the one they show you! I have done several of these.

Reading is another coping mechanism. It allows you to escape for a time into a place of your own choosing. Whatever genera of material you like, pick up some great books and get lost in them. At least for a moment, you will be able to focus your thoughts somewhere else.

gardeningGardening. This allows you to use your creativity, and foster new life and new beginnings. If you like gardening but live in the city and don’t have an area where you can garden, there are many community gardens all around. If this is something that appeals to you, search for community gardens in your city. You also don’t even need to garden outside, get creative with indoor plants and design an indoor garden in any room!

Volunteering. Some people find it therapeutic to volunteer. Maybe you love animals and would like to volunteer at an animal shelter. Maybe helping the homeless is more your style so going and volunteering at a soup kitchen or a local shelter is something that would be a fit for you. Perhaps you prefer to donate blood and help with the efforts that go along with that, so an organization like the Red Cross or local blood drives would be something that you can focus a bit of your energy on. Or maybe you might enjoy visiting the elderly in nursing homes. There are so many elderly folks who never ever receive any visitors. One thing that I haven’t done yet, but I will be doing is getting a bunch of flowers, writing a bunch of handwritten cards/notes, and I will be taking them to a local nursing home where I will pass out a flower and a card/note to people who don’t get any visitors. I will sit and visit with them.

boxingExercising. This one is my coping mechanism. Exercising is a great way to cope with sexual assault and many other challenges that life gives you. Types of exercise include: walking, jogging, running, yoga, palates, cross-fit, dancing, boxing, kickboxing, weights, zumba, aerobics, bike riding, spin class, martial arts, swimming, rowing, horse back riding, or playing a sport you like. I box. I box because it allows me to channel my anger and frustrations out on the bag. It is also a great and tough workout! I also do yoga because I find meditation very helpful. I struggle with keeping a clear and present mind, and yoga helps me with that.

Hopefully this information with be helpful to you, if not now (which is completely understandable) then at some point in the future when you are ready.

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Silver Linings

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While I am not feeling particularly positive or hopeful today,  I  really wanted to write a post that is less dark.  This blog is dedicated to the gruesome facts, feelings, and results of rape and sexual assault,  but that doesn’t mean everything has to be so gloomy. (This post is dedicated to all silver linings,  not just from rape and sexual assault )

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I have sat and pondered for a good portion of the day about silver linings to  being raped to little avail. Then since I am an avid researcher, I researched the topic.  The result. … even less examples than what I could come up with on my own. But I am damn stubborn,  so I wasn’t going to let me stop that from making this post.  Although there are not many examples,  I hope that this will help someone,  anyone,  if it helps just one person,  I will be satisfied.

 

#1. REALIZING THAT YOU DO HAVE PEOPLE WHO CARE ABOUT YOU

Now, for me, I actually knew this already,  but so many don’t.  Whether they suffer from depression to begin with,  or something else,  if you are suicidal,  you feel like you are alone.  I have been suicidal  (not from the rape. ..ok, maybe yes , but there was a  time that I literally planned out how I would kill myself,  researched it to make sure that it would not be a failed attempt ). I didn’t go through with it because of my dog’s,  but I never told anyone then how I was feeling.  I  didn’t think that they wouldimages (9) understand,  I was afraid of their reactions.So, I know that every person is not going to necessarily be supportive,  and to be honest,  some people don’t know what to say,  and need their own time to process what you told them.  But that doesn’t mean they don’t support you.  The more I tell people  (and it’s not easy,  I have had to do it very slowly ), the larger my support system grows. And that doesn’t even mean you “have” to talk to them about whatever happened to you after the first talk you have with them. For me, I still haven’t yet because it is too hard.  But knowing that they are there,  that they are really actually there and care just means so much to me.

 

#2 YOU WILL BE STRONGER FROM THIS EXPEimages (5)RIENCE

Now, personally,  I don’t feel this way currently,  but I have hope that someday it will be true. What I went through, what you went through,  what someone else went through,  every situation is different.  This even goes for all situations , not just rape and sexual assault.  Eventually we will be stronger,  wiser and more capable handling anything life throws at us. If we can get through this,  we CAN get through anything.

 

#3 HELPING OTHERS

I have always considered myself to be a caring and helpful person.  For me personally,  this ordeal has invoked something more in me. The aftermath of such a horrific ordeal has caused me to want to be an advocate.  This is what I intend to do when I am physically and mentally capable.I know bad thidownloadngs happen, or people get into extremely dark places. People either deal with it and recover or don’t recover.  People don’t deal with it and don’t recover or do recover.  Becoming an advocate was never something that I thought I would ever do, but when a person goes through something, something that brings a passion that they have never felt,  I urge you to listen to it.  Just one person really can make all the different to someone going through what you went/are going through.

 

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