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As men and women, all of us have struggled with sexual violence in our lives. We have been there and/or continue to struggle with it. It never goes away and some day’s it feels like it never gets easier.
For me, growing up dealing with sexual violence was easier than most. I forgot about it. I did what I needed to at six, even if it broke me. I survived. Later on in life when I was met with sexual violence again, I ultimately had to ask myself what the next step was. I found myself filled with hatred and rage.
I let it affect me for a short while, and figured out that I despised the way I felt and the feelings that I had. I became secluded, hateful, irritated, and confused. Dealing with that many emotions at once can truly kill a person. I didn’t agree with what was done to me, but I knew I couldn’t change it.
I did know that I could change one thing. One thing only. The choice to forgive. Choosing to forgive leads to endless possibilities. I could go on for hours about the blessings you begin to see/receive when you take that first step to forgiveness. The first step will feel like your legs are locked together under three pounds of cement, though that’s impossible I can’t describe it any other way.
Forgiveness takes time. You will struggle always, and everyday will seem like you’re at step one all over again. It’s a constant battle between yourself and the past that haunts you. It’s never easier, just easier said than done. Sometimes it seems easier to forget than to forgive. This is not the case. Forgetting leads to the possibility of all those hidden feelings to arise and cause new conflicts and pain at the most inconvenient times in your life.
Don’t forgive your monster for their own good, forgive them for yourself. Forgive them so they won’t have a death tight grasp around you for as long as you live. Forgive them so you know what it’s like to be at peace with yourself. Forgive them so you remember what it was like before they stole that innocence from you. Forgive them so you can live your best life. Forgive them for yourself.
The second step of forgiveness will still leave your heart heavy & full of hurt but you see the first blessing arise after the pain. You wake up without crying, you wake up and the first thing you do is check your phone instead of replay it like a movie in your head. Don’t mistaken this as forgetting. Truth is; you will never forget. But, it gets a little easier as time goes on though it may not seem like it right now.
There are many steps to recovering after the pain one has caused on you. It can take weeks, months, and years. The second time I went through sexual violence, I was molested by someone I trusted. I immediately forgot about it, I hid that pain which later resurfaced causing more heartache. It took me seven years to get over that pain, it took me seven years to forgive the one whom I loved and trusted.
It may have taken seven years, but was it possible? Yes. Was it hard? Yes. Was it one of my hardest trials? Yes. Do I fully forgive those two boys? Yes. I had to go through exactly what you’re going through to be where I am. I had to struggle, just as you are.
It is worth it. Take those first steps, and the rest is yet to come. You are worthy of this recovery.