Memo... to the Victim - Turned Survivor
- Emotional rape is a powerful experience. Recovery will not be without pain or effort and
it will take time. Just as a butterfly struggles to escape its cocoon, you can expect to
be transformed when you emerge as a survivor.
- Have faith...that there is more to life than meets the eye - and that there is
meaning and purpose to what you are going through, even if you can't yet see what that
meaning and purpose is.
- Have faith...that the emotional pain you are experiencing exists to protect you and
that it will not last forever. Visualize your own recovery and the recovery of others.
- Have faith...that you will recover, and that you don't have to understand how.
- If you have been emotionally raped you need to treat yourself like a rape victim.
Acknowledge that evil exists and that you didn't do anything morally wrong. Don't deny
what happened. Be thankful that it wasn't worse.
- Know what to expect from yourself and others, if for no other reason than to know
that you are not going insane and that your emotional wounds will heal. Don't ever
consider taking any permanent solutions to what are, after all, temporary problems. Be
willing to recover.
- Accept that you were, and are, powerless to resist the HALF factors: Health,
Achievement, Love, and Faith. They are fundamental, built-in human needs.
- Know that you are not responsible for your powerlessness. You are only responsible
for the choices you make to satisfy your powerlessness, not for the choices of others.
- Your ability to love and trust has not been taken away permanently. You generated the
love and trust before, and you will do so again - when you are ready. The next time, it
will be for the right people and the right reasons.
- Keep your sense of humor and be prepared to take small steps forward towards full
recovery. Moving forward just a little at a time is still moving forward.
- Channel the anger, rage, and pain which you will feel in the aftermath of emotional rape
in a positive direction. Take full advantage of this abundant source of energy.
- Go into action. Get started on a regular program of exercise. Eat healthy foods. Stay
away from alcohol, drugs, food - anything which, when indulged in to excess, provides only
temporary relief but has lasting ill-effects on your physical and mental well-being.
- Be nice to yourself. Take time out to relax whenever you can, even if only for a few
minutes during a busy day. If possible get away on a restful vacation.
- Try to communicate your feelings to others. Explore the possibilities of professional
counseling. If you feel able, extend a helping hand to others who are trying to recover.
- Finally, always remember these inspiring words of Dr. Elisabeth Kubler- Ross:
"If you face a problem, whether you are able to solve it or not, you will
"If we really want to live, we must have the courage to recognize that life is
ultimately very short and that everything we do counts."