My group is over this week which is really difficult to believe and a little sad in some ways. I can’t believe that 12 weeks has gone by so quickly! I wasn’t sure I could get myself to go and now I am looking at the ending of the process and the beginning of renewed hope and healing.
We will have a celebration and wrap up for the last time together and it is really difficult to imagine not seeing these amazing women each week. There is no way I can describe just what these women mean to me and how much I admire each one of them. They are beautiful people, courageous, strong, and inspirational. They have touched my heart in ways I can never thank them enough for even if I have a lifetime to do so. They are no longer victims, but survivors and friends. People I will think about often and cheer for even from afar.
We all began this group worried and feeling defeated by our stories, by the victims inside of us. We pushed against the process and tried to get out of the toughest parts of facing our pasts. We made it! We pushed past our fears to our disclosures. We owned our stories and released the shame from ourselves to give it back to the criminals who deserve to carry that burden. The shame is not ours anymore. I am so very proud of each and every one of us. The power in the room each week as we reclaimed ourselves and took control of our lives and our stories is something I will never allow myself to forget. The support I received from these women as I began to rediscover myself without the burden of the sexual assault shame will remain a powerful force for me each and every day.
I have begun to heal in ways I never realized I needed to and in ways I never imagined were possible. Healing has opened my heart in a way that makes me feel completely ready to trust and love myself and others. I don’t wake up anymore with the heaviness that I have carried for over 20 years, and that is absolutely the best feeling in the world.
This week is a big ending to an emotional process, but an even bigger beginning to the rest of my healing and the rest of my life. I love that group therapy was placed before me and placed on my heart as something I was ready to accept and trust. I love that I understand healing now and that I understand that I am no longer a victim, but a survivor. I love that I can now leave the shame behind me for the most part and move on to the rediscovered me.