Surviving As A Survivor

Indecent Exposure
Indecent Exposure

I’ve been trying to compile this in my mind for a while now. I want to get the words just right, but every new headline or news article creates a new emotion. I figured at a certain point I would just get over it or someone else would express my feelings for me.

First, to all survivors of trauma reading this, I believe you. I stand with you. You are not at fault, and you are not alone. I myself am a survivor of sexual and emotional abuse. I grew up in a very abusive home. Throughout my childhood I dealt with empty love and trauma. I use my experiences to help those who have encountered the same type of situations.

I first started creating art in high school, I was a quiet emo girl who listened to rage music and worked two jobs so I wouldn’t have to go home. My home life was toxic, my parents divorced when I was in the 3rd grade. My father was abusive and into heavy drugs, my mother was a victim of abuse. Eventually, my father ended up in a situation that put him in prison for 15 years. My mother always did what she thought was best for my two older sisters and I, sadly it wasn’t always the safest option. We would be exposed to many different strangers. This of course led to unsafe situations for me, it’s how I became a victim of sexual abuse at the age of eleven in my own home.

As I continued to grow into the person I am today, I struggled with relationships. I still do, actually. You may be familiar with flight or fight responses, for me, I freeze. When situations arise; especially emotionally charged ones. I close my windows, board my doors and nestle myself into a dark corner of my brain. Which leads to a whole new problem, my internalized self-hate. In that moment, all my doubts are free to consume me. Suffocating any happiness I could hope to find. My only salvation has been creating.

When I get into these moods, I find it best to paint. It took a lot of trial and error (self medicating) to get here. I am far from okay, I still have random triggers and PTSD I deal with. However, It’s especially hard in today’s society. We have so much negativity, so much judgement, so much hate so easily shared. As Twenty-one Pilots would say, “Fight it, take the pain, ignite it.”

That’s what my art is, it’s a public display of fighting, never giving up. I share my creations in hopes to help victims of abuse. I want to be able to create a safe space for those who have endured trauma. I want to be the voice that makes you feel like you matter. I want you to keep trying, keep pushing yourself even when no one else seems to be on your side. I want you to take back your life and show the world no one can stop you. Because you are important, you are heard.

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