Dear survivors,

We are not different, you and I. Because I have survived, too. 

But I need you to know that I see you.

My trauma encompassed my soul for so many years. I was not a person. I was an empty shell, drifting through life, running from a moment in time that had already happened. I felt the further I buried myself into the ground, if I could just disappear, it would all go away. That I could just go away, and that no one would be given the opportunity to get to know me or see me, because in reality, there was no one to know anymore. 

This is what an assault does to you. And you need to know that I understand. And so many of us understand. And that you are not alone. 

And you are still there, I promise you. You are still living and breathing and beautiful. You will someday, when you come up for air, catch your breath, and you will find yourself again. Because as lost as we feel, we are not gone. The trail in the forest always leads out; we just need to find the right trail again. 

And just know there are so many of us here to help you, who understand, who are walking along on our own trails. Who still hit bumps on the way, who struggle with the navigation, who take so many steps forward and sometimes take a couple steps back.

And that’s okay. 

Please keep going, because you deserve to. You are a beautiful human being, deserving of the life you always wanted and dreamed. No one deserves to take you from you.

And please remember, always, I see you.