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Dear Survivor You Have Every Right To Prioritise Your Peace Of Mind

Posted: December 30, 2020

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The world might ask you to adjust and the collective fingers of the society raising would have made you doubt your decision, but the stand you took is right.

Dear Survivor,

I am not sure if you would remember me as I know all the effort that you have been putting to tell the world that your life is perfect and while keeping up the show, you may not have paid much attention to the faces and voices to whom you may have had to present the picture of perfection.

All I want to request you is to make that attempt to let the guard down, perfection in itself is a myth, it is ok to let everyone know that your life is not painted in rosy hues. Trust me the image of perfection and rosy-hued life that society considers acceptable only exists in our collective imaginations.

You are braving the storm alone and have done it for so long, you are strong; a lot more than you consider yourself to be. So, let the world know the real you with all your imperfections and struggles for you are beautiful and inspiring just the way you are.

Appearances are not always all of it

I know you could be the woman who appears happy, the one who appears to have the most perfect family and bears no signs of abuse or assault. I know you could be the woman who is envied for having such a loving spouse, and you take all those compliments about your perfect family and loving spouse with a smile.

The smile which camouflages your pain hurt, and the bruises of your heart perfectly. The world around you chooses to see perfection ignoring the fact that not everything that appears perfect is so. The wounds that you nurse in your heart are more painful than what appears on the skin and those of the heart seldom heal. You have endured that pain for long, do not subject yourself to it any longer, awaken your voice and channel your strength. Your biggest confidante and cheerleader reside within you.

You have every right to prioritize yourself and no you are not being selfish by considering your welfare above anything and everyone else in life. You are not snatching away the joys of family life or family bonding in their childhood. In fact, by choosing to take them away from an abusive environment and a spouse who does not bestow you with the respect you deserve, you are setting an example for them to stand up for themselves and have prevented their childhood from being scarred.

Your strength will hold you up

The world might ask you to adjust and the collective fingers of the society raising would have made you doubt your decision, but the stand you took is right. You waited very long for things to improve but it has. Your life is precious and your decision to move away from the pain, bitterness and negativity is the right decision you have taken.

The fear of an uncertain future worries you but do not fear every change comes with its dose of uncertainty. You have braved a storm and stood tall and this phase of uncertainty too shall pass, look into yourself and you would see a myriad of strengths hidden with you. Tap your inner strengths and embrace the opportunities that come your way open-heartedly. Remember you are a warrior who stands valiant in the battle of life’s survival.

You cannot forget your past all that easily, the bitterness and anger that resides within you are normal, do not be ashamed of it. Do not suppress the negativity, speak it out, do not fear telling the world what went wrong. But if you do not wish to speak about that is also fully acceptable, you do not owe an explanation to anyone in the world, but always remember the reigns of your life are yours alone, spread out your wings and seek your dreams.

A survivor of gender based trauma is affected in ways that go deep, and their worldview can get permanently damaged. It can be really crippling in their day to day life – whether in the personal or public sphere, and sending some comfort their way can help.

We at Women’s Web are collaborating with the Saahas App for Survivors of Gender Violence to reach out to women who need to be heard, and healing, as survivors of gender based violence. Letters to the survivor from our authors will be published on Women’s Web in the coming 10 days, and also on the Saahas website, in a series called “Dear Survivor”.

If you would like to participate, please upload your letter on your Women’s Web dashboard, and if chosen, it will be published.

Image source: a still from Lust Stories

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