The Sunflower Project
Helping survivors turn towards the sun
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Letters to Survivors: A Blog

A Letter to Survivors

Dear Survivor,

You are not broken. You are not damaged. You are not a victim.

I felt like I was all of those things; a broken person, damaged goods, a victim of an attack. It didn't help that my "friends" told me it was my fault, and emulated the "blame the victim" complex this country seems to be afflicted with. Later, I learned to surround myself with healers, supporters, and lovers. That was vital in my healing. It will be vital in yours, too.

You are not broken, not damaged, and most definitely not a victim. You are a survivor. SURVIVOR. S-u-r-v-i-v-o-r. Say it out loud. Tell it to yourself over and over. Make it your mantra. 

Do what you need to do to survive. I needed to dance, so I did. And I needed to write, so I did. I also needed to cry, and lie in bed, and eat a lot of cookie dough, and stare at the wall for hours. So I did. Do what you need to do and don't apologize for it. 

Ask for help. You won't be able to do this alone. Ask for help, but choose wisely; like I said earlier, I had some pretty terrible friends. Don't surround yourself with those kinds of people, surround yourself with people who you know will do everything you need them to do in order for you to continue surviving. 

Don't give up. Please. The world needs people like you. This is an impossible task, getting over something like this, that has been placed in front of you. But you can make it possible. You're a valuable person who is needed by the world. The world would be a worse place without you here. I believe in you.

Help others. You'll get to a place one day where you are comfortable with your survivorship, and can share your gift with others. You do have a gift to share; you have experience and knowledge and love to give to another survivor. We are not rare, us survivors, and we must must must stick together. Offer your gifts to others. They will thank you, and you will thank yourself, too.

Love yourself. You are powerful. You are smart and strong. You are better, now. You are unique and you are not alone. You are loved by others. You are loved by me. And you are loved by yourself.

You are not broken. You are not damaged. You are not a victim.

You are a survivor.

Love, 

Leah

Leah Zeiger