Excerpt from a five page letter from a survivor

I never planned on being here. I mean, who does? And then I was and then you were a part of my life – my family.

Thank you for being willing to see past all my flaws from the start. I have a lot of shit and I can be a brat and really try a person’s patience lots of times. Despite all of that, you still took the time to look past these flaws and really learn me. I mean real me. You saw past the “I feel I need to try to be perfect” or “I refuse to make eye contact because I do not want to bond with you.”…all the things I constructed- all the mask that no one has ever been willing to look past my entire life- look past my insecurities- and you still wanted to know more. You helped heal me with your curiosity.

Thank you for making me open up about things and confront things and people even when I did not want to. There are reasons behind my insecurities and behaviors; not reasons many people know, not things I am willing to share. Getting me to open up was probably exhausting and disappointing most of the time, but that did not stop you from trying to get me to engage and talk. You have even opened up to me and trusted me, which gave me all the more reason to open up to you. You helped heal me with your courage.

Thank you for continuing to listen when you did get me to open up. Once you cross the line of my opening up, there’s no telling what’s coming next (or what may come out of my mouth.) You have listened and made sure I knew you were on my side, but you also made sure I was seeing both sides to every story. That let me know that you were truly listening. You helped heal me with patience.

Thank you for baking up your words with actions. Being told something and being shown something are two entirely different things. It makes it so much easier to trust someone when their actions actually match their words and what comes out of their mouths. A lot of the time you didn’t even have to say anything because your actions spoke for themselves. You helped heal me with your honesty.

And finally, thank you for believing in me especially when I didn’t believe in myself. I’ve never had anyone take the time to actually make me believe in myself. It’s always “You can do it.” And little sayings like that being said, but no one ever told me why they believed in me and kinda made me believe it at least for a while. You helped heal me with your support.

Thank you for providing me with shelter, food, all the basics – with love, compassion, kindness, support, encouragement. Thank you for helping me start the change that saved me and gave me life.

 

I love you – every single one of you.