When I was 19 I was in a very toxic relationship. It took me a long time to realize this and find the motivation to end it. When I broke up with him I thought we were fine and could be cordial so I went to his apartment to drop off his stuff and pick up mine. While I was there he violently assaulted me sexually. I still have a hard time saying the word rape. Or anything really besides ‘the incident that summer’. For months I struggled with social anxiety and depression. I had minor PTSD and I was unable to turn my life around for about a year. Thankfully I made some good friends somehow in that year and by sharing with them I was able to slowly heal.

I remember very clearly going on a hike with a friend and when we got to the end of the trail I shared what had happened and she asked me what I loved about myself at that time. I had no idea what to tell her so I said that I appreciated that my legs didn’t grow a lot of hair so I don’t have to shave very often. It was the silliest little thing but honestly it broke down so many barriers I’d made against my emotions. Because I was able to say something positive about myself that was small I was slowly able to recoup some self love and start down the toad of healing.

I will always love that friend for what she did. There are ten or so other people who helped me as well, including my fiancée who showed me that I am loveable and wanted regardless of my baggage. I can never say thank you to them enough.

I just want to say to all those who experience(d) assault of any kind to try to find something you love about yourself. Or even just like. It will grow <3