Last week we discussed how much our current environment is impacting us. The pandemic has in many ways forced us to be honest with ourselves. It has forced us to truly look at our jobs, our marriages, our families, our friendships, our dreams, our goals, our governments, our economies, etc., and see them for what they really are in our lives.
We have been placed in a position, that has required many of us to be completely honest about what we want, what we need, what we feel and what we are getting from those spaces. We can try to ignore the truths but the pandemic has made it harder because the pandemic has brought out the best and worst in everyone from the individual people we meet to the organizations we turn to for just about everything else in our lives. Last year was an anxiety filled year for many, 2021 has in many ways continued to trend. The question we will focus on today is: How do we continue to push through when so much seems up in the air?
As with all our articles, we ask that if you aren’t used to listening to your body or were not paying attention before then you better start paying attention now.
The articles can cause you to be triggered, they may bring back unwanted memories, they may cause you to be hyper vigilant, they may cause you to feel anxious or panicked. While the articles are meant to be informative and validating, we also know that the content for many people hits very close to home. That being said, please should your breathing change, should your heart rate increase or decrease, should you start to perspire, etc. take the time you need to step back and give your body what it needs in the moment. Stop, breathe, take in your surroundings, take a moment to center yourself and remind yourself that in this moment, you are safe.
What you are experiencing is as a result of what you are reading and your body’s way of trying to process what has happened and what is now happening. The articles will always be available, what is of prime importance is learning to listen to what your body needs.
How do we continue to move forward and plan in a world that seems to be telling us that we have no control, we can’t plan, that the concept of routine is at least for the moment a word and notion of the past?
We have to start with accepting that things are not as they used to be, that while things will at some point get better, there will be no going back to how things once were. We have all been changed by the pandemic. We have to work on acknowledging that the pandemic has affected all of us and that there is no shame in how we choose to cope and deal with our current circumstances.
There is no shame in having to make changes, there is no shame in saying that you are feeling more anxious or panicked than normal, no one can comment, we are all existing in very similar spaces. Our mundane lives, our routine lives have been altered drastically, we now go to bed and wake up not knowing what to expect. For many, our lives were built on a solid foundation of routine, for the most part we went to bed and woke up with a general idea of what we could expect. To have that completely altered has rocked many of our foundations. So we plan and we work with what we can comfortably control.
There are good and bad days, there are days with lots of feelings and no explanation for the feelings. Where possible, try to write down what you are feeling and experiencing, write what about the situation angers, saddens or panics you and then write next to it what you can do to change, build, improve on it. We have to find a way to continue to cope and move forward, a way that works for us.
Work on trying to feel your feelings and not run from them. There is no one correct path when healing, it is what path works best for you. Be patient with yourself, be gentle with yourself. Take time to put you first. There is nothing selfish about that. Trauma has changed you, you are now trying to figure out the new path ahead. So give yourself some credit and be patient.
Always remember, call if you need to vent, if you need company to just be on the phone. We are here to help. Text, email, call, you are not alone. You don’t have anything to be ashamed of, you were violated, you did nothing wrong. If you are interested in finding out more information about sexual violence and what you can do as part of this community, please feel free to contact us at:
Souyenne Dathorne, Velika Lawrence, Miguelle James & Jayde Jean
Facebook: SURVIVING SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE CARIBBEAN: https://www.facebook.com/pages/PROSAF-Surviving-Sexual-Abuse-in-the-Caribbean/165341356853908
Webpage: http://www.prosaf.org (UP & RUNNING)
Telephone: 1-758-724-9991(sue) 1-758-723-6466(vel)