It’s officially the last week of April and since Spring Break I have a heard an increase among my clients and my client’s friends about sexual assault. The trauma of being sexually assaulted is devastating, however, during my sessions with sexual assault survivors I have found that the story they tell themselves is even more damaging. I have heard things like “I am damaged now “ or phrases like” I should have known better”, “it is my fault”. We tell ourselves stories like this to try and make sense of an unimaginable act and our brains will chemical reward us. It is common to ask the “ why” questions, and look in the mirror and see something that we do not like or even detest.
When we tell ourselves negative messages either out loud or internally after awhile we start to believe it and let others think it’s ok to treat us badly.
So, how do we change the story we tell ourselves? First, by making up a new story we tell ourselves. Second, looking in the mirror believe our story say things like I am enough, it wasn’t my fault, I can overcome this anxiety, I am still worthy of love and belonging (there’s an App for that). In the words of Stuart Smalley from SNL “ because I am good enough I’m smart enough, and dog darn it people like me”. Sounds cheesy? Well he was playing a role on a comedy show, but he does have a good message! You can fill in the words when you look in the mirror with whatever positive words that work for you. I tell myself in times of struggle “I have enough I am enough” or “I give myself permission to be human today”. Give it a try next time you look in the mirror. Third, don’t let one chapter in your story write the ending.
HTFG believes in this message so much that we ordered these mirrors for our High School Rising Strong™ I am Enough compact mirrors . Need resources check out Houston Area Women’s Center.
We will be doing a High School Rising Strong Workshop this summer in Austin and Houston. Houston will be July 28th-July 30th, Thursday–Saturday.