No one can change what you have experienced. You are dealing with the consequences of sexual assault which is often a long process. Getting help from a sexual assault counsellor can help you on your journey but is not essential for your recovery. Having someone hear your story and believe you is the most important thing.
Ways to take care of yourself
- Get support from friends and family - try to identify people you trust to validate your feelings. Spend time with people who know your strengths and positive qualities. Try not to isolate yourself. Talk about the assault and express feelings - you can choose when, where, and with whom. You ran also decide how much or how little to talk about.
- Use stress reduction techniques - hard exercise like walking, jogging, biking, swimming, weight-lifting; relaxation techniques like yoga, massage, music, prayer and/or meditation.
- Maintain a balanced diet and sleep cycle and avoid overusing caffeine, sugar, nicotine, alcohol or other drugs.
- Take "time outs." Give yourself permission to take quiet moments to reflect, relax and rejuvenate - especially during times you feel stressed or unsafe.
- Try reading. Reading can be a relaxing, healing activity. Try to find short periods of uninterrupted leisure reading time.
- Consider writing or journaling as a way of expressing thoughts and feelings. Release some of the hurt and anger in a healthy way: Write a letter about how you feel about what happened to you. Be as specific as you can. You also can draw pictures about the anger or hurt you feel as a way of releasing the emotional pain.
Remember you are safe, even if you don't feel it. The assault is over. It may take longer than you'd like, but we recommend you have some form of counselling. The CASA's are available and ready to assist you.