Over these past few months after being sexually assaulted, I have been on a roller coaster of emotions. I have just started to realize that it is okay not to be okay. I thought that letting my emotions show and being sad, scared or anxious would mean that I was weak. It doesn’t mean that. As a survivor you go through a lot, and I have been told it is okay not to be okay. Just like before being sexually assaulted it was okay to have bad days, and now it is still okay to have bad days. You don’t have to put on a brave face because of what happened to you. You have a reason to be sad, anxious or scared. You are meant to have feelings; you’re allowed to have feelings. If you didn’t have bad days after being sexually assaulted, you are lucky. But if you do, like me, it is okay not to be okay.
Knowing it is okay not to be okay is one thing, but coping with not being okay is a different matter. People cope in different ways, the way I am attempting to cope with not being okay on bad days, is going back to how I coped in the days, weeks and months after being sexually assaulted. Do what makes you feel good. For me personally it is to surround yourself with people, as long as I’m with people I’m distracted.
When you are not feeling that great, you shouldn’t be ashamed of your feelings. It is okay to not be okay. I thought that the further in the past the sexual assault became, it would become easier for me to cope with everything. It doesn’t work like that. There are many triggers for bringing back emotions of the sexual assault. These triggers have to be dealt with differently. It is okay to let these triggers affect you, but only to a certain extent. If you ignore them, emotions may build up and make everything worse. You are allowed to let these emotions in. It is okay to feel down, sad, anxious, considering you’ve survived a sexual assault, it is okay not to feel okay on some days.
If you are not okay, you need to try and make these bad days worth it. It takes time to feel okay, to feel yourself. There will be ups and downs in the healing processes and that’s okay too. The bad days, in my view, make the good days better. It is okay not to be okay. Once you learn that as a survivor it becomes easier to understand what you are feeling.