[Tags: LGBT+/queer survivors, non-binary survivors, Survivors who menstruate, Trans survivors] 

My trauma manifested in an extreme guilt and feeling of responsibility for the pain I was in. I couldn’t reconcile this feeling if guilt with the worthlessness and disgust I felt– if it was my fault, as I then believed, then I had no right to feel hurt and scared and upset. I should just get over it.

I felt like I had no one. I isolated myself.

It wasn’t until I found resources to help love and comfort the person I was in the moments of my assault that I was able to have empathy for myself. Once I recognised the person of those hours as the hurt and confused and scared person they were, I could acknowledge the hurt and confused and scared person I had continued to be since. Learning to have empathy for myself has been the most important step in my healing process.