Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Note to a Survivor

This is a note I wrote in response to a lovely young girl who reached out to me.  I wanted to share it here because it is a perspective it took me a long time to gain and maybe it can put others on the fast track to a similar conclusion.  Maybe it will offer someone hope.


I'm so sorry. :(  It must be so much more difficult when the person who hurt you is a member of your own family. It is indeed wrong for people to tell you to forget--you will never forget. But I promise you, things will get better for you. Growing up is insanely hard, especially when you've been abused, but these things you've gone through will shape you into a stronger woman if you let them. You will always feel loss for the childhood experiences you absolutely *should* have had when you were young, but please don't believe that childhood, or those experiences you crave, are lost to you. Some of the best adults--and the best writers--are the ones who try to regain that sense of wonder and fun and allow their adult selves to enjoy childlike things. Age is so relative. You will never truly feel older even as you grow up and have a family of your own (if you should choose to). We're all the same age, really, it's all about choices we make. You have new choices coming every day. Try to make good ones, but don't be afraid to mess up either. Be thoughtful. Write. And every day will take you further from the pain of the things you've experienced and closer to the day where the rest of your future will be entirely up to you. When you can choose whether to ever see your abuser again. I promise you the choices are all yours. Own them and do your best.

And whenever you feel the urge, please send me a note and we can turn somersaults together. :) Your childhood is coming, my dear!

Much love to you,


  1. Beautiful letter, Alina, and I love the sentiment that childhood is never lost to you. I hope the girl you wrote this to finds some comfort and strength in it.


  2. Such a beautiful letter. You're a kind person for extending a hand to this person like that. It takes a lot of courage to reach out to someone--this person must really look up to you. You gave such a thoughtful, encouraging response.

  3. Thanks girls! She said it had made her rethink some things and that made me wonder if maybe others might need to hear it, too. If it helps even one person a little bit I'll be ecstatic. And I believe every word of it. :)

  4. Jim Benedict says: I believe every word of it also. You said it so well!

  5. I agree with the others, that was a wonderful letter! I'm glad to hear that she said it helped her.

    Hey, Twitter's acting up this morning and I can't DM you back there, so here's my reply: Howdy! Since I'm not going, I forgot about the conference! Thx for your addy; I'll send it off tomorrow. Rushing this morning. :)

  6. Thanks, Dad! And thanks Teresa! I couldn't send you a message on Twitter today either, Teresa! I'm sad you won't be at the conference. :(


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