Encouraging the continuing health and healing of survivor advocates
SAAN offers activities and information to support the positive mental health and healing of our survivor advocates. Those providing sexual assault services or advocating for survivors face special challenges, particularly those of us facing ongoing mental health issues due to past trauma. The Advocate Health and Healing team led by AmyAnna Soto provides stories, tips, and inspiration - all centered around a monthly theme - to help members stay on their healing path and be connected with other members who can provide emotional support.
THIS MONTH: Helping and healing ourselves
"Behind me is infinite power. Before me is endless possibility. Around me is boundless opportunity. Why should I fear?" -Stella Stuart
As advocates, it's vital that we give ourselves time and space to heal so that we can help heal others. Check out these articles:
How to be gentle with your pain
A user guide to self esteem
How to deal with compassion fatigue
Webinar on Why Are You (Still) Doing this Work
Words to heal by
Building Yourself Up, by AmyAnna Soto
“I’m the greatest!” “This is the best piece of writing ever written!” Said no one ever. Lest they be ‘full of themselves’ or labeled pretentious. We are conditioned to downplay our talents, abilities and skills. We build up one another but rarely our own selves.
Take some time today to reflect about your work. Be proud.
Look back 5 years, How far have you come? Remind yourself why you wanted to get into advocating. How many lives (family and your own included) have changed for the better since you began advocating?
For advocates already dealing with overcoming low self-esteem, it may not register when others praise and value your work. You may minimize their praise to a brushed off “well anyone could do it.”
But anyone doesn’t do it, you do it. Maybe all you do is answer phones. For the survivor on the other end who may have spent years trying to pick up the phone and make that call, hearing your voice on the other end is monumental.
Maybe you started your own organization and got lost in paperwork and the red tape of running a business or there’s such a need it’s become more of a j-o-b. Take some time to notice that all around you is your dream being realized, now not only for you but your employees and volunteers who have employment and purpose. You plant the seeds of inspiration with people you serve whether they come in once or return. You’re awesome!
To One of My Abusers, by AmyAnna Soto
You can’t take from me
Something I never had
You can’t break
What’s never been whole
And the reason is because of you
There comes strength in fear
Like the process of forging
Metal into a sword
Like that metal I have been
Molded into something stronger
I won’t thank you for the lessons
No one should ever have to learn
You didn't teach me anything
I taught myself to survive
You cannot break me
I won’t be defeated by you
I will not be defeated by you
"Feelings are visitors. Let them come and go." - Mooji
"I searched for new words for 'survivor' and each time found my own name." - AmyAnna Soto