To Survivors With Love
Check out this article! Survivor Leadership Collective member Eve is featured in this Boston Area Rape Crisis Center article that was written during Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month 2020. The article was originally published by the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center with contributions by Survivor Speakers Bureau volunteers Eve, Kevin, and Kaylie.
From Survivors to Survivors
Three of our Survivor Speakers Bureau volunteers answered a few questions for us to share with all the survivors out there during this especially difficult time.
What is your favorite thing to do to take care of yourself?
“Therapy and baths (in that order!)” —Eve
“My favorite things to do for self-care have been tough to obtain but not impossible. I love going to the beach or Cape Cod Canal with my best friend and wife and sitting in my chair, reading a book, people watching, and going for a walk. Something about the fresh saltwater and air grounds me.” —Kevin (he, him, his)
“Moving my body in any way I can—going on walks, taking dance classes on IG Live or over Skype—all helps me feel more grounded. I've also been cooking and baking a TON, and trying some ambitious recipes.” —Kalie
What would you like to say to all the survivors out there during this time?
“I know it's a difficult time for so many people. I have had moments of being triggered. I have learned to take a couple of extra breaths and give myself and others a little slack during these times. We are truly all in this together. No one is exempt from it.” —Kevin (he, him, his)
“This too shall pass. Not knowing when a crisis will end can make it harder to bear, but we take this one day at a time, and be okay with the fact that some days will be better than others. Some days I'm doing awesome: being productive, cleaning my house, working out; some days I hang out on my couch and watch feel good Netflix binges because I don't have a lot of energy. There is no ‘right’ way to be a person right now, other than one that makes you feel the safest and healthiest.” —Kalie
“Remember to breathe deeply, and try to move every day—even light stretching, a short walk or cleaning around the house can help. Reach out! You are not alone. Anxiety and fear can feel overwhelming, and your allies, including BARCC hotline volunteers, counselors, advocates, web chat volunteers, are here to support you. This is really hard AND we'll get through this together.” —Eve
Is there anything that your loved ones have done to support you that has been especially helpful?
“As a person who loves routines, being thrown out of mine has totally messed me up. So having a loved one who helps me keep certain routines in place—making coffee to have while checking e-mails in the morning, etc.—has helped certain parts of my day feel more ‘normal.’” —Kalie
“My wife and kids are my world. We have been married for 30 years. That alone says a lot about my support system, but they have all come to speaking engagements to support me and other SSB members as well.” —Kevin (he, him, his)
“I feel most supported when people check-in with me. If I'm having a hard time, the simple question: ‘How can I help?’ may remind me of how I can help myself, or give me the opportunity to make a request for support. Some days, support can be as simple as receiving a funny YouTube video, a playlist, or a thoughtful text message. I received homemade cookies from my brother, which made me feel especially loved this past month. I am grateful for all the love in my life, most especially from my partner, who showed up in all sorts of big and small ways this past month, including videotaping a clip for the BARCC Virtual Walk and cheering me on before and after my first Survivor Speakers Bureau webinar panel, which was so uplifting!” —Eve
How have you most enjoyed connecting with others during physical distancing?
"I've loved all the Zoom happy hours, Skype chats, and text check ins my friends and family have been doing--and I've loved setting boundaries around my time so I'm connecting with people in a way that feels good and not draining. —Kalie
“I'm offering a peer support group for fellow clinicians and advocates every week and really enjoying meeting new people and connecting with folks I haven't spoken to in years. Giving and receiving support within my local meditation sangha during our daily virtual meditation sits/conversations has been a source of deep connection during this time of physical isolation. Continuing to volunteer with BARCC and the Survivor Leadership Collective provides continuity through the ups and downs of life, including during this most unusual time.” —Eve
“I don't know if enjoyed is the actual word I would use but the weekly Zoom meetings with my male support group have been really helpful for me and others during these trying weeks of physical distancing.” —Kevin (he, him, his)
Originally published here: https://barcc.org/blog/details/from-survivors-to-survivors