To My Fellow Survivors, on this Inauguration Day.

Friends,

Today is a difficult day– it’s not the worst day, but it’s a difficult day. Today we are witnessing a shift in history that hits entirely too close to home for hearts that have been traumatized. There is a corrupt, abusive person in power, just as many of our abusers sit in places of power.

How did we get here?

It started in tiny, fleeting, floating pieces, chipping away just a little bit of the outside world, one day, one comment, one primary after another. It was a loud voice, a hoarse voice – an insensitive voice, a vulgar voice. A demeaning voice, and critical voice, a disrespectful voice – a fearful voice.

And that voice, which personified and mirrored the toxic, negative voices that had played in our heads for so long moved its way up and up and up and up, until it was so loud and so convincing that it turned a cracking glass ceiling into (seemingly) bullet proof glass.

So on November 8th, as we watched our country turn red, as we watched fear take power and take hold, we felt despair, we felt sadness, we felt anger, we felt fear.

Because this voice of sexualized violence is no secret to us, in fact we are almost as familiar with it as we are with ourselves. Intimate violence leaves intimate scars, and we would know that voice anywhere.

But know this:

This voice may be loud, but ours will be louder. Even though our experiences at the hands of sexual violence have been individual, we need not be isolated.

We possess a beauty and a truth far beyond anything these voices of fear have to offer, no matter how cloudy it may seem now. And amongst the anger and the pain there is also light, a light that these atrocities will not diminish.

And if you’re not ready yet, if the waves of terror and anxiety and fear are still suffocating you, if you’re feeling compounded helplessness and loneliness, know that we are with you. Know that you are cared for and loved. Know that, no matter how it may seem, no matter how loud the voices are inside and outside of you, you are worthy and deserving of every chance and opportunity in this world. You are worthy of abundance, worthy of love, worthy of hope and worthy of care, simply by being you.

No matter what comes our way, we will continue to survive, and we will fight to thrive–and there will always be a spot for you on the front of the line, whenever you’re ready.  

You are never alone.

All my love, 

Olivia

Olivia Howard

Olivia Howard

Olivia is a somewhat single twenty something living in New York City (ok, Brooklyn) and fresh off of completing her Master’s Degree in English Literature at NYU. She is the oldest of four and a Navy Brat. An Austen, Bronte, and Morrison devotee, you can most likely find her procrastinating by reading Harry Potter or trying to become motivated by channeling her inner Lorelai Gilmore (aka drinking too much coffee). Olivia prides herself on the simple fact that she cares a lot. About everything. All the time. And is currently trying to come to terms with the fact that being an adult is hard, Trump is President, and that racism is still a thing. Let's do what we can to make the world a little brighter friends. Thanks for reading.
Olivia Howard
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