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  • Writer's pictureemilynmoser

Part of me, Not all of me

Some days, I feel proud to be a survivor. I reflect on how far I’ve come and smile at my perseverance. Other days, I wish I had never become a survivor at all. I feel like my survivorship is the biggest burden to carry because of the pressure I put on myself to make something positive of it.

I attached my life’s purpose to my survivorship because it helped me accept it and understand it. My purpose became sharing my experience with other survivors so they wouldn’t have to feel alone. I looked at it through a lens of strength: I survived this because I have the strength to help others who haven’t been able to uncover their own strength yet (key word: yet, because I know it’s in there even if you don’t). I felt like I had to turn what happened to me into a positive experience in order for it to mean something. I felt like I had to dedicate my life to helping other survivors in order to be a “good survivor.“ So much so that when I wasn’t putting my time and energy into bringing awareness to sexual violence and teaching self-defense then I felt I was doing a disservice to other survivors and “wasting” my survival.

I’m ready to start living my life without the burden of feeling like I’m failing other survivors because I’m not dedicating my life to advocating for them. I want to discover who I am outside of being a survivor. I want to start living life for myself, not for others. I’ve come to the realization that I don’t have to do anything to be a “good survivor,” being me is sufficient enough. Surviving and continuing to live my life authentically everyday is enough. I am enough. I don’t have to turn my survivorship into anything more than just something that happened to me. For me, it’s a moment that has changed my life, but I’m realizing that it doesn’t need to define my life. Being a survivor will always be a part of me, but it doesn’t have to be all of me.

In fearless pursuit,



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