A Letter to a Survivor

By Violetta Reum

My dear girl,

You are a real survivor.

You have done such an incredible job being strong and keeping on. Yes, you were numb. Yes, you were in denial. Yes, you were barely making it. But you survived. You continued living.

And this is no small feat. When the world told you that you were worthless, you believed that there was something to live for. When the adults in your life didn’t protect you, you decided to protect yourself. When violence and abuse overwhelmed you, you still believed in the good in people. When love and adoration was withheld from you, you knew how to find it so you could continue living. When your body was taken away from you, you learned how to gain control again. When your freedom and innocence were robbed from you, you stole it back in any way you could think of doing it.

Most of it was unhealthy. Much of it was destructive. But all of it was survival. All of it was needed to make sure you could make it another day, another week, another year.

Little girl, good job.

Good job becoming wise beyond your years. Good job becoming hyper-vigilant and keeping yourself safe. Good job for having incredible emotional intelligence so you can always read the mood of the people around you. Good job learning when to fight and when to flee, knowing that hiding for now will lead to life later. Good job not trusting people who seemed bad and, often times, were. Good job trusting yourself to know what is right and what is wrong. Good job for how often you forgave in spite of everything.

And now, you are on the other side. Don’t be nervous, come on out.

You don’t have to live in the past anymore; you can see what you have grown up to be.

You are strong because of how much you have endured. You are compassionate because of how deeply you understand those who are hurting. You are beautiful because you have embraced yourself and your scars. You are wise because you have internalized and learned from what your life has taught you. You are loving because you know what it is to feel unlovable. You are happy and content because you know what it means to cry and suffer. You are grounded in who you truly are, who the Creator made you to be, because you have been lost for so long and now you’re found. You are determined because you learned to never give up, never quit, never to stop.

But none of this would be if you didn’t choose to survive. And for that I am forever thankful.

Author: Violetta Reum

Violetta has always had a passion and calling to see people pursue God with their entire lives, find their calling and identity in Jesus, and seek deep healing from past trauma and abuse.  She enjoys spending time with her husband and son and discovering all of the coffee shops and hole-in-the-wall restaurants.

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