Everyone has experiences that allow them to meet people that change their life. Through coaching self-defense, I learned a great deal from my students. One major lesson came to me after class one day when a girl about my own age approached me and said, “You want us to be open and comfortable? We don’t know you from anybody. Who are you? Why are you here?”
At the beginning of the next class, I opened with a small meeting where I explained my own experience with rape and an abusive partner. From this came an activity of deciding what it meant to each of us to survive and be a survivor. Throughout the classes the walls began to be covered with sticky notes labeled with a word, phrase, or sentence. On days when I dealt with triggers or one of the girls came to me for help, I found myself using some of these same thoughts.
“Live” “Fight” “Win” “I changed a lot that year – but I like who I am now.” “I’m alive, and therefore I won!” “I used to feel lost, now I know I’m not” “My life means just what it says, it’s mine!”
What are some of your words, phrases, and sentences? What words do you say to yourself, others, or others say to you that are the most helpful?
Copyright 1998, 2013 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
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