With recent political events, I noticed the focus tends to be on the predators and their acts. There's not much discussion about the healing journeys of survivors.
There's still a strong stigma against being a woman whose boundaries have been crossed. As if being a survivor means carrying around a secret and eternal sadness. As if being a survivor means I won't be able to feel joy in my body again. But that's a lie.
Survivors love their bodies. Survivors thoroughly enjoy sex with loving partners. Survivors experience deep inner peace. I wish I had seen more representation of this when I was starting my healing process.
Healing is a hell of a journey. Dismantling the emotional and physical shame takes time and energy and commitment. Reconnecting with my body required that I be patient, compassionate, and gentle with myself.
In that process I reclaimed my body and my sexuality. I discovered an inner strength, power, peace, and joy. Through all of it I had to keep remembering that freedom was possible.
To me, that's the power of the superhero character, and role models in general. Everyone's a survivor of something. The people and characters we admire use the healing process to deepen their compassion and confidence.