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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.

That is the significance of seeing survivors who are empowered and happy. Remembering that we all are resilient and powerful. Our light will always be stronger than all forms of darkness.

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