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Lydia's Story

One of the hardest realities I’ve grappled with as a survivor is that I don’t know who I really am; my entire adult experience has been shaped, overshadowed by my rape. There are so many parts of me that I’m not sure are truly “me” because they could just as easily be principles, beliefs, behaviors, etc., I adopted because of my rape. Am I an introvert because I was born that way or am I just so scared of being hurt again that I guard myself around people and get exhausted by them quickly? As I continue on my healing journey, one of my biggest goals is to take back the identity that was taken from me, to figure out what I truly love, believe in, and stand for. Slowly but surely, I’ve been discovering these things, mainly thanks to my determination and the incredible people and resources at SARC. Through group therapy, I’ve found friends that I will love and support for my entire life. I’ve found mentors that will guide me through the hardest times. But most incredible of all, I have found a purpose and a calling for my life-I’ve realized I want to dedicate myself to helping fellow survivors, spreading awareness, and creating supportive communities. Nothing makes me happier than speaking at an event and later finding out that survivors were encouraged enough to seek help and community after, or that organizations were inspired to do more to make campus safe. 

SARC has helped me create an identity by giving me something to pursue and live for; my support group, all the counselors, and the advocates have shown me how to take the rape and create something deeply meaningful and beautiful out of it. That is something I will forever be thankful for--SARC has given me back such an important part of my life.