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Overcoming Sexual Trauma Through Poetry



Sexual trauma was not a reality that I was prepared to deal with, and the painful impacts of those events left me in a furry of pain, however, in the midst of my anguish I turned to poetry as a cathartic art form to release my emotions.


The Reality of Sexual Trauma


Sexual trauma did not receive an invitation to present itself in my life, it was an unexpected visitor, who arrived at my home and then brought anger, denial, sadness and pain along with them. As all of these unwanted emotions came into my space, I felt as if I was trapped at the world’s most terrible dinner party. Filled with confusion, raging emotions, and a loss of my sense of worth, the experience left behind a lingering aftertaste, to remind me constantly of how awful it was.


The Power of Poetry


With time, through short form poetry and drawings, I began to release my pain slowly, which allowed me to grasp onto a little bit of peace within my stark labels of being both a ‘victim’ and a ‘survivor’. I endlessly wrote about all of the confusing thoughts I couldn’t sort out in my mind, like how love and intimacy had taken on new roles in my life, which now felt distant to me. Everything relating to sexual trauma was overwhelming and because of it I felt completely lost in myself. Yet, the act of writing poetry allowed me to collect everything I felt in a very tangible way. By reading through my sporadic thoughts of emotional outbursts I was able to make some sense of why I was feeling these things in relation to my trauma.



Healing, Self Love & Acceptance


This reasoning behind my pain was only the beginning of a long journey to healing, self love, and acceptance. Becoming myself again took a combination of art and forcing myself to confront exactly how I felt. Yet, the most difficult part of the entire process of healing was releasing my pain and loving myself regardless of my difficult experiences.

The labels of ‘victim’ and ‘survivor’ that now defined who I was, made me believe that I shouldn’t have happiness and peace because of my tainted world view. I had to realize that I did not deserve the trauma that was inflicted on me. My situation was not a consequence of my actions, and I did not need to be burdened with the guilt of wondering if I should have done something differently. Regardless of what happened, I needed to find healing through self love and accepting myself.