WRITING THROUGH SEXUAL TRAUMA
This workshop is organized into the following sections: Introduction, Safety Resources, Writing Exercises, and Sharing Your Story. The workshop is designed to work in this order, but feel free to explore the different sections as you like. This workshop is for you, and you are in charge of your process. You will find access to the different sections through the links below, as well as in the navigation bar above under the "Reclaiming Voice Workshop" tab.
WHY WRITE YOUR STORY?
As survivors of sexual trauma, we can feel isolated, ashamed, and silenced by our stories. We struggle to make sense of what we have suffered. Writing our stories offers a powerful space to reclaim our voice and discover our hero’s journey. Join us as we explore the elements of storytelling and their healing benefits within a community of safety and support.
"Changing our language, shifting our story even slightly, alters how we know ourselves. We are elastic beings ever becoming new. When we name what we have experienced - especially when we were told that no one would listen to or believe us, or when we were not taught the words we'd need in order to tell - we take power back from those who meant to silence us, and we reclaim control over the narrative of our lives. When we question, reword, or invert the stories we learned to tell about ourselves, we are changed -
we begin to be restoryed."
Jen Cross, Author of Writing Ourselves Whole
SARA AIRD: WORKSHOP FACILITATOR
Hello! Thank you for your interest in my Reclaiming Voice workshop! As a survivor of sexual trauma myself, I understand how frightening and challenging it can be to enter these spaces. I see your fear and pain. It is okay to be nervous. I also see your courage and determination. Your story matters. You matter. I hope this workshop helps you reclaim your voice and step into the power you have always had.
Sara Aird has been recovering from sexual trauma for over a decade. She has training in biology, education, and writing.
This workshop is not meant to replace the support that comes from a licensed, trauma-informed therapist or medical provider. The exercises in this workshop could bring up triggers and intense emotions. Please seek the support you need to navigate this workshop in a safe and gentle way.
You can search for local resources and support here:
Writing about past sexual traumas can bring up intense emotions and powerful triggers. Do your best to enter this space with gentleness and self-compassion. It is okay to take breaks from writing to get grounded and care for yourself. Listed below, you will find links to exercises to help calm and soothe yourself as you work through these writing prompts. If you find yourself experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please call 911 or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
THE BUTTERFLY HUG
This a video of a grounding exercise where you use alternating shoulder taps or knee taps and deep breathing to calm the nervous system.
By The Younique Foundation
PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION
This is a video of a guided meditation where you will be asked to tighten and relax your muscles, starting with your face and moving through the rest of your body.
By Janine Halloran
SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE
This is a link to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline Live Chart, where you can talk with a counselor for emotional support or other services. The Lifeline phone number is
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”