Self-Care Tips for Survivors of Rape

Brittany Catton Kirk Sunlight Retreats for Survivors of Rape

What helped me...by Brittany Catton Kirk, Survivor and Founder of Sunlight Retreats

1. Don't read the comment section on social media-it will make you further question humanity.

2. Visualize a red stop sign to help transition from bad thoughts. Your body does not understand the difference of imagining terrible possible outcomes and really experiencing them, triggering your body’s stress response.

3. Know what hours during the day are your strongest and most productive and when you are most vulnerable and triggered-then limit your access to triggering content and stressful things like social media, bills and homework.

4. Natural Calm is a magnesium powder supplement that can help take the edge off and help combat PTSD. It is sold on Amazon and health food stores.

5. If you experience PTSD vivid nightmares, talk to your doctor about Prazosin, which has proven effective at reducing or stopping vivid nightmares. (I am not a medical professional, I just wish someone had told me about this years earlier).

6. Do you feel like your psychologist or psychiatrist does not get it? Don’t give up. It might take a few different doctors to find the right fit.

7. Hate complaining but want to be honest about how you are doing? Assign a numerical value between 1-10 to let close loved ones know when you could use some extra support.

8. Online serves a purpose and can be productive, but when possible, try to connect with fellow survivors in person, with a friend you know who is also a survivor, a support group program (if your city is lucky enough to have them), or attend a Sunlight Retreat for Survivors program. By even being in the same room, it can be a relief to not have to explain yourself since survivors understand each other- the grief, the pain, the struggle—all of it.

9. Grief comes out at inopportune times- you could randomly blurt out your story to a grocery clerk but not a loved one. Please be gentle with yourself- it is all part of the healing process.

 10. You are incredible, you are trying, and working hard on your recovery. It is unfair that you were put in this position but you are fighter, fighting your way back, so thank you for being amazing. If you feel like a former shell of yourself, that is normal too, you can and will come back, for me it took years, but I am back now and I am sending you sunlight.