Something I love about the internet is how it allows those who once felt isolated to connect with others who shared the same experience. Being seen is incredibly empowering!
One of the honors of being in the homeschool "survivor" community is getting to witness others on their healing journey. For many of us, a crucial part of recovery has been finding our own identity, accepting it and then asserting it. As we peel back the layers of trauma, manipulation, brainwashing, or abuse, we discover our true selves.
And the positive ways we find to reclaim agency over our bodies--our selves--are as varied as the negative experiences that etched our childhoods.
Exercise. Running. Bodybuilding. Sports. Yoga.
Sex. Dancing. Tattoos. Surgery. Orthodontics.
Art. Music. Theater. Drawing. Painting. Building. Sculpting.
Photography. Fashion. Costumes. Comedy.
Selfies. Name changes. Piercings. Hair styles. Facial hair.
Travel. Gastronomy. Dating. Reading for fun. Writing.
Education. Employment. Activism. Advocacy.
Exploring hobbies, devoting energy to our passions, and trying new things are all exercises in personal autonomy. I may not share your enthusiasm for tattoos or understand what drives you to work out regularly, but on a deeper level, I do get it. I've made choices that would shock my younger self, but they were crucial to my growth and independence. What is highly symbolic to me may seem trivial to someone else.
Embrace the choices that are constructive to you. Not only will I celebrate their meaning with you, I will defend your right to make those choices... for your self.