Do Not Loose Yourself or Your Identity in this movement!
In my experience as a young survivor coming out of "the life' and ending up in this movement was all consuming for me, especially as I was looked to and was recognized by my colleagues and peers as a survivor-leader.
It was the first time in my life I was getting so much positive feedback for something that appeared to be good and healthy. It also felt really good and affirming to be the one on the helping side of the equation. I feared if I didn’t work my ass off that I would loose my spot and be back to ground zero. Everywhere I went everyone was speaking my name related to this issue, my name was synonymous with the commercial sexual exploitation of children. I felt important and it felt really good. I remember at one point if there was a meeting in my city or county related to CSEC and I could not be in attendance it deeply disturbed me because I had this fear of missing out. I woke up and I went to bed thinking about the movement and new ways to be involved, new ways to help victims and survivors still trying to get out of the life. There were times that my personal life was a great source of pain and suffering but in the movement I was still getting tons of positive feedback so it was easier to be there then to be in my own life.
It’s is a blessing to find your passion and to be in service to your community! It is also a blessing to make it to the other side of something bad and to be able to help others do the same. So I am certainly not discouraging any of that. I am encouraging myself and all of us to continue to explore and develop ourselves and our identities. This is critical to our long term physical and mental health and our overall quality of life. Many of us have spent many years struggling and many of us are still struggling in one way or another. I don’t want any of us to go from being caught up in struggle to being consumed by the movement because we also need to have some time for ourselves! We all need it and we all deserve it. It is very important to find our movement/ life balance. The movement should not consume our lives!