Letters Never Sent started the night I decided that I finally wanted to be a survivor and not a victim.
Having been dealing with abuse ranging from sexual to psychological since I was a toddler, it had been a long time since I recognized all of the emotions I had piling up within myself. I was becoming bloated with the negativity of the actions belonging to other people. To allow that darkness to live on inside of me was only allowing my abusers to have further control over a life that was not theirs. So, I freed those feelings, experiences, and memories, in a letter.
It was angry and sad, containing the most personal thoughts and feelings I’ve ever had. Naturally, I had fears in sharing it. The first feeling was that this letter had to be a secret. Then, I thought about it. Why should this letter have to be a secret? I wasn’t the monster that had to hide. It was them. It was a letter outing my abusers, and when they had neglected to protect me, I should not feel any shame in neglecting to protect them.
I posted it, but I never sent it.
It was a letter never sent, but it is a letter that to date has been read by 1500 people. Even though this letter may never be placed in the hands of the people who it is meant for, it has empowered me as a survivor to know that I am not alone. When I am not alone, it is much harder for an abuser to hurt me. I have put something good in the hands of someone who needs it, instead of putting something bad in the hands of someone who doesn’t know anything but bad.
This was the first time I realised that healing through art was more viable than I’d ever imagined. I found that I could use something I had always considered ‘bad’ as something that was ‘good’, and that might help someone else. A letter can be anything that conveys a message; a video, a drawing, painting, story, poem, lyrics, and of course, an actual letter.
When they have no secrets, we have no shame. When they are the ones who are exposed, we are the ones who are empowered. You are not alone, especially not today.
I’m asking you as a survivor, and not a victim, is there a letter inside you that has never been sent?
I think I know what you need to do with it.
The focus of LNS is to apply artistic challenges and therapeutic activities in the support (and awareness) of all who need help, ouch reach, and a healthy means of displaying the emotions inside themselves. Whether you are dealing with mental illness, trauma, or unrequited feelings, LNS is here to offer you help in the form of friendship and curative artistic exercise.
I’ve come up with some of these activities on my own, some have been taught to me by a therapist for my own well being. By no means am I a therapist and I don’t claim to be. But, I think these exercises helped me, so they might help you.
Experiences are activities that can be hosted in groups or with the help of someone else.
Visual Art means your therapy can be expressed in any visual medium (IE: video, paint, drawing).
Literature means your therapy can be expressed in any literary form (IE: poem, lyrics, story, letter).
Activities we will offer:
Letter To An Abuser (Visual Art or Literature)
[Writing a letter to your abuser(s).]
Safe Place (Visual Art or Literature)
[Defining a place where you feel safe (imaginary or real) so you can go there when you need to.]
Letter To a Child (Visual Art or Literature)
[Writing a letter to your younger self, celebrating their ability to survive or to offer comfort to our inner child.]
Image Therapy (Experience)
[Using a setting or image, you can go to a calm place for meditation.]
Image Therapy Reminder (Visual Art or Literature)
[Keeping a memory of your Image from therapy.]
Someone’s Hero (Positive Out-look Experience) (Visual Art or Literature)
[Looking to the future to see the positive impact you can make with your story and support.]
What I’m Made Of (Visual Art, Literature, and Experience.)
[Looking at yourself and seeing all the qualities that allowed you to survive.]
Victims and Survivors of mental illness, mental distress, physical disability, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, incest, rape, physical abuse, psychological abuse, survivor’s guilt/trauma, loss, members of GLBT community, victims of racism, and loneliness are all welcome to join. Anyone is welcome here and will be treated with respect.