I post frequently on the After Silence (AS) board. I've found invaluable support there and made some wonderful friends. AS supports itself by contributions from members, as well as by selling T-shirts and other products. I'd encourage you to check out their online Store. Some of their products say "I am not ashamed" or "this is what a survivor looks like." I wasn't quite ready to throw the "this is what a survivor looks like" statement across my chest. And not sure I can pull of the "I am not ashamed" statement convincingly enough. So I ordered the T-shirt you see at right. It says "After Silence" and in smaller print
I will save myself from blame
I will feel because I am worth it
I will know I am not alone.
I bought the shirt knowing I might never wear it. In fact, it is sitting in my drawer in pristine, folded condition. I told myself that I bought it to support the AS site. That was part of it. But really, I purchased it in hopes that someday I can wear it. I know I could put it on and, in answer to any questions I get, explain what I do for a living and that I'm supporting the cause. Also, the shirt really doesn't say what exactly After Silence is. So some people would just take it as an inspirational T-shirt. But to do those things, would be to minimize the importance of what happened. It would be to live under the veil of shame and guilt. It would be blaming myself...not feeling as if I'm worth it.....and staying inside myself - alone. It would mean remaining "IN" silence instead of being "AFTER" silence. In other words, the direct opposite of what AS hopes to achieve.
Some day I will wear that shirt. I'm determined. Hopefully my time will come before I'm too big to fit into that size! When I do wear it, it will be because I mean it. So if you see me coming in my new shirt, watch out! I'll be a changed woman.