How to Survive


Girls go to other places in their imaginations when they are being abused, especially with incest where they may need access to their fantasy worlds on a regular basis. 

One of our girls in the book is Zinnia. Because Zinnia lived in a dirty rundown trailer, in her imagination she was able to build a beautiful home in the woods that was clean and fresh and beautiful You see, that’s what girls do. They find places to go to, a world to discover, plants to count, lyrics to memorize, mathematical problems to solve, people to save because they are resourceful and resilient and courageous. 

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you were crazy for leaving your body. Just know that you were taking care of yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you this is denial. It is survival. When we’re so unsafe, we have to create our own safety.” “Girls are genius at getting through sexual abuse. Often the only way to get through is not to feel. And that is exactly what these fantasy worlds allow: They give girls a place to go so they don't have to be present in their violated bodies. Brilliant."

Girls find so many ways to change the path their abuser sought out for them. They succeed, they love, they bond, they create, they build families, friendships, satisfying work and play!


-- Selected from Chapter 6 Invisible Girls