Melody van der Veen grew up in Holland, MI and Lansing, MI, graduating from Grand Valley State University with a triple major in Management, Entrepreneurship, and Dance. She has since moved to Los Angeles, CA with her husband, and works in business development and content marketing.
What has been integral to your personal healing?
Dedicating to regular therapy has been most integral to my personal healing. I participated in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Neurofeedback, Cranial Sacral, and regular talk therapy from one up to three times a week for two and a half years. Putting in this work has greatly decreased the affects of PTSD and anxiety in my life and has brought back a sense of normalcy and stability. It is always a journey, but through these therapies, I have completed a big portion of that journey.
What’s one way someone can be a better ally to survivors of sexual abuse?
GET EDUCATED in how trauma and PTSD affect survivors of sexual abuse. This type of trauma is very intimate and does function very differently than other traumas. Read books or articles, listen to podcasts, reach out to a counselor who specializes in sexual abuse, or just Google it (there are so many great resources online)! By learning terminology, understanding the world of triggers, and how to talk (or not talk) to someone about their trauma are great places to begin.
How do you remain positive in challenging times?
My positivity comes from knowing that my actions and how I respond to challenges can help change the world for the better. Another helpful tool I use to remain positive is to think forward 3 months, and imagine what it will feel like to look back on what I have accomplished or what I have persevered through. In the moments that are the most challenging, when it feels like there is no forward progress, I remember how far I have already come.