Showing posts from 2012

Strength in Quotes

I recently saw a beautiful quote on Facebook about strength.  It reads, "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." This quote got me thinking about the words "strong" and "strength."  What do these words mean in today's world?  What do these words mean in the life of a survivor?
Let's start with the simple definition of strength.  I went to and looked up the proper definition(s) of the word strength.

the quality or state of being strong : capacity for exertion or endurance power to resist force power of resisting attack legal, logical, or moral force a strong attribute or inherent assetdegree of potency of effect or of concentration intensity of light, color, sound, or odorvigor of expressionforce as measured in numbers : effective numbers of any body or organization one regarded as embodying or affording force or firmnessmaintenance of or a rising tendency in a price level


I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support I have received from family, friends, and strangers since I posted Step One.  What has been the most moving though, has been reading the comments from the brave women who have survived the same experience.
I went back and forth for a few months as to whether I was going to speak out and tell what happened to me.  I thought about my co-workers potentially reading this and what they would think of me.  I thought about what people I went to high school with would think of me.  I thought about what my friends and family, who had been kept in the dark for so many years, would think of me.  Would they be angry that they didn't know?  Would they be upset that I kept it all inside?  Then I thought about the girls who have inspired me to do this.  I thought about their strength and courage to speak out, press charges against their attackers, and risk everything, including their lives, for what was right.  I thought about them a…

The First Step Toward a New Life

This all began with a secret; a wound that was simply bandaged up, kept hidden out of sight for a decade, but never healed, and certainly never spoken about.  I thought if I never said it out loud, then it never happened.  After all, at the time I was a peer educator, someone who taught other students on campus how to keep themselves safe, so how could I have failed to keep myself safe in such epic fashion?  How could I have not seen it coming?  How could I have been so trusting?  How could I have been so stupid?! All of these thoughts, these horrible thoughts that kept me blaming myself for it all, also kept me silent for ten long years.  And the price I paid for my silence was losing everything that I used to be.
The one thought that kept this hidden, that essentially kept me alive was, "If I never say it out loud, then it never happened."  This was my mantra.  This was my life preserver.  This was the one thing that kept me from losing my mind.  In keeping this secret hi…