In 2010, when I began this painful journey, I was very different form who I am today. I was trying to be everything I thought everyone wanted me to be. Best daughter, best sister, wife of the year, friend extraordinaire, Y superwoman…you get the picture. The truly sad thing was that I really thought that was what my life should be like. I dismissed the moments of anxiety, despair and hopelessness as just emotions you feel sometimes.
It was months into therapy when I was asked “who do you want to be?” I had no idea and didn’t even know where to start. I was grieving..my whole life had been a lie. I was also very scared of what I might lose after going public with this information. I knew I didn’t have to, but something in my gut kept telling me “You have to share this with others! You can make something good out of this tragedy” . Romans 12:6 says “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us” and Matthew 25:15 “To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability”. Our gifts together can change things. Together we can protect our children and help our survivors.
So, I told my family first, my YMCA family second, my friends third, and then began writing and speaking publicly about my story. I tell my story so that there is a living, breathing person being completely transparent and vulnerable. It’s not an easy story to tell. I have yet to tell the entire story, I’ve only been able to write it and share it that way. But I want folks to know what happened to me so that they can help our communities keep our children safe.