Sometimes I walk around ashamed for all the things that happened to me.

The abandonment by my parents
The molestation by my mom’s boyfriend
The rejection by my foster parents
The rape by a peer in the group home
The rape by someone I thought was my friend.

Blaming myself for not being lovable enough, good enough, too much girl.

I bathed in those stories, reliving them every time I told them, repeatedly.

Feeling the guilt, the shame, and inadequacy.

Feeling the need to try harder as a parent, smarter as a student and continuing to think that my dreams were just not meant to be.

And every time I go out into the world, to the grocery story, to a night out at karaoke or an event.

I see you.
I feel your pain.
I love you.

And I am here to tell you, you are not alone or not to blame for all that has happened.

Don’t let those experiences define who you are.
Don’t let them stop you from living.
Don’t let them squash your dreams.

You can without a shadow of a doubt, rise above those stories and heal yourself in such a way that you are not denying what happened to you, but you also don’t allow it to tear you apart.

Talk about your experiences and share them with others because when we stop the silence, we have power.

When we acknowledge the internal pain, and suffering and are willing to heal, we have power.

Regain the power they have taken from you without your permission.

Because I see so much more than a victim.

I see a survivor, a warrior, and a fighter.

I see your resilience, your strength and your willingness to get up every single day, to push on, to move forward.

I see you!

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