Not like all the moments in my young life when what I wanted for was ignored. More than anything in the world my need was to be a normal teenager. My hopes were destroyed by every assault, every sexual battery and every rape. After, I would dream of the possibilities. Maybe that was a champion gymnast, maybe a college cheerleader, maybe a beauty contest winner. I had the strength of mind and body to look beyond the tragedy of my reality and regain hope for a better tomorrow.
That first instant in time that I felt free and things would be different than all I'd ever known: walking on the sidewalks of the University campus in the fall wind I smelled a freshness, a freedom, a lightness in the air around me. I closed my eyes, soaked up the rays and inhaled the crisp air. I can feel this moment any time I want to. That moment is so embedded in my memory I am able to recreate the serenity by recollection. I breathe and feel peace. My moment of freedom.
And, I am one of the few. 5% actually, based on facts presented to me at a self defense introduction. I know I am one of the fortunate ones who have gotten away, but not only that, pressed on to a healthy way of living. Past active alcoholism and many other dangerous and deadly situations to become a productive citizen taking care of myself.
So today, I breathe in and slowly grasp the air in each moment. I may not stop and mentally note that I am free now, but each breathe is a reminder of how truly lucky I am.
And now I must head out and help those who are not yet as fortunate as I. Each one, teach one, we can be SURVIVORS.
Please help them too by signing a national petition to assist victims trying to survive their own horror: http://www.change.org/petitions/to-us-congress-support-no-civil-statute-of-limitations-for-survivors-of-child-sexual-abuse Your support means the world to me.