You know, as a victim, I was scared. I felt powerless. My esteem was non existent. I was ashamed to let people know what was happening to me. I didn’t want to prove people right about the choices I made regarding my relationships. I thought things would change. I believed that I were different, then in turn, those who mistreated me would be different. I kept my mouth closed and my thoughts suppressed. There were times when I knew that people were aware of my situation, but because I also knew how angry, hurt and disappointed they were, I wasn’t comfortable sharing anything with them either. I didn’t see the point. I thought that being quiet was the best way to deal with hurt and abuse. And, when I speak about abuse, I don’t just mean in the physical. I’m referring to those individuals who hurt my feelings and broke my spirit.

As a survivor, I now understand that my strength is in my voice. It’s in my writings. It’s in the way I walk and the way I carry myself. Silence gives your abuser/aggressor an undeserving control of your mind, body and spirit. It’s ok to walk away from a person, a job, an organization, a church or religious group, friends and, yes, even family, if you find yourself being compromised to the point of harm. See, it doesn’t matter what my aggressors, whether they have been professional or personal, have to say about me and to whom. There are three sides to everything, the person telling the story will definitely have a bias and the overall character of the one telling the story should be taken into account as well as the one being discussed.

Bottom line, I do what I do because I can. It doesn’t matter what the next man or woman thinks of me, my past situation, my present circumstances or what the future holds for me. There are too many people in our community hurting and are too afraid to let anyone know. There are too many people in dead end jobs, allowing people to mistreat them because they don’t think they have any options. Too many people who are more concerned about submitting to a person who mistreats them than they are to loving themselves. I want to help as many people as I can to find their voice, find confidence in saying no, not allow themselves to be mistreated and realize that the opinions of others is not nearly as important as the way you view yourself.