It is not the future that scares me. I know that ten years ago I was afraid I would not make it another day, but here I am now. I know that ten years from now things will have worked themselves out and my present troubles will seem unimportant and possibly even laughable. Therefore it is not the future that scares me, but the present.
It is not always tomorrow that seems unimaginable it’s the journey there that is frightening. Will I have the tools to push through? Will I have the strength to push through? Will have the confidence in myself to push through? I wish I could say that I am here today because of some inherent trait, but I would be not only lying to you but myself.
I am here today because others have given me the tools to overcome yesterday. I am here today because others have recognized the strength in me I did not believe I had. I am here today because others have taught me to be confident in myself and my abilities.
We live in a world where people are so focused on themselves. As individuals, we become so involved in our own problems that we cease to notice the problems of those around us. Our decisions become too focused on how they impact us and not on how they may impact others.
One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. I am that woman in the statistic. I refuse to let that statistic define me, but I cannot ignore the weight it has had on my soul and well-being. That statistic has drastically changed how I view myself and everyone and everything else around me.
The shame of what happened on that horrible night 3 years ago ran so deep that I came to believe that in a world so self-absorbed no one would care enough to listen, to care, or to believe me. I chose to let that shame rule my life. My shame grew so big that I felt invisible to the world. I felt that no one would ever really see me. The true me. Not the me that was ruled by shame.
It took the loving, helping hands of my friends, boyfriend, family, and countless others to save me from myself.
I have since vowed to be that loving, helping hand for others. Sometimes all you need to hear is that “you are worthy” and that “you are important”. I want to be that extra push someone needs into the unknown that is tomorrow.