I’ve been putting off this article for a while now. It is something I don’t discuss much and something that has forever changed my life. It is the thingthat wakes me in the middle of the night feeling helpless and victimized all over again. Trauma shatters the most basic assumptions about yourself and your world. The feelings of safety, goodness and trust all become tiny pieces of a broken soul that needs nourishment to be rebuilt. I have had 26 years to reassemble the shattered pieces; I have endured therapy and hypnotherapy and am blessed to have a man who would move Heaven and Earth to make sure I feel safe and loved. While those 26 years have taught me strength, courage and bravery, this is a piece of my life that resurfaces whenever I hear another victim’s story.
Three years ago I was blessed to meet and photograph a woman who epitomises bravery. She is a survivor of assault and rape. She has battled PTSD with grace and tenacity. She has battled the judicial system with more courage than I can even explain. She fights everyday to rebuild and she unknowingly fights for those of us who are silent and scared. She gives a voice to the voiceless.
Lissa has created a community for survivors. Her Be Brave movement has inspired others such as myself. Tonight she steps out on the stage along with my beautiful daughter and many brave woman in a performance called Shelter.
I have been having a hard time bringing myself to talk about this performance, especially having my daughter depict the younger version of this main character. The triggers of my own demons have been overwhelming at times. Tonight as I step into the theater I am stepping in with the bravery and courage that I have gained by watching amazing and courageous woman like Lissa. I will take tonight one moment at a time while practicing peacefulness in the hardest moments. Tonight I will celebrate the strength of these Brave warriors. And like Lissa’s mantra- I will, Be BRAVE!!
“More often then not, being brave means doing it scared.” – Michael Hyatt
All my best to you Fabulous Fighters,