Monday, February 10, 2014

Enduring the scars of your past

It's why Damsel in Defense made perfect senses to me
“Some days are better than others.  Some days you just can’t figure out.” –Meredith Brooks

Every day when you look in the mirror, you should see something different than you did the day before.  I’m not talking about crow’s feet or laugh lines; I’m talking about you as a whole being.   How can I say that with complete faith?  Endurance.  We all start everything we do at the beginning.  We started walking by taking one step forward, then falling on our rear ends.  We started using a cup without a lid by picking it up and spilling it.  Everything we have ever done began at the beginning, and we get better because we’re constantly building endurance.

Endurance isn’t only specific to muscles or fine motor skills.  Endurance also accounts for getting better at our jobs, our marriages, our lives, and reversing our deficits. 

Tonight, as I was looking in the mirror, I turned and saw a scar.  It’s a familiar scar, and the pain that radiated from it when it was an open would has long gone.  Most of the time, I think the pain from how it got there is gone too, but then I’ll see it’s creation in bits and pieces flashing back like the reflection of passing lights in fragments of broken glass.  Bits and pieces like cars whizzing by on the freeway.  Not long ago, I would look at that scar and the emotions of its creation would pour out of it like hot white light as if it was still an open wound.  Not long before that, those emotions would grip my heart and cripple me, creating debilitating fear, hate, and shame.  Not long before that, I couldn’t even turn my shoulder in that direction when looking in the mirror because I couldn’t stand the thought that it even existed, so I kept it covered at all costs.  

The reason I can look at it now and not let it take over my life is because I built endurance to tolerate it.  Whether I like it or not, it’s here and it will never go away.  It is part of me and I am part of it.  I built endurance through counselling, my support system, and my church family.  I let God touch it with his healing hands and trusted that He would release the negativity from it.  I learned how to live with it and turn it into motivation to help others.  I stumbled at first, and I fell a lot, but every time I fell I got back up and started again.  Every time I got back up, I got a little farther before I fell again.  Now I see it, and the person wearing it as a warrior.  I see it as the mark of a champion fighting for other women who are still trapped in that terrible raw pain after an attack.  I see it as a reminder that no matter how wonderful the world is, there is also ugliness, and unless you learn to recognize that ugliness, you won’t see it for what it is when it looks you in the eye just before it pounces.

The night I got the scar in question was just like any other night.  It was a cool fall evening during my 16th year.  My boyfriend had to work after the football game, so I decided to go to a party with a friend.  There was drinking involved, and a very dark train tunnel that we should have never been walking around in.  A man in his early 20’s was there, and he kept being near me, striking up conversations and saying things that made me feel like I wasn’t brave enough, or trusting enough, or hard core enough, and I felt like I wanted to prove him wrong.  Some sort of Spidey sense went off in the back of my brain like fireworks, but I was intoxicated, and didn’t have enough courage to ask my friend to take me home and seem like a total dork.  About an hour later, I was off looking for a suitable bathroom spot, when something slammed against me.  It happened so fast.  I didn’t see it coming.  I hit the ground with a thud, knocking the wind out of me.   A rock dug into my shoulder while I gasped for air.  The pain was immense, and I was trying to scream, but a large hand that smelled like whiskey and tasted like salt and dirt covered my mouth.  The harder I fought, the harder he held tight, and I found myself struggling to breathe.  I tasted blood from the split in my lip.  That rock dug in deeper and deeper, and although the immediate horror was over in a matter of minutes, the lasting scars from that gravel hill are with me forever, never ceasing to remind me of that one dark pinpoint in my lifeline.

It wasn’t the last, and definitely not the first time I had fallen prey to a predator, and it wasn’t even the worst thing that’s ever happened to me, but it’s the only one that left a visible mark for me to see when I look in the mirror every day.

Now that scar is a visible reminder of what’s out there.  It’s motivation for me to push forward all the time so I don’t end up there ever again.  It’s why Damsel in Defense made such perfect sense to me and why I became an Independent Pro.  I can use the drive from that scar to teach women how to stay safe, so hopefully they will never have to face down a permanent reminder of what happened to them.  It’s a very big part of why I stand up in front of strangers in living rooms all over spreading the Damsel in Defense mission to educate, equip, and empower women.  It’s a reminder of how hard I have worked to build up enough endurance so that I can completely reframe the events in my life.

Some days are better than others, and some days you just can’t figure out, but when you pull yourself out of a bad day and start again, you will build the endurance you need to get through another and endure the scars of your past.

If you’re ready to join a team and make a difference, let’s talk about what that looks like for you.  If you’re ready to host a self-defense presentation in your home, I can make that happen.  For more information, email


  1. You're amazing! Thanks for sharing this story and the Damsel mission. No girl should EVER have to experience what you did!