An Open Letter To My Abuser

An Open Letter To My Abuser

You tried to clip my wings, but you only let me fly higher than I had before.
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Dear Stranger,

I imagine sometimes what your life could be. What does your day entail? Do you have children, and how could you even bare to look in their eyes knowing you corrupted the innocence of another? Sometimes I wish I was a little more strong, a little more brave, and I had told someone sooner. Maybe I could have prevented someone else from getting hurt by your same hands. 7 years old is a hard age to be brave at. Sometimes pool water makes me anxious. Weird, right? The smell of chlorine becomes sharp and pricks at the memory I had long tried to forget.

But no, this letter is not about forgetting. This letter is not about shoving an old flashback into the back of my brain. And this isn't a letter asking for your sympathy. I'm not here to bash you. I'm not here to tell my sob story. You didn't think I would let you tear me down, or did you? You did anything but.

I want to thank you, stranger, for making me realize that this wasn't my fault. I used to think that sometimes I deserved what happened to me, but then again, what 7 year old girl in a women's locker room deserves the violation of a man? In fact, what woman deserves the violation of any man, regardless of age?

I want to thank you for helping me find my purpose. Life experiences subconsciously shape you into the person you will become in the future. I want to help young women who have gone through traumas. I want to share my experience and let them know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The journey is hard, but the destination is beautiful, and better than anyone could ever imagine. The moment you are at peace with yourself is a moment of bliss.

And lastly, I want to thank you for making me the person I am today. I want to thank you for teaching me how to be strong. I found my strength through this experience, and I continue to grow stronger. I don't want to give you the satisfaction of knowing how deeply this impacted me, but I can't hide. I didn't tell anyone what happened for 9 years. Holding a secret for that long made this process a whole lot harder. But in the end, I opened up and got the support I needed. You tried to clip my wings, but you only let me fly higher than I had before.

Sincerely,

The scared 7 year old girl who grew into a strong, beautiful, fierce, and tenacious 17 year old woman.

-

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-656-HOPE for the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

Cover Image Credit: Shutter Stock

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The 17 Best Unpopular Opinions From The Minds Of Millennials

Yes, dogs should be allowed in more places and kids in less.
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There are those opinions that are almost fact because everyone agrees with them. Waking up early is horrible. Music is life. Sleep is wonderful. These are all facts of life.

But then there are those opinions that hardly anyone agrees with. These ones -- from Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit -- are those types of opinions that are better left unsaid. Some of these are funny. Some are thought-provoking. All of them are the 17 best unpopular opinions around.

1. My favorite pizza is Hawaiian pizza.

2. Binge watching television is not fun and actually difficult to do.

3. I love puns... Dad jokes FTW.

4. Milk in the cup first... THEN the bloody tea.

5. I wish dogs were allowed more places and kids were allowed fewer places.

6. "Space Jam" was a sh*t movie.

7. Saying "money cannot buy happiness" is just wrong.

8. People keep saying light is the most important thing in photographing. I honestly think the camera is more important.

9. Bacon is extremely overrated.

10. Literally, anything is better than going to the gym.

11. Alternative pets are for weird people.

12. Google doodles are annoying.

13. It is okay to not have an opinion on something.

14. It's weird when grown adults are obsessed with Disney.

15. This is how to eat a Kit Kat bar.

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Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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You Are Not Defined By Others, Only You Can Determine Who You Are

When asked who I was, I realized that I could not list all of the things that have shaped me throughout my life.

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In college classrooms, I frequently get asked about who I am, and what has shaped me into the person that I have become. I have often been questioning my personal identity and the aspects of my life that make me unique. While this intense reflection on who I am can seem frustrating and useless, it has given me a greater sense of myself and a deeper understanding of my place in society.

I was assigned the "Who Am I" poem, which is an assignment that allows students to reflect on their own identity, and the pieces that have helped shape them into the person that they are today. These poems are a great way to encourage self-reflection and either look at the broader aspects of your life or focus on a specific idea to discover your identity. Each statement begins with the powerful words "I am.." which allows you to define yourself in your own words and can allow others to recognize aspects of themselves that are similar to you.

I am sharing my "Who Am I" poem, in the hopes that you will reflect on your own identity and realize you unique you truly are.

Who Am I?

I am a military child, the daughter of an Active Duty soldier and an honorably discharged civilian.

I am the older sister with fiery red hair who is fiercely defensive of her younger brother and little cousins.

I am a member of a small family and am split between a Catholic, conservative side and a liberal, non-religious side. My family is my rock, and I am fiercely loyal to those I love.

I come from large Thanksgiving dinners around my grandmother's table, and putting dried apple slices into homemade butternut squash soup.

I love driving down winding roads and being surrounded by the colors of fall and nature.

I am a lifelong learner through years of cultural experience, media exposure, and the experiences of friends, family, and strangers I meet.

I am a woman who has traveled to over thirty countries across the globe.

I come from walking around in markets and bargaining to get the best price on what I want.

I am a bubble of energy and a force to be reckoned with who has trained with the police academy for self-defense.

I am a certified yoga teacher who strives to share her passion and energy of the mental and physical healing properties with others.

I am a dedicated listener, and try not to say everything that comes into my head.

I am half-Jewish, half-Catholic, and continuously questioning about my religious identity because I am unsure where I fit.

I am a mix of many European cultures but embraced my Irish heritage when I kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland.

I am a strong advocate for what I believe in and stand up for those who cannot do it for themselves.

I am a writer, who strives to share her opinions and beliefs with others so that they can create their own.

I am a person who believes in the freedom to choose who you want to be, not be defined by stereotypes or social norms.

I am myself, and there is no one else I'd rather be.

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