I've been really struggling with the idea of making some very personal things public. I'm of the mindset to do it because it would explain what I do-why I do it.
When I was sixteen I was date raped. The teenage "love of my life" was in another country and I had found out he was sleeping around. My idea was to start dating-a lot and often.
One guy was a bit older than me. We didn't go out much but by date three, when clearly he didn't make me tingle and a goodnight kiss was even awkward, he got angry. I was a tease and a bitch. I was helpless.
My parents were away so easy to hide the bruises, head trauma and body damage. I was a good girl. Things like this didn't happen to us. Besides....they truly believed I was still a virgin. (Of course what do you do when the guy you "love" is leaving but sleep with him to keep him?) Yeah-I was that stupid.
What is kept inside often comes out in some way.
I had begun running with my dad that year and so run I did. I ran from my mind. I would run from five to eight miles a day plus ride my horse, swim, and work two jobs. This was my escape. No time to think.
Of course eating was a low priority......welcome anorexia. I was about 85 pounds when I told my mom I was scared and needed help.
I obviously recovered. Anyone who knows me can testify I can eat like a horse. In many ways I became stronger for it.
I remember in my senior year, when depression and darkness tried to overtake me, I had two teachers at JP McCaskey and two friends who essentially saved me. They SAW me. In their busy lives or teenage fog they SAW me and reached out. It's why I'm still here.
I had this conversation recently with someone, why I give my time so freely to people. It's because I see them. It's what I have to give. If I can make one person's hour, day, week, month or year more bearable I have to do it. It was done for me.
So the pay it forward mentality.
But I have another passion from my pain. If I can teach just one teenage girl to fight, to defend, to make sure that guy that decides after three dates that he's "entitled" never does it again, then I will be so happy. Don't get me wrong, the boys that take my Youth Impact at DAT are near and dear since I am the mom of two boys. But the girls....the girls I look at with such harsh expectations. Each and every one needs to be fighting for their life by the end of my program.
Because if they ever need to-I want them to win.