“What’s next?” I find myself pondering this thought a lot lately. That, along with, “How far have I come?” One of my biggest motivators of overcoming all the doubts, concerns, fears, and uncertainties that I was left with as a result of being abused is to look back and see how my outlook and perceptions on life have improved so drastically from February. I still shake my head in disbelief that someone who felt so devastated at first that she wished she could disappear has come to be so open and public about things she once was too ashamed to admit. The bane of my existence just a few short months ago was, in fact, having to admit to myself that horrible, traumatic things were forced upon me. I felt buried, suffocated, like I had failed.
Even though I knew better, I felt completely alone. So I came here seeking out others like me, and I found all of you. I have exposed some of my worst humiliation, made public painful memories that I thought I could never divulge to another living soul. Through my interaction with you here, through sharing our stories, supporting and encouraging one another, and celebrating the small victories that come with our healing, I have taken back my voice. And I have found my purpose. Part of that purpose has come to include others’ stories I have found that have been of encouragement to me.
So without further ado, the first introduction I would like to make to you is Jessica Janniere. Jessica grew up in a home poisoned by domestic violence at the hands of her stepfather. Like many of us, her horrors did not stop there. Overcoming adapting to life in a new country (including a language barrier), Jessica also had to face the unimaginable pain of being raped, the murder of her sister, struggles with alcohol and drug use, and multiple suicide attempts. How does someone this scarred heal? Where is my inspiration to continue on with my own healing?
Jessica could have given up and relinquished herself to the pain, but she wanted, needed, something better for herself. Just as I want not only for myself, but for all of you. The story she shares about taking responsibility for her adult life and on-going healing process has encouraged me to continue fighting against that voice that Kevin pounded into my head so I can move on and become the best version of me that I can.
With her permission, I have included a link to an article about Jessica’s story that appeared in Hope for Women in the summer of 2011 (access by clicking Jessica’s picture above). I have also included a link to her site below (access by clicking her banner image). Visit her site and learn ways you can work on your own personal growth as well as be a witness to Jessica’s own continual growth.
I hope Jessica’s story does the same to motivate you as it has for me.
Not all that long ago I felt buried under a mountain of impossibility. With time I have learned that the mountain only seems impassable until you’re on the other side. And Jehovah has taken me the full length of the way.