When trauma tries to break you

Dear Trauma: You did not break me. You taught me how to stand.

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  • Dear Trauma,

  • You took something from me I can never get back. You made me believe that my life was not my own. You left me paralyzed in fear. I struggled to get back up—wondering if I was enough, wishing I could know why you chose me.

  • It seems you had a plan; I was your victim. You chose a side, and it wasn't mine. You didn't wait around to help me get back on my feet; you didn't ask if I was ok. You just made your mess, and then left me to figure out the rest.

  • You knew that moment would try to define me. You knew that fear would swarm the memories of the past—but even worse, you knew that it would try to hold me back in the future, unable to breath.

  • I was broken; my tears were immeasurable. At times I felt alone, and despair was my constant companion. I searched for something to hold onto for hope, but you had taken all of that from me. You laughed at me, as you walked away. That was the hardest sting, when I watched you not care.

  • You probably thought I would stay down forever—that birds with a broken wing would never fly again. You probably hoped I would give up. You probably didn't even look back to make sure I was still down.

  • Turns out, even broken wings can mend. It turns out; I was a lot stronger than you thought. I bet you didn't know I was a fighter when you chose me as your victim. I bet you didn't realize that strength can grow from a tiny sprout of faith in God. I bet you didn't expect to ever hear from me again—that my life would not be yours. I bet you always thought I would forever be your puppet.

  • Well, today I stand to not only tell you but to show you that you were wrong about me. You thought you chose a victim, but it turns out ... I am a survivor. Your puppet has cut the strings. I will no longer live in the shadow of your fear. I will no longer hate in the chains of your anger. I will be free. I will build from this ground that you threw me upon, and I will become stronger.

  • So maybe you saw my weaknesses as you tried to make me fall, but guess what? I saw yours too. Your weakness was thinking that you would ever bring me down without a fight. I am a warrior of my own life and of your evil plan. I am a champion who sees through the fog and clings to the light. I found hope when you told me there was none, and I will live every day unbroken. You did not break me when you dropped me on my face—you taught me how to stand.

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Ashlee Birk is the author of The Moments We Stand, the blog and book series of her healing journey after the secret infidelity and murder of her husband in 2011. Graduate of Utah State. Mom of six. Contact themomentswestand.com www.themomentswestand

Website: http://www.themomentswestand.com

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