This week was one of the most emotional weeks I have encountered in a long time. I received a scholarship from Turning Point Macomb to attend the SANE training course this past week to be able to respond to sexual assault victims when they need help and go to crime scenes to collect evidence and learned to testify as an expert witness for the trials that will be taken to the court level. This was something I have always wanted to do. A SANE nurse is a registered nurse specifically trained to provide comprehensive medical care to the sexual assault victim and has demonstrated competency in the medical forensic exam and is able to testify as an expert witness. This is a path I have been wanting to take since I started nursing school. This was a rough week to face because we went through cases and scenarios and saw pictures and watched videos that brought me back to a place in my childhood that I don’t like to go back to. As I have been writing my book the last few months I have been revealing some details on events in my past that nobody has ever heard before. It has been a cathartic process for me to go through to put the details out there for the public to read someday. The purpose in writing and the purpose in becoming a SANE nurse is to help others that are going through the same situations that I went through. I want to show people that there is hope at the end of the tunnel. People will be shocked when they read the chapter in my book about what I faced as a child but in the same light it will show that It did not affect me to the point where I cant function. In mental illness and psychology you are only considered ill if you cant function. I have been able to function through it all and I became a professional and now I have a career. I want to be able to inspire hope to others in my situation. I want to raise awareness about sexual abuse and let people know both sides of the spectrum. If you are being hurt in any way you can let it be a secret and face it each time in silence and nobody will know your pain, or you can speak up and remove yourself from the situation. If you do not press charges against the people who hurt you, their behavior will not change once you are out of their life. That person will move on to the next victim and it will continue to go on because you did not speak out. You being harmed is not your fault, nobody has the right to hurt you. You can run around naked and that gives nobody the right to touch you. The part that is your fault is the lack of speaking out against a perpetrator and allowing them free reign to hurt others. That is something i live with daily. The statute of limitations has passed for me to press charges against anybody in my past, and it would bring up a lot of family conflict that I cant deal with anyways. looking back I could have prevented the harm that happened to my other family members that went through what I did behind me. I didn’t speak up, I was ashamed, blamed myself and allowed those things to happen. The one thing I can say is the guilt of not speaking up hurts more than the initial abuse at this point. Speak up. Respect yourself. Protect the innocent. Become aware!
Sometimes in life it seems that everything falls on a single decision that you need to make. We tend to look for doors to open for us to move forward and we waste time rather than just going for it. Sometimes when a door closes we sit in the dark room and wonder what went wrong and why that season of life came to an end. It all comes down to perspective. We need to look at closed doors as opportunities. Opportunities to move forward through another open door. If we stand still and stay in a content safe place we will waste our lives and we will never experience the full extent of life. When it comes to making decisions there is never a wrong decision, just decisions that may need new follow up plans. Looking back on life I can see how everything has worked out and come together to be what it is today. I look at it and think to myself that it is crazy how intertwined everything is. I wonder how it all ended up this way. I struggle at the time wondering if things will work out or not. looking back it is easy to see that everything works out exactly as it is supposed to. If we take that same mindset in looking forward it will instill faith that if things worked together to get you to where you are today and you can see purpose than more than likely the same will happen moving forward. Sometimes it just takes a single decision we have been holding back on to see that the only thing keeping things from working out in the end is ourselves….standing still.
After waking up two hours early to attend a trauma conference for work that I thought started at 7 am, I arrived at 6:30 am thinking I would get there ahead of time in order to get settled in. When I found out that it started at 8 am, I regretted the 2 hours of sleep I lost but decided to sit down with my venti Starbucks and enjoy downtime for a while. I saw people set up their booths and the vendors setting up preparing for the conference. It hit me in that moment that I am about to attend a conference as an RN. I am finally a professional. I was an insurance agent for a while and I enjoyed the time I spent in the business aspect of it. With nursing I finally feel like what I am doing matters. I am able to help people every day I go to work. I now find that I am a resource to my friends as well. People will come to me for medical advice and it gets me motivated to continue on in my studies to maintain my level of expertise by being up to date with the latest evidence based practice. Although nursing is what I do, I have to remind myself that it is not who I am. I enjoy working as a nurse, but I am also open to the idea that life changes quickly ad I may end up spending my life on a new path at any given time. As long as I can do something that gives my life purpose and I can continue to invest in people in some way then I will be content. I have discovered that a career in helping people is just as fulfilling as investing in people on a daily basis. The only difference is that working as a nurse pays my bills, which is the only difference I see between investing in peoples lives inside the hospital versus outside. The main speaker at the conference was the Neurosurgeon that was on my case after my accident last Fall. That reminded me again that I am alive and I survived. As he went through case studies of Traumatic brain injuries and the statistics, expectations and mortality rates, I am reminded that life is short and I made a promise when I thought that I was taking my last breath, that I would not waste my life and I would share my story if i lived through it. So today is another day that I have the opportunity to live, breathe and share my story that endures and gives my life purpose.
The title of this blog is the first line of a poem that a friend in Uruguay wrote to me in 2004 after I left his country from a missions trip. The last day that I was there it was raining and we all played soccer in the rain. He was 19 years older than me but it was the first time I thought that I felt love for somebody. The proper wording was lost in translation but it was a poem that I held dear to my heart for years and one that I will always remember. Today is the first day off I have had all week. It has been a busy week working in the ER with flu season being extended and the weather taking a quick turn towards April showers. On my day off today it was my intention to do some work on my book. As I woke up I realized it was going to be a rough day for my health because of the weather. The weather went up 24 degrees overnight and is very humid. Since I had the brain injury last august I have struggled with headaches vertigo and hearing loss as well as sight loss that has been off and on with weather changes and stress. Today it hit hard. I got the laptop out in the afternoon and sat down to start editing my book and I could barely see straight and the room began to spin. The rain was coming down hard and I could hear the rain and feel the splash through the screen on my window. I could barely get off the couch without feeling like my head was going to explode or that I was going to faint. If it wasn’t for speak and text capabilities on my Ipad I wouldn’t even be able to write this blog today. I guess that comes with the territory of a brain injury. I can definitely relate to my patients in the ER now that have had TBI’s and deal with this. I was never able to understand the pain they were in until now. I have definitely gained a sense of sympathy towards them now. Tomorrow I will be attending a Trauma conference that my hospital is putting on. It just so happens that the neurologist that took care of me while I was in the hospital will be the speaker at the conference regarding head injuries and the impact the no helmet law has had on trauma patients in the ER. I finished reading a book today. it was called EAT PRAY LOVE. I was proud of myself for finishing it because I am not a huge reader, but that book hit too close to home on so many levels. it added an element of encouragement as well. I would suggest it as a read to any woman who has gone through a divorce.
I had great intentions to work on my book today. When I came home from church I found my roommate throwing a housewarming party with her friends since she just moved in with me April 1st. the friends she has are from her capoeira group. that is a martial arts/breakdance group. They were really warm open people. they were a lot of fun. They were singing and playing instruments in a circle in my living room and as I tried to grab my laptop to sneak into my bedroom they pulled me into the circle and gave me a tambourine and taught me the beat. It was refreshing and fun. I went out back and made a bonfire where we played the instruments around the fire and they sang songs. They showed me their martial arts routines they do in class. It was quite fascinating. Although in did not work on my book today, I was cultured to something new and I liked it. I may even go with my roomate to one of her Capoeria classes someday. she has been in the United states for 3 months working for GM. she came straight from India so the US is all new to her. I think we have both taught each other new things and I am excited to spend the summer with her here. I went to Salsa dancing class with her last week, so it has been good she motivates me to get out and try new things. This week I am working a lot of overtime starting with 16 hours tomorrow, so it seems best to throw in the towel on the idea of editing the book tonight. I learned though that people can have simple innocent fun with some dancing skills, some instruments and the game Twister that is currently being done in my living room
A friend of mine who writes for Bleacher Report told me that the first thing I need to do on my path to publishing my book is start a blog. I put it off for a while until today. I have been restless the past few hours and tossing in turning in my bed after reading through my second edit of my book so I figured now would be the best time to begin. With each edit and each read I have to dive back into the emotion of the events surrounding the book. The book will be an autobiography and will tell the story of my life from the beginning until now. It has been a cathartic process but it will be rewarding once it is finished. It will start at the age of 4 when I was taken out of my mothers home in Detroit and placed into foster care and it will go to the point in my life where I am currently at. for those who know my story this book will fill in the gaps, and to the ones just learning, the goal is that it can help you get through the struggles you are facing today.