My Courage

Many people say I’m courageous. I understand that. However, most of what I’ve done is not fuelled by self-confidence. It’s powered by my will to live. Strong emotions provoke my flight-or-flight response.  I struggle with these highs and lows daily and thankfully have noticed that aging puts things on a more even keel. Whether to appease my inner critic or not, today my courage is about saying the following: I haven’t lied about a single thing that happened to me. I didn’t even embellish. In fact, I’ve held back so much out of embarrassment, shame, and anger.  This is also…

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Sexual Abuse and the System: Fighting Back

A year ago I wrote a story on my use of anti-depressant drugs and my experiences in the mental health system. My subsequent choice against anti-depressants has led me into a different arena–the criminal justice system. Last February, I made several police statements implicating two uncles (one for allegedly molesting me when I was about three or four years old, and another for allegedly doing the same to my brothers); my mother and stepfather; and two other men (for allegedly raping me when I was 17). When I mailed the letters to the out-of-province jurisdictions in which the incidents occurred,…

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