No Man’s Land

I was reminded today that some of my posts might imply I’m on the other side of the battle—risen and racing ferociously through to advocacy for survivors. Having it all together. Strong. Warrior. Clean post-battle and healed.

What isn’t in the black-and-white print are the midnight phone calls, sobbing that I am not through it. The three+ hours a week of therapy and support group. The moments of pulling off the side of the road to get out and scream and beat the roof of my car. The texts of hopelessness in moments of flashback. The journals of tears as I face another minefield.

I am rising in the middle of the battlefield, weak and sore, climbing onto shields and fallen armor to see ahead. My feet slipping, yet my heart pounding with a purpose.

I’ve grabbed the banner and I’m screaming there is hope, there is a way, there is future. And I’m reminding myself I’m not at the start. I am covered in the remnants of the battlefield. I have come a long way. Fellow soldiers crying out for medics. The enemy’s weapons hitting my shield and thrusting me to the ground in the mire.

Hordes approaching. Bullets flying. Agony in my soul. AND HOPE. And fire of passion for healing and for those behind me. I am battered and I am worn. Some days I sit sobbing in my closet and other days I stand boldly toe to toe with the greatest of foes.

This is what advocacy looks like. This is what healing looks like. It is messy and (in my mind’s version) is a shipping between Eowyn’s battlefield in LOTR and Diana Prince’s battlefield in No Man’s Land.

The enemy is both the ugly and grotesque orcs covered in decay and time and blood as well as the men behind the battlements with machine guns. Bullets mix with the cries of the wraiths in the air. AND we fight on.

I rise in the aching of my soul and take a few more steps with my shield and I know I am not alone. I hear my breath and also the echoes of my fellow warriors beating their chests and stamping their feet.

Not alone. Covered in dirt and grime, wounded, and shouting with ferocity. Darkness CAN be forced to bleed. Daylight is coming. It’s real.

We are not alone. There is hope. And we RISE.

#SupportSurvivors #KickAtDarkness #RiseUp #BelieveSurvivors #SexualAssault #DomesticViolence #Hope #LOTR #BadassBeastMode #NoMansLand #IAmNoMan #BattlefieldTogether

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