strength

‘My marriage reared it’s ugly head. I was at a fork in the road. I could leave and save myself heartbreak, or I could stay.’: Woman finds ‘strength’ to divorce abusive husband, admits there’s ‘beauty in vulnerability’

“I never planned on writing my story. While I was more fearful of the future than I care to admit, I remember leaving the courthouse the day I filed for divorce feeling like I could breathe for the first time in years. It was the feeling of freedom. For years, I allowed the world to wash over me, resigned to the lies I’d been told about who I was, who I wasn’t, and who I could never be. On the hard days, I have to remind myself to call these thoughts what they are: lies.”

‘I was 32 when my husband suddenly died. I wanted to have children with him. Being without him is terrifying.’: Widow finds the ‘beautiful balance of life after loss’ with 2-year-old son

“A counselor I met with looked at me and asked this simple question. ‘Would Albert want you to grieve with fear, or grieve with hope?’ I immediately knew the answer. As I sat there on the couch, tears streaming down my face, I knew I needed to live. Just because Albert died, doesn’t mean I have to as well. That would be the last thing he would want me to do.”

‘Mama, please!,’ my daughter cried. She got in the tub, held me in silence, patting my back, giving me kisses.’: Daughter’s intuition picks up on mommy’s ‘debilitating anxiety’

“My husband swiftly removed her multiple times, as I said, ‘Mommy will be done in a minute baby, I am right here.’ I need someone to look me in the eyes and say, ‘I know you’re not okay.’ My daughter did just this for me. I try to hold it together for my child, but she knows. We sat like this for an hour. It was one of the most beautiful gifts anyone could give me.”

‘I’ll never forget his words. ‘Shut up. Just let me finish.’ I lay there, weak, my best friend’s hand over my mouth.’ After years of denial, sexual abuse survivor accepts it wasn’t her fault

“There were no warning signs. No grooming. I remember wanting to scream, but not feeling like I could talk, so I made a mumbling noise. I didn’t want my body. I wanted to take it off like a jacket, but I couldn’t. I woke up the next morning with a huge bump on my head, my underwear backwards. I never wanted to be the girl who was raped.”

‘Girls shouldn’t be playing baseball. Stick to softball.’ The coach suddenly cut our daughter from the team.’: 7-year-old MVP female baseball player makes ‘advanced plays,’ gets dropped from team

“The coach sent an email saying he’d be moving positions to give ‘more success’ to players. The only change made was to move our Ashlynn to the bottom of the batter order. When we showed up at the next tryout, the team had already been selected without her. At the next tryout, miraculously, the same thing happened. As parents, we were frustrated. It was so unfair what was happening to her. But if we told her, we knew it would change how much she loved baseball.”

‘I never thought I’d be calling my husband to inform him ‘it’s cancer.’ I sat on the phone in utter shock.’: 28-year-old woman diagnosed with breast cancer after noticing ‘blood stains in bra’

“I was too young to get cancer. There was no way. I was fit and healthy, currently in the best shape of my life training for a trip to Everest basecamp. I prepared my chemo bag. I was ready for this. But when I walked into the hospital and saw all the elderly ladies around me wearing head scarves, I instantly felt a fear I could not describe.”

‘You sure you don’t want to take the truck?’ I heard him start his motorcycle. ‘I’ll be fine. Love you!’ The screen doors shut. My husband walked out of the house for the last time.’ Woman shares emotional journey after husband’s motorcycle accident

“We had a deal. Derek could ride his bike, but he had to text me whenever he arrived at his destination. I checked my phone, fully expecting an ‘I’m safe’ text. Instead, I woke up to a missed call and voicemail from Derek’s phone. My heart instantly went to my throat. ‘Mrs. Lavender, your husband’s been in a serious accident. Please call back.'”

‘At 15, I became pregnant with my daughter. I had to raise a child while still growing up myself. I received hate and rumors spread.’ Teen mom beats the odds to graduate college and ‘reach success’

“Everyone recognized me by pregnant belly, rather than by my face. I dealt with dirty looks and whispers in the hallways. In college, I got pregnant with my son. It wasn’t easy. I have been in abusive relationships, been days away from planning a wedding, only to find out I was ‘only an option.’ I wanted to give up, on everything. But I was strong for my children.”

‘I made the decision to cut my mom out of my life. Now that I’m a mom, I wish she was there to guide me. I wish my children knew her. But I know she won’t change.’ Mom explains heartbreaking decision to protect her kids

“There were no I love you’s. I remember her spending a lot of time in bed, flying off the handle easily, expecting a lot out of everyone while she gave the minimum. I knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Was she a drug addict? Or was she just a bad person? I vow to give my children everything my mom could not give me.”

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