strength

‘It was a long time ago. Get over it!’ I was the victim. I thought my family would hold me. Instead, I was blamed.’: Woman admits brother’s sexual abuse, ‘forgiveness doesn’t mean you must have a relationship with your abuser’

“I sent my brother an email. ‘I was a wake last night.’ He never came into my bedroom at night again. When it came time for my wedding years later, my mom insisted I do things ‘her way.’ She wanted my brother to stand beside my husband. We danced around it, but nothing worked. I had to tell her what my brother did to me. ‘How could you do this to us? You’re tearing our family apart,’ I was told. For years, I tried to navigate this deep, dark pit and find light. She threw me back into the dirt.”

‘He lit my insides on fire. So, I did it. I married him. My body signaled that something was off. I pegged it as nerves. I didn’t know about the pools of women.’ Woman breaks free from abusive relationship 

“It was the same with everyone. The same love songs, the same pet names, the same date night spots, the same EVERYTHING. In a ten-day period, he cheated with 3 people. He played it off as him being drunk and stupid. I believed it at the time. I didn’t tell friends or family. ‘If I can’t even make a marriage work, what else will I fail at?!’ I kept it private, until things began to boil.”

‘Come feel this,’ the doctor said. I put my hand on her belly. My heart sank.’ Mom recalls daughter’s rare cancer diagnosis after thinking it was just an ‘umbilical cord hernia’

“I snapped the traditional well-check picture of my daughter sitting on the exam table, bragging about our healthy girl. We were about to walk out with a good bill of health when the doctor asked me if I had any concerns. That’s when I remembered her large tummy. He laid her down on the exam table, and his face quickly changed to reflect my concern.”

‘Mom, my hip really hurts.’ She spiked a fever. I went to bed that night screaming, ‘Please don’t take my baby!’: 16-year-old girl diagnosed with Bone cancer, shows up to prom ‘proud, bald, and beautiful’

“Mattie complained pain was radiating down the back of her leg. ‘Welcome to the club. You’ve inherited our family hip problems!’ I really didn’t think much of it. Then, a light bulb went off. ‘Don’t you think it’s strange she’s just 16 and has this much pain?’ After blood work and an x-ray, we learned the fateful news. I looked at my sweet, beautiful girl and could not believe it.”

‘You’re an angel,’ he said to me after a night of being told I was worthless. The sun started to shine through the window, it reeked of booze and I had yet to sleep. I wanted to be that ‘angel.’

“My grandma passed away, and everything came crumbling down around me. I was alone. I needed him more than anything now. I needed his support, I needed him to hold me and listen to the speech I had prepared for her funeral. Instead, he did the exact opposite. ‘I need space,’ he said. SPACE?!”

‘She won’t make it through the night,’ the doctor said. Minutes from dying, she turned to me. ‘Mom, I can do this!’: Girl contracts Necrotizing Fasciitis, continues passion for dance as amputee

“Think she just had the flu, we took her to the hospital. The infection spread throughout her tiny body. She woke in a coma, her entire body wrapped in white gauze. A competitive dancer, she assured us, ‘Mom, I am going to dance again!’ We told the doctor, ‘Do anything you have to in order to save our baby girl!’”

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