strong women

‘Maybe her shorts are too short, her jeans too tight. Maybe you think her dress is too revealing. What you don’t see is a woman falling apart.’: Woman urges ‘we are all just trying to do our best’

“You deem her unworthy before she even has the chance to speak for herself. She’s not a woman who finally found the courage to be who she is, dress how she wants, stand up for what she believes in. Trying not to let the coldness and cruelty of this world break her. Instead, she gets labeled. Simply because she just exists.”

‘Why are you involved? Isn’t it depressing?’ I was dying and it wasn’t the cancer. It was the state of my life.’: Woman survives esophageal cancer, jumpstarts organization to help others

“I was separating from my husband, all the while wondering whether I was going to live or die. I was sharing a room with a woman who’d been told, ‘You have an incurable blood disease. Death is certain.’ I recall shrinking beneath my blankets, not wanting to bring attention to myself on the other side of the thin layer of privacy hanging between us. She told them ‘I have no family to call,’ and when the doctors left, we sat there in silence. I knew I was destined to do more.”

‘I was separated from my husband, left a toxic job, and lost most of my friends. Then I thought of the women in my life.’: Woman realizes she is a ‘strong woman’ because she was raised by ‘stronger women

“My great grandmother had 9 children. My great grandfather had spent time in prison for bootlegging, and drank heavily. How she was able to keep it together with 9 kids, no money and an alcoholic husband and stay sane is completely beyond me. My grandmother then made something of herself after losing her husband. She was determined. She was beautiful but tough, sometimes just downright mean, but she was who she was and if someone did not like it then, ‘they can leave.'”

‘Let’s teach mom how to do this so she doesn’t need a man.’ I handed the little girl the tire iron.’: Mom empowers women to know they don’t ‘need a husband’ to get things done

“We came across a mom and daughter with a flat tire. Mom was crying. ‘Can I help?,’ I asked. ‘Yes,’ she replied, but looked doubtful. She also said she doesn’t have a husband. She mentioned no less than 3 or 4 times in front of her little girl how she doesn’t have a husband, but needs one for moments like this. It crossed my mind to say something, but instead, I approached the little girl.”

‘I want to live!,’ I was screaming. The cops were on their way. I was trying to get out of the bathroom, trying to get my boyfriend off me, trying to hide in the tub.’: Single mom’s empowering story of surviving domestic abuse with infant daughter

“I had 3 months to figure out my escape. I stopped fighting back with my daughter’s father and kept calm. He was losing control, and it drove him crazy. ‘You’re not gonna take her from me,’ he’d say. I’d wake up to him pacing the kitchen talking to himself. I stayed quiet and texted a friend who said, ‘Wait 10 minutes, and then you call the cops. He could be lying.’”

‘My stepdad always told me I was bad luck. I never fit into his picture-perfect family. To avoid fights, I’d lose myself in a book or math problem. School was my safe-haven.’: Woman determines what the ‘American Dream’ means for her family

“I didn’t care what school I went to as long as I could get away from home. I later dropped out of high school and started working the night shift at a restaurant. Weeks later, my school counselor called. ‘If I work something out with you, would you agree to come back?’ It was my second chance at life.”

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