I am trying to find a way to address this particular post without allowing my agitation to surface. I had no idea that I was going to start another series and I had no idea that this series would be something that I would even dare to have on the blog. Nevertheless, I don't really like the idea of shrinking behind my ideas anymore and if  I am passionate about them then I allow said ideas to manifest externally.

I already made mention of the fact that I am an emotional woman but I'm not sure if I ever stated that I am also a vocal woman. I'm sure that you probably came to that conclusion yourself, as you've seen me address some very conflicting topics recently. I've been asked, "how do you find the strength to say or do _______" and the answer that comes to me is sometimes simple. Sometimes I don't have a concrete answer at all. However, I never deviate from sharing this one tidbit with others and I probably never will. Finding my own strength boils down to how tired I'd grown of myself. I was terrified of being vocal about a lot. I was terrified of being expressive. I was terrified of what people would think of me if they knew I'd be a victim of rape (we're not using the "safe" word anymore). Out of all of my fears, the latter one plagued me to no end.

I cannot tell you how much it burns when I hear people question why "alleged" rape victims don't report what happened to them. It burns because I know how much denial plays a factor in being silent. It burns because I know how much paranoia will drive you insane. It burns because I know that sometimes people don't always survive having their personal space violated. It burns because I know that sometimes the people that you need to be in your corner don't always show up because they either don't know how to, are too shocked or are more concerned about how others will feel in regards to them somehow not protecting you.

This whole finding strength thing? It is a decision that I have to consciously make. I am not magically healed or invincible because I survived the bulk of my painful experience. I still hurt. I still get angry and as I've mentioned before, I damn sure still get flashbacks. It can take someone YEARS to muster up the strength to be vocal about anything and I wish that people would stop acting as if the experiences of others are invalid if they didn't speak up at a certain point in their life. Just because you can speak out against injustice at the drop of a dime doesn't mean that the next person can. Who you are, how you've found your strength and what you can handle isn't a universal law for the next person. Sometimes people don't heal. Sometimes they hurt so much until it drives them over the edge. Everyone doesn't always find their strength and for those who do, we know it's not a walk in the park.

Before you readily judge someone for not being vocal about anything in life, ask yourself this question: How many times have you allowed yourself to be silenced over the course of your life, whether because of your own fear or the discomfort of others?