One of my goals for 2011 is to be nicer. I mean, I still want to be able to laugh at the people on Jersey Shore because they are awful. But for everyday situations, with real live friends and family-I would just like to live by that old quote "be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
One of the things that has made me want to try a little harder has been the letters I've gotten for the Dear Me blog. Many of them have come from women I thought I knew well but I had no idea the fears and worries and past experiences they were carrying around.
One of my favorites came from Megan in Utah who wrote about how scared she was when she discovered she was pregnant much earlier than she and her young husband had planned. I am ashamed to admit this but I have operated under the assumption that all those 19-21 year olds getting married in droves in my home state just couldn't wait to start churning out babies ASAP. Megan's letter made me feel like kind of a jerk for lumping all the girls who made different decisions than I did together. And to be completely honest-some of the things she was afraid of feel like things that wouldn't be any less scary if you were having a baby at 41 instead of 21.
So when I received this letter from a sexual abuse survivor, I again resolved to be more gentle with those around me. In her letter she talks about falling into stereotypical promiscuous behavior for an abused girl. How many times in high school did I look at the girls who had a "reputation" and think I was better than they were? How many of them might have had a story like this one?
I don't know this woman, but I admire her bravery. For writing this letter but more for refusing to give in to being a victim. It sounds like she has broken the cycle for her family and I think her daughters are very lucky to have such a strong example in their lives.
So Replikate readers...what is your story?