“Your courage was not wasted or in vain.”
Today I received this beautiful, hand-crocheted lavender lap blanket and encouraging letter from a woman I have never met. Her sentence quoted above instantly brought tears to my eyes.
This is not the first gift I’ve received from a supporter over the last few years. Seemingly small (but deeply meaningful) tokens of appreciation such as a handmade journal, books, tea from Germany, and other care packages have made their way to my front door from all over the world from fellow cult survivors whom I have never met and I only know through a few private FB messages.
They have watched me fight (and continue to fight) in the never-ending court battle against my former cult leader and they wanted to let me know in some way that my fellow plaintiffs and I were never alone. Though tedious and incredibly invasive court procedures have made me feel very isolated at times, the hundreds of messages of support in my message box, along with many treasured gifts I have received in the mail these past four years, have been a steady reminder that, while only a few voices have made their way into that courtroom, there has always been an army of other survivors who are also using their voices by proclaiming their support.
Being called someone’s “hero” is an honor I do not feel deserving of. It is a humbling and challenging thing to hear. I don’t feel like a hero; after all a hero is supposed to be brave and strong, right?
If only they knew the endless tears of hopelessness and despair I have cried. If only they knew the times I screamed in fury over the injustice. If only they knew the many times I let my impulsive emotions control my actions, only to regret those reckless actions after the angry fog had at last dissipated. While I have learned a lot the past four years I still have far to go.
Perhaps that’s what courage is though? The strength to keep going even after one messes up. The ability to be honest with your feelings and not hold back. The decision to move forward when you cannot see the next step in front of you.
If watching my crazy, messy journey these past four years has helped even one person in their own journey, then I am grateful. My pain was indeed not wasted. The battle was not in vain.
To those that have believed in me and stood by me, thank you. I could not do this without you. ?