I am a survivor of violent assault. I was 27, a working college graduate enjoying my independence.
My life was altered in moments.
I survived. They caught the man two years later as my insurance companies concluded they would not pay my medical bills, preparing to sue me for restitution. I was abandoned by friends; it was too difficult to be around me. So many people around me could not handle it. It was not their fault. They were victimized, just like I was, their life and view of the world totally destroyed. I was lucky to have my family; it was a peaceful time between us. Looking back, I am appreciative of them.
Though family was my rock, they did not dig too deep. I relied more on the community services offered at The Center for Trauma & Resilience. They held my hand for over three years; from the day of the assault to the day my attacker went to prison. CTR helped me through the shock, fear, anxiety, depression, rejection and flashbacks.
They heard my horrific story and did not run, but extended their help and expertise in trauma care.
I do not blame my friends; they were brought into this horror just as unwillingly as I. They were trying to manage the reality, just as I did. They needed to protect themselves, just as I did. They were able to walk away.
I was not as lucky. It took years to heal.
I was able to put my life back together. Actually, I was able to move my life forward, empowered with more compassion and less fear. I confronted my worst fears, I confronted my worst enemies, and I came out triumphant.
CTR did not know their impact on my life. I was away for years, pursuing a career far, far away from Denver. But they did hold my hand when I was in the worst, deepest, darkest hole I had ever experienced. They did so with care and empathy, becoming my teachers, my mentors.
That is why I am on the board today. CTR does this with a quiet, respectful and ethical manner. The client is what is most important, most coveted.
Although proud of their work, they are humble. I get frustrated at times, wanting to bring attention to their importance in the Denver community.
CTR receives grants to help run their operations; however, they rely 100 percent on donations from supporters. We, as a community, should help support this organization and staff, as they have supported this community for 30 years, serving over 180,000 clients.
I chose to live 23 years ago. It is a promise I made, and I remind myself time and again, “I want to live.”
I have gotten back in touch with many of my old friends. I have the Center to thank, for giving me the skills, for helping me recognize that I have the power to define my life … I have much to give back, and them to thank for this obligation!