Friday, June 29, 2012

I'm No Heroine

"I'm no heroine
At least, not the last time I checked
I'm too easy to roll over
I'm too easy to wreck.

I just write about what I should have done
I just sing what I should say
And hope somewhere some woman hears my music
And it helps her through her day."  ---Ani DiFranco

I'm no heroine. I told my story too late. I told it for the people that can't. Nothing changed. Not really. It still happened. Some people believed me. Some people didn't.

I'm no heroine. I wrote a book about rape. I wrote a story that other people don't tell. The story of what happens when you don't get better after the assault. And what happens to the people who love you. People say it is a brave story. If it is, the bravery comes from the hands that held me up when I wrote it. The people who stayed with me, encouraged me, supported me. The bravery comes from the other survivors in the testimonial writing workshop who stood in front of a room full of strangers and told their stories. The bravery comes from Anne who has never backed down from her mission. Anne who has listened to more survivor stories in the last four years than I did in 10 years working in hospital ERs as a rape victim advocate. 

I'm no heroine. I sold a book. I gave money away so that other survivors could stand in front of a room full of strangers and tell their stories. So that they could learn how to write it down. Because I do believe in the power of writing. But in the end, there is no "undoing" these stories. Horrible things keep happening over and over again. It is all over the press this month. Penn State. Egypt. The Air Force. 

I'm no heroine. I'm mostly just exhausted. And grateful to the people who carry me. My friends, my family, my agent, my editor, my co-workers. They are the ones who help me through my day. 


Elodie said...

For the ones you helped, are helping and will help, YOU are a heroine, Christa. For the ones you give a voice to, YOU are a heroine.
And if you ask Anne, she would tell you that you are a heroine.
There is no undoing - there never is. The voices can ensure that it happens less often, that the victim is heard.
You my dear are a heroine in my eyes and I'm sure in many other's.
Because of what you do, because of your strength (even if it's weak sometimes), because of your words, because it's you!

Brinda said...

I beg to differ. Ordinary, normal people who care about others enough to do SOMETHING areheroes and heroines. Writing a story gives someone courage, solace, and understanding. It's a heroic in that you give someone words to read instead of physically giving them your hand. Because, you can't be everywhere. I get the feeling that you lift because you've been lifted and survivied. That's heroism to me.

M.J. Fifield said...

Elodie and Brinda say it very well. Much better than I could so I'm just going to say that I concur.

Deana said...

Beautifully said. You may not be able to undo what has been done to so many, but you can help with the healing and you are doing an amazing job of it!

Jolene Perry said...

Totally teared up.

One thing I've learned, is that sometimes even the smallest, littlest thing to us is everything to someone else.

You. Are. Awesome. And so much bigger in the eyes of the people around you than you realize.

Anonymous said...

You are my heroine.


Jessica Silva said...

YOU are one of the people who carry me <3

Steph said...

God I adore you. THANK YOU for your book, your bravery, your words. Always.

Talli Roland said...

You can't heal the past, but you can help heal others with your words and actions - and that's exactly what you're doing.

Donna Jenson said...

Dear Christa, You are so very right - there is no way to "undo" our stories of harm. But in telling our stories we unwrap our guarded hearts. And when we unwrap our hearts to let the stories out we get to let new one's in - new stories and new people to love us. Thank you for what you've done for others. I hope as much comes back to you.
In sisterhood,
Donna Jenson

Anonymous said...

By writing, sharing, and donating much is being done. Raising awareness heals people. Hopefully these incidences are less likely to occur and promotes penalties and victims speaking out.

Jenny S. Morris said...

Wow, I'm having a hard time writing. First, I love your humble heart to bits. Writing your book gives a voice to someone who can't speak out. And so much more. You are my hero whether you want to be one or not. ;0)

Anonymous said...

I believe every day we beat our demons back into the darkness is a heroic day. And when we offer safe haven to others who struggle with their demons, we are heroes. You are a hero Christa!

roxanne s. sukhan said...

Telling the story is our way of exorcising those demons.