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Making A Choice

I often wonder why some people are able to choose to move forward and others seem stuck in a place of victimization. It almost sounds cruel to simplify the healing process as "making a choice" yet that is exactly must occur in order to move forward. Telling yourself that you are worth more than what happened to you is difficult, believing it is even rougher. However, it is a mantra that must be repeated day after day and at time, minute after minute.

Moving forward is NEVER easy. Self-doubt, past harsh words, and horrible memories can create roadblocks on the journey of healing and wholeness. There will always be roadblocks, we will fall, we will hurt, we will feel as if we cannot go on, but we must. We are the only ones who can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and walk boldly towards healing. We may limp, we may even have to crawl, but we must never stop trying, we must never stop choosing.

On a personal note, law school is HARD. I survived the first semester and somehow made the dean's list. I have days when I question why I am putting myself through this. the long hours of study, the lack of a social life, the self-doubt that I am good enough to accomplish this task all create roadblocks on my educational journey. However, realizing that I am the only one who will truly stand in my way pushes me forward. I read cases, even when I don't want to; I read supplements, even when I rather just play with my dogs; and I remember to take time out for my personal needs, even when I think I should be studying. I go to class and I keep pushing on, not just for me but for all of us, because if I can do this - if I can make it through the three years of law school - then I hope it will be an example that you can do anything if you just keep moving towards your goal.

You can do anything, because you are an amazing person, because you are more than what someone did to you, because you are more than the demons of your past, because you deserve to be happy and healed. May each one of you find peace on your journey.


Making choices for the better are often difficult. The decision to move forward is a tough one because it requires the pain of victimization and the strength to move forward at the same time.

Law school sounds hard (if it's anything like the LSAT). You've come a long way, though. Congratulations and keep your head up. The next five semesters will be over before you know it.

i think a lot of it has to do with self image and a concept of self worth.  abusers often (in word and deed) try to destroy that, make their target feel worthless and unlovable to keep them locked in place and under their thumb.  i think it's that overwhelming feeling of worthlessness that keeps people "stuck" in abusive situations - they give up on living, on joy and channel all their being into simply coping and surviving, and forget that the rest of the world is even out there.  some even escape "inside" their minds to a realm of fantasy and imagination - unplugging from the harsh reality of what is happening, and may even miss the real escape opportunities that occasionally arise.  remaining stuck in the "victim" mentality invites further abuse, even if one's attacker leaves or is (hopefully) captured - others will arrive to take his place.  the strong prey on the weak - that's a law of nature, sadly one we still practice even though we claim to have 'evolved' beyond our base, feral instincts.

moving forward is, in my unhumble opinion, the ONLY option - i see life as a neverending river, one you can ride, be swept away by or let it wash over and bury you (which is what happens to those that try to stop moving forward).  life keeps coming, whether you want it to or not, so its better to climb up and use that momentum to your advantage.  

i like to remind people of the old saying "you are the sum of your experiences" - and i emphasise SUM, as in ALL of them, good and bad.  each of us must make a choice on how much negativity and positive baggage we carry forward into our lives - just as we can choose how to be defined by those around us.  you are the perfect example of that, Stacey - you could have chosen any number of darker paths, both in your youth and even now... and instead of bowing to the pressure to succumb and fall, you've rebuilt yourself and even now strive to achieve what you probably never dreamed possible at many points of your life.  you've even reached out a hand to help others along the way  :)  i think all of us are excited to see just how brightly your star can shine, old friend - and how many more souls you can lift back into the light...

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About Stacey Lannert

Stacey is free. In January 2009, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt commuted her sentence of life without parole. She is currently speaking out about sexual abuse and sharing her message of love, healing and forgiveness.