speak up

“I made a choice that I didn’t want to be controlled, and in walking away from everything, I learned the value of listening to the voice in my head telling me what was wrong and standing up for what was right. Being the lone voice of dissent is hard and almost always inconvenient and there isn’t usually instant gratification. However if you don’t speak up, you will most likely regret it and will have to live with the results. In my experience, often, the only reason that the church was allowed to get away with its abusive behavior is that people failed to say no. Saying no is difficult, even brutal at times. But, in the long run, many others will appreciate your courage, even if silently, and someday it may lead to them mustering up the courage to stand up for themselves.”

-Jenna Miscavige Hill, from her book Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape

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christmas eve

i woke up this morning, peaceful. I had dreamt about camping next to a rushing river. i had a plate of pancakes on my lap, hot and smothered in syrup. i decided i wanted  a pancake breakfast, complete with bacon and eggs.

i cracked the eggs into a cup, then added some cheese and salsa. it’s pineapple salsa with a touch of heat, and i love it. it’s the first thing i get every grocery trip.

i carefully lined a pan with bacon, then set to getting the pancakes ready. Half way through, a childhood memory came into mind, and i decided i wanted waffles instead. There’s nothing quite like a crunchy, syrupy waffle.

Now my plate is in front of me, warm and steaming. The house smells like bacon, and it’s raining outside. i’ve got the windows open – i set off our smoke alarm while cooking. it’s always such a jolt, hearing the alarm go off, but i knew what i was getting into when i asked for the sensitive alarm.

Snow is usually what people want for Christmas, but it’s supposed to be unseasonably warm this weekend. i think i’ll go for a walk tomorrow. The neighborhood will be still. The magic of Christmas.

For the first year after leaving home, i was lonely. It’s an adjustment, going from a planned holiday to having to plan it yourself. This year i decorated the house, and planned a simple, calm Christmas with my boyfriend. i hid away the gifts i got for him, and made a list for Christmas breakfast.

The moment to rest is now. Time to relax my shoulders and enjoy the fire crackling in the fireplace. i’m happy. i’m at peace.

And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

I’m 25 today!
I’m so grateful for the opportunities I was given this past year. I’ve grown by leaps and bounds, thanks to some lovely people and my own determined spirit. I was always told I was stubborn and rebellious, and they were right! I’ve turned what was meant to be hate into a firm foundation that I’m building my life on. Stubbornness saved my life. My rebellious spirit shrugged off chains placed on me so I could fly.
I went from cowering and crying to standing tall. I’m taking risks and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Growth is the only path from here. I can’t wait to see what lessons this year will bring!

Noises closing in from all sides
Warning all the ways to die
They say “you’d better give up
You’d better give up”
I say
“I’ll never give up, I’ll never give up”

I’ll be an army, no you’re
Not gonna stop me getting through
I’ll sing a marching song and
Stomp through the halls louder than you
-White Flag by Joseph

me