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Last Week

Last week I had a story to tell. I knew who I was and I couldn’t wait to get it down. Last week I was going to tell you that on March 13, 1998 I took 95 aspirin and lay down to die. I grew up with severe depression, but when I attempted to take my life, I found my purpose. I spent eight days at the hospital and realized I could make a difference. Old ladies that wouldn’t get dressed, would, after I talked to them. It seems minor, but the seed of helping people in my future was planted in my mind.

Last week, I thought that’s where it began. After my suicide attempt people came into my life and turned me around. They taught me how to love my life. So in 2008, when I found myself miserable, I knew I could change it. I quit my job, went to Africa, and began a new path. I started a fair-trade company with a friend, and began a non-profit to inspire, educate and empower women around the world. Last week, I was on the right path. I knew where I was going and I was excited about my future and the future of others whose lives I would touch.

This week, someone stole that from me.

In November 2009 I got an email from a friend in Manitoba, Canada, telling me he had colon cancer and was moving to my area to be close to better hospitals. I invited him to stay in my home. In March, he moved in and we became close friends. It was nice to come home and have someone to talk to. I was no longer an isolated single mother. I had an amazing friend who bent over backwards for me all the time.

This week I got a call that he’d been hit by a truck. I went to the hospital with his friend and that’s when my life was turned upside down. As we talked the web of lies he’d been feeding us began to unravel. For two years, he’s been stalking me. He did not have cancer. He never had a fiancé and daughter that were killed in an accident. His house did not burn down. The police tell us that they think he was preparing to molest our daughters. They are now considering him a person of interest in my cousin’s death. He has warrants out for his arrest. I had this monster in my home.

This week I don't recognize myself. I don’t want to help or trust anyone ever again. I look around at my friends and I don’t know who any of them are. I see his face everywhere. I can’t stop shaking. I’m watching myself build a wall around me and I can’t stop it. All I can do is use my voice and share my story, even as I’m lost in the turmoil of this disaster. He can’t take my voice from me.

Comments

Leelee's picture

Hi there - wow, I am so sorry

Hi there - wow, I am so sorry to hear this but it takes courage to put it down here for us to read. Thank you for sharing and please don't build that wall up around you. Please don't cut yourself off from wanting to help people...

'Harlem: A Dream Deferred' - Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
Like a syrupy sweet?

laughterlove's picture

I don't feel like the wall is

I don't feel like the wall is a choice right now, it's just there. But maybe in time I'll be able to let it down again. Thanks for your support.

For all of life is like that race with ups and downs and all. And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!” They still shout in my face. But another voice within me says “GET UP AND WIN THE RACE!” DH Groberg

ladyblue's picture

Keep soaring

Hi. I am sad about your story but am also inspired at how you are making a difference in the lives of others through the fair trade company. Take courage and be strong. I believe there are more people who are true. And you are so right, no one can take your voice from you . Keep soaring friend ...

laughterlove's picture

Thank you. The support from

Thank you. The support from everyone on here today really lifted my spirits.

For all of life is like that race with ups and downs and all. And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!” They still shout in my face. But another voice within me says “GET UP AND WIN THE RACE!” DH Groberg

Rachael Maddock-Hughes's picture

Your Voices is Strong

Dear Valerie,

Despite the horror of your story, your voices comes through strong and clear. You may feel like the world is spinning out of control, as would anyone in your situation, but you sound dedicated to making yourself heard.

Your willingness to help others might sometimes be taken advantage of and I am so sorry to hear about your experience with this person, but I am heartened to see you writing about it here. Don't forget that you do bring joy to yourself and others when you extend a helping hand. This person should not ruin that for you, although I am sure it shakes you to your core.

Sending you thoughts of strength!

Rachael

"In every human heart there are a few passions that last a lifetime. They're with us from the moment we're born, and nothing can dilute their intensity." Rob Brezny

laughterlove's picture

Thank you for you comment

Thank you for you comment Rachael. Last night I was so angry because I thought he'd stolen me from me. I thought I'd have to drop out of this because the story I was going to share no longer seemed real for me. But this morning I realized my story had changed, and was still in creation, and I could be real about that. I have felt better since I shared this, because although I do not feel like myself, I can still use my voice, and that is most definitely me... someone who speaks up even when my voice shakes.

For all of life is like that race with ups and downs and all. And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!” They still shout in my face. But another voice within me says “GET UP AND WIN THE RACE!” DH Groberg

Fariha Akhtar's picture

Speechless

I'm almost speechless after reading you post, however, I have this faith that you will stand up again for good and to help those who really desperately need your help, if 95 aspirin can't take your true purpose of life from you, one person can definitely not! Shine out!

laughterlove's picture

This is very powerful. thank

This is very powerful. thank you for the reminder that I am stronger than I think

For all of life is like that race with ups and downs and all. And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!” They still shout in my face. But another voice within me says “GET UP AND WIN THE RACE!” DH Groberg

dg.vegas's picture

I too don't know what to

I too don't know what to say...

laughterlove's picture

Thank you for commenting

Thank you for commenting anyway :)

For all of life is like that race with ups and downs and all. And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!” They still shout in my face. But another voice within me says “GET UP AND WIN THE RACE!” DH Groberg

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Hey!

Hi Laugh! Monsters are everywhere ... and the sad fact is that they can look like angels. They thrive on our weaknesses and feed on our pains and desires. But you see, they can't succeed. Monsters are there because when they fall they become your stepboards for a stronger leap. We don't get bruised unless we need it. At one point in our lives, we all go through a very shattering experience - but that's all it is, experience. Life is much much bigger.... as you may have realized right now....

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

noreens's picture

That's an amazing story.

That's an amazing story. There are some really terrible people out there, and unfortunately you had the goodness to allow one of them to enter your home. I can only imagine how scared you feel at the moment, and it's normal that you have lost some of your faith in people. I have read some of your posts and you are a fighter. I am sure that in time you will find the wall you have put around yourself getting shorter and shorter, and you will find the goodness in people again. It is just too bad that your fear might cloud their goodness. Be strong and let people back in your life when you are ready. There are many many wonderful people in this world also who have a lot of great things to offer.

Noreen

laughterlove's picture

Thank you Noreen. Perhaps I

Thank you Noreen. Perhaps I needed this wake up call. I'm usually so busy seeing the best in people that I forget that there are truly dangerous people out there.

For all of life is like that race with ups and downs and all. And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!” They still shout in my face. But another voice within me says “GET UP AND WIN THE RACE!” DH Groberg

lynalove's picture

Stalker

I fell your pain more than I could express in words. I understand you more than I wish I did.
You are all powerful. You must be now. For your daughter, you MUST stay alive, let down the walls, dream freely and BIG, and let her see your tears so she can know your joy when they pass. She will learn the largest lessons in her life, from you and how you deal with these experiences. If you continue to build this wall she will hide behind it for her lifetime too.
Do whatever you have to, dig as deeply as you must, to find the bravest part of you and blow that out of your heart for all to see. That bravery will feed itself and you and your lovely child... and you will repel those men as they are COWARDS looking for the weakest. They will know you are a mother, a protector, a lover and, if need be, a killer of man who would kill your child.
You will be the greatest when you are the bravest...
I dont know you... but i love you.
Be good to you.
<3

laughterlove's picture

You are right. I must find a

You are right. I must find a way back to myself for my daughter. That has been one of the hardest parts... knowing that she's seen me change dramatically in the last couple weeks, and at first it seemed like it was not for the best. But, one day at a time I will find a powerful place to stand again.

For all of life is like that race with ups and downs and all. And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!” They still shout in my face. But another voice within me says “GET UP AND WIN THE RACE!” DH Groberg

Christine L's picture

Thank you for Sharing

This is a powerful story. Thank you for sharing it with us. I hope that through sharing on this forum it has made you stronger. I hope that as you read the feedback you will find your purpose again. In life there will always be adversity, deception and evil. There is a saying that these things are in our life to make us stronger.

I hope that as you reflect on the events in your life you will go back to that place when you found your purpose and you will be strenghtened to continue doing the great work you were doing.

The great Chinese philosopher Confuscius once said: “Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall”. I was moved by your story and as you meet other people and share with them they will be inspired by your strength and courage.

I send you positive vibrations and wish for you only the best. Be Strong. Thank you.

Christine

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”- Mahatma Gandhi
www.harmonydrs.com

laughterlove's picture

Thank you for your comments.

Thank you for your comments. Being able to share on here has helped tremendously.

For all of life is like that race with ups and downs and all. And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!” They still shout in my face. But another voice within me says “GET UP AND WIN THE RACE!” DH Groberg

ck's picture

What strength!

Hi laughterlove,

I'm so sorry this happened to you - it sounds so intrusive, terrifying, and unsettling. I understand why everything looks strange and you want to withdraw. But look at what you have done instead! You have told your story eloquently and gotten support from a lot of caring women. I hope that is taking at least a little of your pain and confusion away. For the rest of us it is a clear demonstration of how important it is not to be isolated with terrible stories. Thank you.

ck

laughterlove's picture

Thank you ck. Intrusive,

Thank you ck. Intrusive, terrifying and unsettling are the most perfect words to describe how I've felt. I was often at a loss to describe how I was feeling, but you nailed it.
Thank you for your support. The biggest thing I have learned so far is to speak up, even when I don't know where I stand.

For all of life is like that race with ups and downs and all. And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!” They still shout in my face. But another voice within me says “GET UP AND WIN THE RACE!” DH Groberg

It was moving and overwhelming to read the progression of your story. I was so touched by your honesty and willingness to lay it all on the line - everything you were/are feeling. Because, as you said, that is how your voice is never taken. My thoughts and support are with you.
Jocelyn

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