If it hadn't happened I would never have moved to a new city when I was a teenager.
I would never have sat in that English class my sophomore year.
I would never have met him and gained a best friend I'd have for a lifetime.
I would never have talked to him all hours of the night and get in trouble for it.
I would never have learned to love for real.
I would never have dated him off and on for years.
I would never have moved to Peru to learn who I was inside.
I would never have gone to that movie theater and run into him.
I would never have received that email from him almost six years later that would change my life forever.
The love affair would never have happened.
If I look back farther than that, I would never have lived in other countries.
I would never have lived in Costa Rica for a year.
I would never have had the chance to bond with my mother because of it.
I would never have known how strong she was.
What she went through having to raise us on her own, in another country, while my father worked his tail off here in the States.
I would never have known that my father would move heaven and earth to protect me.
That they love me so very much - I would never have known.
If I look even farther than that, I would never have learned what trust is.
I would never had known that there are different types of people in this world.
I would never have known that there are evil people, but that the good ones out there make everything so much better.
Those good people even make it feel like the evil ones disappear.
I would have never experienced what life can really be like and how filled with wonder it can be.
If it had never happened, I wouldn't be who I am now.
I would never have met him and been given the gift of being a wife and mother.
I would never had been able to know what it's like to carry a child inside of me.
To feel that first butterfly movement inside of me on my first Mother's Day or to never feel alone because you have someone inside of you for nine months.
I would never have felt the precious kicks or gone through complicated labor to have my children.
I would never have known what it was like to find out I was pregnant and then lose that baby to heaven weeks later.
I would never know what it felt like to experience that loss but to have a partner who would bear that pain with me.
I would never have done so many things in my life that are treasured memories.
If I had never been born into the family I have, I would never know what it's like to be a big sister.
I would never have known what it would be like to protect someone and put yourself in the line of fire for him.
I would never know that because of me, he would never have to through what I did.
If it had never happened, I wouldn't know that I am a powerful person.
I would never have known that I would be strong enough to make it stop.
I would never have known that I had voice that could stop pain.
I would never have known that because of it, I am a better writer.
I wouldn't know that I am so enough.
I wouldn't know that it's important not to take things for granted.
I wouldn't know that you have to put yourself first sometimes so that you can love others more than you thought possible.
If it had never happened, I wouldn't be writing this blog. I wouldn't feel the need to share my life and give someone else a voice when they can't use theirs.
If I hadn't been sexually abused...
Life would be very different. It is something I don't wish on anyone or anyone you love and care about. But it happened to me. It happened for a reason. Not one I can explain or even comprehend, but if it hadn't..
...who would I be?
I'm not thankful for what happened to me before I was thirteen. Of course not. But I'm thankful that I was strong enough to endure it.
If it had never happened...
I wouldn't be writing this. I don't know where or who I'd be. But, I know one thing for sure...it happened. It changed me. It was awful. But it's over.
If it had never happened, I would not be sitting here...married, with two beautiful children. I wouldn't be a brave outspoken writer. That would be the tragedy.
If it had never happened, I wouldn't have the life I have now.