I’m blogging from my hotel room in New Mexico. I used be in bed my alarm will be going off early since I am speaking early in the morning from 8am-9:15am.
It was quiet an adventure getting to New Mexico. My flight to Denver was good but I was running to catch my next flight since I had thirty minutes to get to the connection and I was not familiar with Denver airport and had to get on a train to get to my location.
It was when I saw the plane that would take me to Farmington, N.M. that stunned me. It was so tiny. A plane that seated twelve people. It was so small and I felt like I was in a walk-in closet. You could watch the pilots every move flying the plane. The worst is when we actually took off and got in the air. It was a roller coaster of a ride. It was the roughest plane ride of my life. I felt like we were being thrown around in the air up and down feeling my stomach fall through me and hit the floor. Many times I thought I was going to pee my pants. Landing wasn’t much better. It was by far the scariest flight of my life and I have to do it all over again tomorrow when I fly out at 2pm back to Denver and then Chicago. At least I am prepared for what to expect. It was worth it come here and experience what I experienced tonight. I am in complete aww of the amazing lives God allowed me to reach tonight. I had no idea it would happen.
First of all I was not even suppose to speak tonight at the community event Take Back the Night. I was scheduled to just speak tomorrow as a keynote speaker in the morning but two weeks ago was asked if I would speak at Take Back The Night. As we gathered in a parking lot a man approached me sharing with me that he has been following my blog recently and read I was speaking tonight and decided to come hear me. It is great to know I can reach my online followers. We talked for some time he shared a great deal about himself to me.
We walked along the highways of the town. We got the attention of a lot of traffic with all the signs. We said chants and of course I had to teach them my favorite chant from college. “What do we want safe streets, when do we want it, NOW!” And my favorite line I added after I say it is, “I can’t hear you, what do we want?”
The march eventually led us into the park where everyone took their seats at picnic tables and I stood up and spoke. I spoke for twenty-five minutes. My audience consisted of mothers, fathers, a few children, teens, and high schools studentes.
When I was all done talking a taco dinner as servered. I am used to people coming up asking me questions but was not prepared for the groups surrounding me waiting to talk to me. First I had two high school girls approach me and ask if they could have my cell phone numbers they wanted to talk to me. A fifteen year old girl approached me asking if anything she tells me stays confidential. I felt like I was being a social worker in a high school telling my students our conversations are confidential. I walked up to an area and talked privately with this teen knowing she had something she was holding onto.
All I will say is she broke her silence to me and nobody knows. Sexual abuse that is still happening to her since she was eleven. Well we got interrupted by two more teens who had a bunch of questions for me. Sure enough they shared their experiece with me.
I was able to speak with the other girl later and told her she needs to tell someone else besides me in her community to get help that this needs to stop and this individual needs to be held accountable. No worries I have this teens number and will be in communication with her. Her friend is coming to hear me speak in the morning to get signed copies of my book.
It did not stop I had five more women approach me telling me such different stories but they all releated to incest, boyfriend rape, and someone a girl knew. I was talking teens, college students, and other adult women for well over an hour after my speech up until I left to get dropped back off at my apartment. I heard such incredible stories tonight all so different and unique from one another but I noticed one common theme between all these women the shame, silence, and being haunted. One girl asked me how I get the flashbacks to stop. Many of these girls will be in school tomorrow New Mexico students do not get Good Friday off in this area. So many of these girls will not be hearing me tomorrow but I feel by hearing me speak I allowed them to open a door or at least test a door in their life by talking to me.
There was a moment where we had a candle night vigil and I had to walk away from some of these women and form a circle lighting candles. Looking down at the candle burning it brought so much light to my purpose.
I feel so blessed. Blessed to have an impact on this community and meet lives I might never have met for many reasons.
I will end this here and am sure tomorrow speaking to hundreds more stories will come to light.
Good Night from New Mexico!