Thank you Stephen, this is incredible end to end. As someone who has walked in your shoes it gave me chills to think back to nearly the exact same details in my own life. I lived just to see if I could get through the next hour, nothing more. Then the next hour, then the next.
It’s been about 18 years for me but the scars are still as fresh as they were after 1 year. The one thing I believe has helped me more than anything is the willingness to talk about it freely and openly. Without that I don’t think I could have ever made it this far.
Thank you for such a moving piece, and thank you for closing this out without making it about one side or the other. Everyone’s right, and everyone’s wrong these days. We are fighting a losing battle against each other because we have lost the ability to have a rational discussion on any topic.
We live in a “my way or the highway” world where I know what I know and you can’t change that. We must find a way to understand that there is some truth in everyone’s viewpoint and we can never learn from another person’s experiences unless we listen first.
I have a friend who is completely “to one side” we’ll say, so I don’t make this about politics. I disagree with some of his views, but there is one thing that I have to keep in mind or I would be a hypocrite for asking him to believe in my own opinions.
He is one of the smartest people I have ever met. So, if he is that intelligent, and he sees something different than I do, my response should be to listen and learn. Just because his truth is different, that doesn’t make it any less truthful.
Thanks for a gut-punch of an article, I commend your transparency.