Jenni Chiu – Survivor.

 

When I say the word survivor what do you think of?

Chances are you think of someone who has beat a disease like cancer – Who continues to fight to live cancer free.

You may even think of someone who has survived a tragic accident – someone who has physical and emotional hurdles that have become their new normal.

Chances are you probably don’t think of someone who has survived rape… unless you are a rape survivor yourself.  People don’t readily walk around patting rape survivors on the back – cheering them on, and congratulating them for continuing to try and live a healthy life.  Survivors also don’t often talk about their survival, their assaults, their journeys… some do… many don’t.  Survivors are able to hide… many of us without physical scars or telltale signs that correlate with our emotional wounds.

Rape is still clouded in shame… and the survivors often burdened with blame.  We don’t readily recognize these survivors… these people who have had their souls ripped from them… who fight every single day to feel whole and clean… and capable of choice… to accept love… give love… trust the world.  We don’t recognize it because it makes us uncomfortable.

I have survived many things – postpartum depression/psychosis, miscarriage, but one of the greatest being a life altering home invasion and rape.  You can read what I first wrote about my attack on a site called Violence Unsilenced.

My husband has nominated me for something called Women Who Shine sponsored by Yahoo.  He has nominated me in the Survivor category, and you’ll find me there among so many incredible women who have truly overcome insurmountable odds.

I was not sure if I wanted to write about it on this blog.  Already I am fighting the anxiety of having hundreds of people think of me in terms of surviving a brutal rape.  Already I am fighting the feelings of not belonging with those other nominated women – of making people feel uncomfortable instead of inspired.

But today I am choosing to fight those feelings.  Today I am repeating to myself that I am strong and worthy.  Today I am telling you that I will actually be campaigning to win this… because I am a survivor…

because survivors of rape shouldn’t feel ashamed…

because out of the darkness has come much light…

and because I deserve it.

 

 

PS – Thank you to my husband.  I am honored, and I would deeply appreciate your vote.

* UPDATE:  You need to sign in to your Yahoo account or create one to vote.  You may also vote by signing in with Facebook. Voting ends October 29th.

 

 

 

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Discussion

  1. Jenni,
    Is there a way to vote if you don’t have a Yahoo account?

  2. You are amazing and awesome. Thank you for telling your story. You ARE a survivor.
    Bunny recently posted..The summer of the Rum Old Fashioned.

  3. Braver and braver all the time. I can’t even imagine how hard it is to share that story, never mind to do so as openly as you have. Of course you have my vote.
    Robin @ Farewell, Stranger recently posted..The Baby Formerly Known as Hector

  4. You are my heroine, seriously!!
    Alison recently posted..Tasty Thursday: Vegan Coconut Cupcakes

  5. I voted for you!!! YOU SHINE!
    LOVE YOU!
    erin margolin recently posted..Rooted in Writing, Committed to Life

  6. JD @ Honest Mom says:

    I am stunned and horrified that you endured that. It must be unspeakably difficult to write about. You are a survivor, that is for sure. I am not sure I would be able to survive – let alone shine – like you are. You’re amazing.
    JD @ Honest Mom recently posted..Shame on me. And you?

  7. Done.

  8. Thank you for speaking out. You have my vote and my admiration.

    oxoxox
    Sili recently posted..Sometimes I Wish…

  9. Done.

  10. Mindy says:

    This takes incredible courage to share and your husband is wonderful for recognizing you as a survivor.
    Mindy recently posted..Fuzzibunz in the Shark Tank: What’s Under the Surface of the Cloth Diaper Industry?

  11. Cindy says:

    Shine on Woman – you have my vote

  12. You know I think you’re amazing. A strong, beautiful survivor. And how awesome of your husband for recognizing that you truly belong. Hold your head high, my friend. xo
    Cheryl @ Mommypants recently posted..Sprinting to freedom

  13. Voting for you now.

    I’m so very proud of you. You shine.
    Tracie recently posted..Hope Fills My Life

  14. It’s extra sweet that your husband nominated you. Love! And I totally voted.
    Alex@LateEnough recently posted..We Went To New York City And My Son’s Reaction Was OMG

  15. You are brave and amazing. And shine oh so much. xo
    tracy@sellabitmum recently posted..In The Middle

  16. Voted. Shared on the GBP facebook page. Pinned it. And looking for a mountain top.

  17. Jenni, you shine so bright! I only know you through this blog, and I often lurk. But, as the mom to a 9yo who is also a sexual assault survivor I thank you for being brave and taking back your power each time you publicly say you are a survivor. My daughter doesn’t talk about her experience. Maybe she never will. But if she does it’s good to know there are others there willing to support her and encourage her rather than tell her to continue the silence.

    I wish you never had this experience. I wish my daughter never did either. But you’re a shining example of how beautiful bravery is.
    Sara at Saving For Someday recently posted..Movie Review: Frankenweenie, a Tim Burton Film

  18. Editdebs says:

    You do inspire me.

  19. so so so so honored to vote for you, and to let you know you’re a true survivor. huge hugs and wet kisses, you!
    MommaKiss recently posted..Come FLY with me

  20. I’m so PROUD of you for using your voice, and for finding your shine.

    (Way to go, girl! So very happy to support YOU!)
    Galit Breen recently posted..The 17 Day Diet: Exercise

  21. I love you Jenni. Off to vote right now!
    Lady Jennie recently posted..A Comedy of Errors

  22. Not only are you a survivor you’re an inspiration to everyone of us. Shine on babe

  23. You have my vote! You rock and are a true survivor. Jeff Probst should hand you a million dollars instead of some 39-day beach bum ;)
    Mommy Unmuted recently posted..Girls Guide To Football

  24. When I read your nomination my first thought was that there could not be a more worthy winner but my second thought was how much I loved that your husband had nominated you. I’m so glad that you are so loved Jenni.
    Jessica recently posted..Reading, writing and spelling

  25. You are so fantastically brave for telling your story. You are a true survivor. Keep doing what you do girl.
    Kesha of We Got Kidz recently posted..Then And Now: Wilma Hurskainen Revisits Her Childhood Photos With Her Sisters | Stumble Saturdays

  26. I am inspired by your incredible strength and ability to share your story. It must be terrifying to put yourself out there like this. I do have to admit that reading this does make me uncomfortable but only because thinking about how someone could do such a thing to another person makes me physically ill … it is incomprehensible. You are truly a survivor … and have my vote, of course. I found you through the SITS Sharefest – and glad I did :)
    Nicole recently posted..Candy Corn Berries

  27. Stopping by from SITS. Wow. You are so brave. Thanks for sharing. You got my vote.

  28. I can only imagine how much courage it takes to write about your experience! What a horrific thing to experience. So glad you are still able to shine!

    Stopping by from SITS!
    Jamie @Roubinek Reality recently posted..2 Months Old

  29. I would definitely call you a survivor! I voted for you.

    Stopping by from SITS Sharefest!
    Ginny Marie recently posted..Impulse Buying

  30. Bravery is the best word I can use to describe you. I am a Survivor too…of many things, this included. Thank you for sharing your heart and an insight into your life with us. Bless you

    Visiting from SITS
    Songstress recently posted..FUN IN THE "OCTOBER" SUN

  31. You are indeed a survivor and a strong courageous woman. I had to fight back tears while reading your story. You have my vote.
    Savvy Working Gal recently posted..Balpreet Kaur: A Strong Woman

  32. There’s no doubt in my mind that you deserve your spot among the other “kinds” of survivors. Your courage to shed light on this darkness proves the strong survivor that you are.

  33. Shine on, Jenni, it’s incredibly inspiring to me.
    anymommy recently posted..The chew

  34. voted…I lurk here a lot. You’re an inspiration. Thank you for surviving.
    Lance recently posted..State Of Taylor

  35. I voted, uh…of course! You’re awesome, and Hot Nerd is amazing for doing this for you!
    Old School/New School Mom recently posted..The World According to Toddler Terrorists

  36. Richelle says:

    Bless your heart for surviving, I join you with a like experience of home invasion and gang rape.
    We both lived, I know your struggles. We are alive and thriving. The ‘site’ of shame/guilt is with the abuser/rapist/assaulter, not the victim. Join one billion women and the men who love them on V-Day, Feb.14th, 2013, the 15th yr. of celebration. http://www.onebillionrising.org/
    You’ve got my vote, sister. Reading your work, beautiful.

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