works in progress

the pain i experienced with you is done. i no longer feel 
the physical ache your treatment of me caused. the emotional 
pain is healing too. i refuse to allow you to poison my right now, 
my tomorrow. i am proud of myself for being able to put all of 
that behind me.

i am grateful for my strength. to daily remember 
the pain i felt then is a way for me to avoid the fears i have of 
right now, of tomorrow. the best way to heal myself was to vow 
never to do that to anyone else. to treat all people with respect, 
as much as i am able. to live my life with the truth that what has 
hurt me doesn't have to ruin the rest of my life, that survival is 
victory over the past.

to understand and feel and believe that each 
day that comes is an opportunity to distance myself from the pain 
i felt then, to let it go, to deny it the power to hurt me in the present. 
i have hope that i will have people in my life who will love me, care 
for me, enjoy being with me. and everyone i meet i approach without 
fear of what they will take from me, but with openness to what we can 
learn from each other.

i protect myself as much as needed to ensure that 
i am safe. i exist for a purpose that may not be clear to me, that i may 
not understand, that i may never understand or be able to see, but 
that doesn't mean the purpose is not there. i will always remember 
the kindnesses shown to me when i didn't want to live and will pass 
that kindness on as often as i can. 

this is my life. it is the only one i'm going to have as Denise Ann 
Lemon Knapp and it is to be celebrated, not mourned while i'm still 
alive. emotional pain doesn't have to cripple me, the mistakes in 
judgment i have made are not to be used to beat myself up with, but 
to learn and grow.

i am imperfectly made, i make mistakes. i do not 
use them as reasons to shut myself off from the rest of the world. i 
realize that i am not always going to understand what has happened 
to me, what may happen to me in the future, but that i will survive all 
things and that is enough knowledge to enable me to face whatever comes. 
i will strive to always remain interested in the world around me, to focus 
less on what i don't have and more on enjoying the things i do. i will 
remember to engage outwardly more often than i focus on myself and on 
my shortcomings, my failings. i will celebrate and honor my strengths 
enough to give me a feeling of worthiness, but not enough to engender 

i am not better than anyone else, i am not worse than anyone else, 
i am equal to everyone.


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