***Caution:  There are graphic descriptions in this post.  If you are concerned about being triggered, please do not read this.***

When the news broke of the three women in Cleveland who’d been held captive for ten years, I felt a rush of sisterhood.  I was never chained in a room or beaten, so I cannot relate to these aspects of what Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight, and Amanda Berry went through.  Their nightmare is a unique and horrific one I cannot fully fathom.  But there is much of their story I can relate to.

They have been heavy on my mind ever since the story ran, but I’ve been hesitant to write about them.   I’m aware the more ‘normal’ response is shock; but I feel this kinship instead.  I desperately want to be ‘normal,’ but my history has robbed me of many aspects of normal.  After much reflection, I sensed a calling to share my perspective in the hopes of giving every outraged person a way to use their anger for good. More