*Guest Post* Resilience 101 – How to fall, and get up again….

by Lori Dwyer on November 17, 2011 · 20 comments

It has been a while since someone else took the wheel at RRSAHM for the day- I’m honoured to hand the place over to my lovely mate Kristin from Wanderlust. She rocks. You will soon see why.

Resilience 101 – how to fall, and get up again, and fall, and get up again…

My name is Kristin and I write at Wanderlust. I may already be acquainted with many of you. I first met Lori (in the virtual sense) about 18 months ago when our respective lives were pretty cool. We were both new bloggers. We both had an insatiable need to write, write, write. We shared a similar warped humor. We held the future in the palms of our hands. All was good.

Then one day my life exploded in a big way. Just completely, monumentally, utterly exploded. A few months later Lori’s life fell apart. Completely, utterly, and monumentally. All either of us knew to do in the dark and haunted months that followed was to write.

Just. Keep. Writing.

Expression was like oxygen. Breathe in, breathe out. It was all we could do.

A year(ish) later we’re still here, still writing, healing little by little.

We had the opportunity to meet in person in Sydney this past March and shared the world’s longest hug ever caught on film. The Australian blogging community brought me to Sydney, from Kansas, because they are generous and amazing. I will never forget what they did for me. Lori and I, we were there at the conference, our bodies carrying us through the day, our voices chatting with friends, but on the inside we were MIA. You could tell.

We saw each other again last month in Melbourne. We laughed, we took silly pictures, we told inappropriate jokes at inappropriate times during the conference sessions. This time we were more grounded and present. Getting there, at least.

So you don’t have to go read through 20 blog posts, I’m going to condense my story for you here.

In August of 2010, while negotiating a divorce, I was assaulted in my home by my husband while our children cried downstairs. I was shocked and not shocked. It had been a long time coming.

Two weeks later I discovered a cache of horror porn in his home office. Pictures of dead women, crime scene photos. Hundreds upon hundreds of dead women, pictures taken for the sexual pleasure of men. I was truly shocked at this point, and very afraid.

The next day three officers showed up at the house with a search warrant and confiscated his computer. I asked them what they were looking for. They told me child pornography. I didn’t believe them. I thought maybe there had been some teen pictures they had found. I had lived with this man for ten years. How could I not know?

But it wasn’t teenagers. It was young children. An investigator testified recently that on an initial scan of his computer they found 18,000 images of child porn.

Eighteen fucking thousand.

Can you wrap your head around that? I couldn’t. I still can’t.

For over a year now I have lived in fear of my husband. His investigation is still open. He’s still free. But what will he do when he is charged, when he has nothing left to lose?

There is more of my story here, if you wish to read it.

What am I getting at? Why am I sharing this with you? Because I believe that the reason Lori and I are doing okay(ish) today, despite everything that has happened in our respective worlds, is because we spoke out. We cried, swore, hoped against hope, railed at the injustice of it all, resigned ourselves, laughed and cried some more. We looked our lot full in the face without blinking and expressed what was happening to us on the inside.

We told our truths.

Some people didn’t like that. Fuck ‘em, we thought. This isn’t about them. Most people were hugely supportive.

Lori made purple wrist bands that said, ‘Speak’. She gave me one in Melbourne. I love it. Six months ago I began dreaming about a social media awareness campaign for domestic violence. Last month, together with Blogcatalog, I launched the ‘Speak Out’ campaign. Fine minds think alike.

Do you see that yellow badge on Lori’s left sidebar? The kind of dodgy one that looks like it was made by someone mediocre graphic skills (me)? ‘I’m speaking out on Nov 18th’? That’s what’s she’s on about. On Friday, November 18th, hundreds, perhaps thousands of social networkers will blog, tweet or otherwise share the message that domestic violence is something we need to talk about.

We need to talk about it openly because expression heals. Expression empowers us and saves us and shows us the path leading out of hell. Expression allows us to remember who we are, because we are, all of us, strong and courageous and loving, despite what the world may have told us.

You can join us and sign on yourself by going here.

I’m still living my ordeal. I don’t know what the ending will look like (though I’m banking on the fact that it will include a move to Australia – are you listening Universe?). In the mean time, however, I’m going to keep speaking out.

I hope you will join us on November 18th.

And Lori? I love you and think you are amazing. You are the very essence of resilience.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm

You two are the most wonderful of women, a true inspiration and I thank you both for the voice you give those of us who cannot speak. Kristin, I cannot express how much you have helped me by sharing my story..the support it brought in the comments has helped me through so many incredibly dark days.


Jenn November 18, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Thanks for sharing your story–I'm glad you've spoken out and I hope it encourages others to speak up as well. Thank you for taking on this campaign–I'm glad I could share my post among the others in the linky pool.

Cheers, Jenn


Very Bored in Catalunya November 18, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Thank you for setting up this whole campaign and for giving a voice to women the world over who've suffered domestic violence. xx


MaidInAustralia November 18, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Love you both. You know that right? xo


a field of dreams November 18, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Thank you for sharing your story and speaking out. Thank you for this campaign. I've made it a mission to comment on every single blog post on the link!


Annabellz November 18, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Wow! You both are totally amazing. I often wish I could do the blog writing about my own experiences but I simply work on the honesty and openness in my own non-cyber world. Thank you for your bravery and honesty.


Claire November 17, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Oh my goodness, you poor thing to have to go through all of this. I am very proud of you and Lori for the honesty you bring to the page.



Melissa November 17, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Wow. Two truly amazing women with such profound strength and heart. It's a privilege to read your words and support you both.


georgi November 17, 2011 at 10:36 pm

expression so does heal. letting yourself feel … and i haven't seen your blog yet but i know lori's space a little where she does exactly that.

speak. thank you so much. x


Canadian in Glasgow November 17, 2011 at 10:31 pm

ZOMG….I feel for both of you in such different ways.

Outrage…I didn't even know there were different KINDS of outrage. But apparently there are.

Just…stay safe. Please.

And…another blog to read. *Silver Lining…I found it*


Miss Pink November 17, 2011 at 5:30 pm

I both love and hate that you both have one another through this.
I know it's silly to hear it when people say that you are "brave" for speaking about this stuff. Not everyone can. It's brave because you are connecting to more people than even they will speak up and let you know.
Thank you both for all that you do.


Wanderlust November 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Thanks for the lovely comments. And thanks Lori, for letting me tell my story on your site. It's an honor.

@Shelley – I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughter. I can't even imagine. My heart goes out to you. xo


Lorraine November 17, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Beautiful post Kristin – and very true words.


Kellie November 17, 2011 at 2:02 pm

You two are both just amazing. Inspirational. Strong.

And I love you both x


pinktutu72 November 17, 2011 at 12:54 pm

I've not been to your blog, Kristen, but I plan on checking it out. You and Lori are some pretty brave chicks. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope things work out for you :)


kirri November 17, 2011 at 12:35 pm

People who soar are those who refuse to sit back, sigh and wish things would change. They neither complain of their lot nor passively dream of some distant ship coming in. Rather, they visualize in their minds that they are not quitters; they will not allow life's circumstances to push them down and hold them under ~Charles Swindoll

You two are so brave and yes, most def resilient.
Keep speaking out and keep shining x


Samantha Mawdsley November 17, 2011 at 11:37 am

There are some amazing people in the world and the both of you are two of them! Your bravery, honesty and resilience is so truly inspiring! xx


Me November 17, 2011 at 8:59 am

I cannot begin to understand what the two of you have been through and send lots of love, hugs and positive energy to both of you – for all the you have done and all that you are doing.


Shelley November 17, 2011 at 9:51 am

Thats a shocking thing to be going through. Ive never read your blog but after reading this post will :) You are very brave as is Lori. Big hugs to both of you. I know a thing or two about resilience as im going through my own loss and grief (my daughter). Writing about it helps Xx


Madmother November 17, 2011 at 8:53 am

You are both two of my favourite cyber people and I so hope to meet you in Melbourne next year.

I have been here since the early days, watching, reading, crying and cheering you on as you fight your way free.

Amazing women; incredible, honest, brave, amazing women. xx


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