To Amanda Berry, Gina deJesus, Michelle Knight, and the Rest of Us

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2013 Nancy Virden


Not Today.

I have been a victim; I am not today. 

Pain has threatened to overwhelm me; today I turn to loving support.

There have been hours and days I’ve been too afraid to run; I can run today and declare my freedom.

Sometimes my thoughts take me to anger, then rage, then revenge; I choose today to trust God with my vindication.

This moment it is tempting to go into the shadows and curl up and be sad; today I can limit that time.

My emotions will rise and crash driving me to wonder if I will ever be OK; today I will not worry because I am not alone.

Vicious words aimed for my heart are on the tip of my tongue; today, I will not be my own abuser.

I have been vulnerable, felt helpless, and scared; today I recognize my strength has come from inside, buttressed by God.

In the years that are gone I can see regret and waste; today I choose to look forward to watching how my experiences will play out for good.

I have cried incessantly; today I cry in the arms of those who care.

Darkness has been my existence; it is not today as I rest in the sun’s light. 

This is a day sorrow, grieving, and hurt could steal my life from me. I was a victim.

But not today.


NOTE: I am not a trained or licensed mental health professional. I am not a doctor. I speak only from my experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is,  please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.

*photo from


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