That doesn't change the fact that, just as with Colleen, she's part of my team.
Much like me, I know that Heather is blunt when needed, almost (but never all the way there) to the point it hurts, at just the moment you need it.
But she can be soft, and giving, like the perfect pillow, when you need it as well.
Her story is the last of our team stories, before I tell my own.
And once again, her story illustrates how difficult it is for me to introduce these.
Because each of my sisters bring words I can not match.
We all have that friend. That one person that gets you. The friend who sees your crazy and says, ‘yup, it’s ok by me.’ Well, that friend told me about a blog…and as I read the words, I realized that while I thought I was the only one, I wasn’t. I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t alone at all.
Her War, Her Voice stood there reminding me that I was not alone.
Not being alone brings about a tremendous relief. So I stalked the blog for years. It was an old friend that would show up just when I needed her most. The blog reminded me often that I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t the only one. In all honesty, it was enough just to see the words on the page. Until it wasn’t.
I found out that my beautiful blog was going to be an actual group of real live women at Ft Stewart. I could not wait. People…live people in a room…live people in a room who would not shush my feelings. My extrovert heart burst with joy! Ft Stewart was a hard place for me. It is where I lost much of my soul. Perhaps this could be a place to reclaim a tiny bit of all that felt lost. Just as I began to hope for the first meetings to start, things changed. It stagnated. A leader was needed. I found myself so desperate for the hope that I volunteered. I had no idea what I was in for.
To her credit, Melissa tried to talk me out of it. She warned me. She told me every hard thing that would come. She pulled no punches. However, it didn’t matter. I needed this so badly, I would walk through fire to make it happen (and no, she did not make we walk through fire, but I am sure she has a plan for it somewhere). And so we started. There were a lot of long hours learning about communication, teaching, planning, feelings, and a million other things. We dug deep. I met the other women who were joining Her War. I found other lovely women who were completely different from me and yet exactly the same.
As we became a tribe, I realized that it was not just the group at Ft Stewart that I needed, but them…all of my team. We bonded so deeply that my heart aches for each of them when they hurt and it soars when I see them smile. They are so much more than teammates or colleagues. They are my sisters. They have seen me through my darkest times. Even when I lost sight of myself in the dark, they did not lose sight of me. When my mind told me lies of worthlessness, they used their voices to remind me of my value. I am not sure I could have made it out of the darkness without them. I know that I do not ever have to walk this alone.
So here I am, years later. Still walking with them. Still choosing them. Still grateful for a few words on a blog. Still glad to know that I am not the only one.