She Whooped for My Success

By Karen Jefferson

I was reflecting on the recent WINGS Board & Staff Fundraiser Challenge where I chose to run 5K…and how it paralleled the ideal situation of a CSA survivor working on healing with support of their loved ones and allies.

Let me start by saying that running is a challenge for me. As a kid I had exercise induced asthma. As an adult I have had pregnancy induced ‘baby weight’ for almost 20 years now (it’s okay to laugh, I do). And then, as a WINGS Foundation board member, I was asked to do a challenge…so I chose running a 5K.

When I ran my race, my girlfriend did what I wish loved ones of survivors would do…first, she encouraged me to RUN! She knew it would be hard, but she cheered my progress. She signed up to run the race with me. And on race day, she stayed with me throughout my race, which I liken to a survivor’s healing journey.

She understood when I thought I couldn’t go on and she stuck by my side. She refused to move on without me. She walked when I walked.

When she saw I could push myself, she pushed me, too. She didn’t let me off easy. She held me accountable. She understood my challenge. As we neared the end of the race she encouraged me. She made sure I finished the race running and she made sure that I finished AHEAD of her.

When I was done, she gave me a big hug and whooped and hollered for my success. It was amazing!

I wish that survivors of childhood sexual abuse could have this kind of support as they move through their healing process. Someone that cares…and cajoles…understands the challenging times…and celebrates the victories large and small…someone that validates their progress…and is willing to engage in something that is way easy for them, but not so easy for the survivor.

My WINGS challenge was a success because of my friends and family that donated and because my girlfriend was there every step of the way, literally. I also did a lot of hard work, myself.

We all have challenges. WINGS Foundation is there to support adult survivors and their loved ones. Come find your WINGS to soar!

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