From the very beginning of this journey I knew I wanted my husband’s perspective. Not just because he’s my husband; because I value him. I value his words, his opinion, and his outlook on life. He is so wise and a man of few words. I wanted his side of who he sees in his wife and why he is so supportive of this journey. The photographs in this blog post and the previous ones are not posed. I literally took him on a walk, I let him lead, me, and then I stopped him and spoke words of affirmation into his life. I asked for forgiveness for many of the mistakes I’ve made in our marriage and then I spoke words that glow with life when the world seems to be overcast by a shadow. I am so honored to share what he has to say.
How did you feel when I told you for the first time that I was trafficked?
Hurt. Not me being hurt, but being hurt for you.
What hurt you about it?
That I just don’t understand why people do things like that to other people. They take advantage of people in a weak moment of their life. And they did it to someone who is now my wife so it hurt me more that something like that happened to you.
Why do you think it’s important for men to be involved in this fight against trafficking?
Because even though anyone could be the perpetrator the majority of people doing these things are men so men need to be part of the CHANGE. To stand next to their women or any woman; they need to stand FOR women. They need to stand with women so that they don’t stand for trafficking.
What do you see when you look at me today?
Well, I see pain but I see strength from that pain. I see things that you’re still dealing with but I see so much strength in that. You’re going out and sharing your story for people who think there’s no future. You’re using your pain as strength to show people that may be at their lowest point that they can keep going because there is so much more out there for them.
How do you feel about me when I publicly share my story?
It’s a really hard thing to swallow and hear but at the same it needs to be said and heard. We can’t help someone by keeping our mouths shut and being ashamed. It does nothing for anyone searching for help. We have to swallow our pride and let your voice be heard so that you help others voices be heard. You may be able to help someone that is going through, has been through, or unfortunately will go through similar things you went through.
What do you wish I would see when I looked in the mirror?
How beautiful and strong you are. And that when you look in the mirror you don’t doubt yourself. You’ve been through so much you have the ability and tools to get through anything.
Anything else you’d like to say to me or anyone reading this?
Keep your head up. There’s good things to come. Whenever you get inured you have that injury but to heal from that takes time. The scars will always be there, so you know that it happened, but you will grow through it and get stronger. Take time to let yourself heal.
Something I’ve learned along the way from being married to this man is that there is no secret too big or no shame too strong. I have always been met with an embrace when times get tough. We have climbed the biggest mountains together and the prospect of divorce was strong for a long time. The beautiful thing about marriage is that it’s an every day promise, an every day fight, and every day victory. He is my sweet sweet symphony. This is not a made for instagram love story; this is the real deal. This is us.