Celebrating Triumph

Written by Monique Rider


At age seven I was sexually abused by my father and grandfather. Those memories were

repressed until four years ago, at age 33. After several years of therapy and a supportive

family, I began to heal. I became stronger during that healing process. By looking

inward to analyze my own pain I learned a lot about myself. I confronted my father

aboutrepparttar abuse and stood my ground during his denial. Throughrepparttar 131135 healing process I

realized why, at age 16, I married an abusive man. It was in an effort to escape my

father, yet I ended up with someone just like him. After eight years of marriage, I left

with my two children.

The abuse left me scared and ashamed of my body, always feeling dirty and unworthy.

Self-acceptance was something I just could not understand. I now know that self

acceptance isrepparttar 131136 key to abundance. I am trying to learn thatrepparttar 131137 decision to accept

myself and accept happiness is up to me. It is not appropriate to rely on someone else’s

approval because that can be destructive. Human behavior is inconsistent so why would

we want to put our faith in a human? It is one thing to trust and love, but quite another

thing to base our entire self-esteem –repparttar 131138 core of our being – on what someone else


The childhood and marital abuse has sensitized me torepparttar 131139 pain of others and I have been

able to use my own pain to help them. I am very much in touch with my own feelings

Oh My God A Girl!

Written by Debbie Jacobs

Word Count: 810

Oh My God A Girl!

“OH MY GOD A GIRL!!” This wasrepparttar cry I was met with when I arrived to meet our group for a 5 day canoe trip down New Zealand’s Wanganui River. “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?!” a wary fellow in his 50’s exclaimed. I assured him that since I knew a heck of a lot more than he did it was in his best interest to stick with me. The rest ofrepparttar 131134 group, a collection of 10 men and women from New Zealand, looked on with some amusement and guarded concern. This fellow had voiced what many of them had inwardly felt when they discovered that their guides were ‘girls’. Some had assumed that Sue, a nursing student in her mid twenties, and I, a ‘Yank’ only a bit older, wererepparttar 131135 greeting committee. I suspect many hoped at best we wererepparttar 131136 cooks and at worst that we were drivingrepparttar 131137 bus. Discovering that they were heading out for an adventure underrepparttar 131138 guidance and protection of two young women was not what they had imagined when signing on forrepparttar 131139 80 kilometer paddle through one of New Zealand’s newest river parks.

This immediate shock upon discovering that they are trusting their lives and limbs to a ‘girl’ is something I have become used to when meeting groups of clients forrepparttar 131140 first time. Working as a white water raft guide inrepparttar 131141 United States I have seenrepparttar 131142 covert glances asrepparttar 131143 names of guides are called out for each group of paddlers: “The Taylor party, your guide will be Rich.” “The McKenna party your guide will be Kevin.” “The Kelly party, your guide will be Debbie.” You can almost hearrepparttar 131144 collective gulp.

The men inrepparttar 131145 United States are rarely so blunt as to come right out and ask me if I know what I’m doing, but they are not alone in their concern. The women often share their uncertainty as to whether they can put their faith in a female guide. It doesn’t take long before I’m asked, “So... how long have you been doing this?” To which my standard response is to look at my watch and reply “Oh, since about 8 this morning,” hoping a bit of levity will calm people’s nerves.

Sometimes knowing that I’ve been guiding for 10 years helps allay fears, in other cases it’s not until we have made it downrepparttar 131146 last rapid, loadedrepparttar 131147 boats and are safely ensconced back onrepparttar 131148 bus (which I may also drive, prompting someone to worry aloud about ‘women drivers’) that my crew sighs withrepparttar 131149 relief of having survived not onlyrepparttar 131150 river, but me.

Leadership styles vary from person to person. It is difficult and perhaps dangerous to generalizerepparttar 131151 variations according to gender, butrepparttar 131152 fact remains that men continue to be central figures of authority in most of our lives. While many of us have strong female role models,repparttar 131153 heroes of young Americans are typically male sports figures and action film stars. There are fewer ‘scripts’ for women assuming leadership positions commonly held by men.

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