Hello, friends. Today I'd like to share a personal story and unfortunately one which is much more serious than those I've talked about in the past.
There's no easy transition into a topic like this, so I'm not going to try to create one.
Three and a half years ago I was raped by a stranger who forced his way into my apartment when I was leaving for work.
If someone had previously asked me if fourteen minutes was a long or short period of time, I would have said short. No question. And I would have been wrong. Fourteen minutes is an eternity.
But I count myself lucky because in the fifteenth minute, light overcame darkness.
Thanks to the extremely quick thinking of my roommate and best friend, the police arrived at my apartment before my rapist left. Her actions saved my life and ensured he was never again out of custody. I was saved the torment of knowing he was out in the world or having to identify him in a lineup. The tireless efforts of the detectives and prosecutor assigned to the case saved my sanity. And the unswerving support of my friends and family saved my soul.
At his sentencing I was given the opportunity to give a statement. I did so with my roommate standing at my side and my loved ones seated behind me. And together we received the news that he would serve twenty-four years.
I wish I could say that after that moment my life returned to what it had been before March 25, 2010. It didn't, of course, but I am more than proud to say that while it may not be the same, my life is awesome. Because I refuse to settle for anything less.
Every day brings more healing and more proof that, despite how it sometimes seems, good does outweigh bad in this world. By a lot.
This past summer was particularly monumental for me. Three and a half years ago, I would have said that I would never again live alone and that was fine. The idea of traveling solo overseas would have been more than laughable. Now, not only was I able to do it, but I loved every minute of it.
Not surprisingly, I'm kind of in a celebrating mood.
It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the holidays. Those of you reading last year were subjected to my daily Christmas movie calendar. And to the newcomers.... it's coming. Get pumped.
But this year I've decided to do more. I'm combining all the things that make me happy right now and planning a holiday dinner auction in early December to benefit the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. It's a phenomenal organization and one that has helped me at various points over the last few years.
It should be a wonderful night and I'm really excited about it. Right now I'm at the harassing-local-businesses-for-auctionable-donations stage. It's quite enjoyable.
So, if any of you know of anyone who would be interested in donating anything for auction - like maybe (hint, hint) a signed book, fellow writers - please shoot me an email.
And if you're interested in more information on the fundraiser, please check out rainnmakers.rainn.org/kjohnson.
I know this post has been a bit long. Thank you so much for reading.
I truly appreciate it.