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She Could Hear Every Word He Said Through The Open Window, So She Started Typing

A few years ago, my colleague Angie Aker heard terrible, violent words coming out of her neighbor's house. Not knowing what else to do, and fearing what was happening when she couldn't hear, she wrote this.

She Could Hear Every Word He Said Through The Open Window, So She Started Typing

Dear Woman

Dear Woman,

You don’t know me and I have no business writing you this. You may have 50 people around you who are helping you with this situation and need nothing from me. On the other hand, you may have no one you feel you can candidly speak with and need just one person to tell you that you are not alone. You are not alone.


He yells at you. We hear it. He calls you demeaning names. We hear it. I don’t know what else happens when the doors and windows close and we are no longer your witnesses — but make no mistake about it, you are not the things he calls you. Everyone on this block knows that. He has not stripped you of your credibility with us. You may feel stripped ... of your personal power, of your personal dignity, of the things that used to make you feel special before he made you feel like everything you do is wrong or bad. The only person who has the authority to give those things away is you. The only person who can restore those things, a bit at a time, is you.

You are not bad. You are good. Whatever little thing you didn’t do according to his standards doesn’t matter in the long run. You can keep trying to jump through the hoops, hoops which he will purposely change at the last minute so you are designed to fail, desperately hoping that he will see when you do something “right” that you are worthy of his love ... that you can be trusted ... that you really DO love him. You can keep waiting for this man to CHOOSE you once you’ve proven yourself “good enough.” Or you can tell him to go to hell and you can choose yourself.

Years ago, it was me jumping through hoops. It was me waiting desperately to be considered “good enough.” I realized it just before it would have been too late to save myself. I salvaged the little remnants of love for myself that were left and quietly, defiantly rebuilt everything inside of me that he tried to break down. He didn’t like this. He almost killed me for it. But I chose myself. I lived to tell. Come ask me how it worked out.

Love,

Angie

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less