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Raging against my face….. Stinging my neck…. Penetrating my soul…. No, no, get it out. ... Who was this stranger? How did it come to be that he could claim me? Me; with the strength to lift a man twice my size. Me; with the courage to take on men with guns, batons, and tasers. Me; with a voice loud enough to wake the dead and strike fear in the hearts of the enemy. But where was my strength? But where was my courage? But where was my voice? Wait. Stop. Please. Don’t. Did I say the words aloud? I couldn’t hear my own voice. And now I don’t recognize the woman looking back at me in this dirty ass, broken mirror. And now my days are the same nightmare on repeat. This is your life. You can’t escape.

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