"I had a tremendous fear that it would happen again. People told me about the odds, but that wasn’t much comfort: I’d already defied them. I hear way too often: “A mass shooting won’t happen to me. Not at my school, and not in my community.” That’s what I thought, too, before it happened at Virginia Tech. The truth is that it is always somebody’s school and somebody’s community, somebody’s loved ones. And there’s no guarantee it won’t happen again."
"When I was 21, I didn’t have a clue what prioritizing your self-care meant, and I thought recovery was for those who were shot. For those of you not physically injured at the Sutherland Springs, Texas, shooting, you will likely have a recovery journey, too. Everyone’s journeys look different, and recovery is usually not linear."
"It is extremely awkward and uncomfortable to ask for resources and invitations to attend private events when students and faculty died, and others may not be able to walk again. It feels selfish."
CHILDREN MENTAL HEALTH NETWORK: A School Shooting Survivor's Story: Lessons Learned
"Trauma occurs in a variety of forms and to varying degrees. It has a lasting effect on those who experience it. For a long time, I underestimated the effect that trauma had on me.
On April 16, 2007, two weeks after my 21st birthday, I was sitting in class at Virginia Tech when I heard an unfamiliar popping sound..."