Suffocation. Drowning. Inability to breathe.
My biggest fears.
I felt suffocated when control over any part of my life was taken away.
I didn’t learn to swim until I was into middle age, so drowing was a very real and legitimate fear.
The irony of being diagnosed with asthma about ten years ago did not and does not escape me.

The inability to breathe was fully realized as my life lay literally in someone else’s hands. I was pinned down and nearly choked to death early in the morning on my 23rd birthday. This was just another incident in a long line of mental and physical abuse from this person.

My recent return to YA literature began with The Breathing Series by Rebecca Donovan. The first book was titled Reason to Breathe. Excellent, excellent series. Strong female protagonist. Highly recommend.

Without giving too much away about the story, the quote below stuck with me:

“I’m so afraid I’m not worth the breath you gave me.”
-Rebecca Donovan, Out Of Breath

Why? Because one and only one person ever spoke to me about the abuse they suspected I was enduring. That person literally saved my life, and their words gave me strength to fight back against my abuser and escape what would have been certain death for me.

It’s occurred to me that I am not doing enough with this second chance at life. Hence my reaction to that quote. I don’t feel as though I am worth the second chance this person gave me… the breath he gave me. I did not have children. I have done any meaningful work, nor have I volunteered my time. I have tried to be a good friend and family member, but reflecting on the shambles of my life, I realize I’ve failed miserably.

I can only leave behind my writings and reflections so that others may learn from my failures and my pain.

I am so sorry I wasted the life, the breath that you gave me.

I am glad I got the chance to thank you for saving my life.