A Survivor’s Story

Photo credit above via Roshonda – B Creative

By Amy Temple

As most of you know I have learning disabilities.

I’ve had to deal with all kinds of discrimination and rejections for most of my life.

However, what I’m about to confess is something that I hadn’t openly talked about to many people.

In junior high, I encountered a lot of bullying and harassment. Every day I was verbally and occasionally physically harassed. I’d get called all sorts of derogatory names, mocking my learning disabilities. There were trippings, pushes, and verbal threats.

Photo credit: Bullying hurts via Canva

I was so frightened to go to school. I would huddle up against the wall in between classes clutching my bookbag tightly. I would often go homesick.

The school administration really tried hard to get the abuse under control but it was a big school so there was only so much they could do.

After two years my parents finally moved away to another town.

I attended high school in a nice and quiet country town. What a relief it was to see friendly people and not be afraid I was going to be assaulted.

However, I dealt with a male student who asked me out frequently for over a year! He wouldn’t take no for an answer. I found all those familiar feelings of fear returning. I finally got a teacher to get him to back off.

I found myself dealing with some serious trauma issues. I dealt with anxiety, fear, and insecurity.

I wanted to be approved of so badly! I wanted to be free from all of my negative feelings. During my senior year, I thought maybe if I had the attention of a popular guy… all my mental problems would be over.

So, I mustered up the courage and asked one of them out.

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In the end, instead of it being lovers bliss. It ended up being a practical joke that the guy and his friend played on me. I felt like such a fool. Let me tell you that didn’t help my low self-esteem at all!

As I previously mentioned I dealt with discrimination and rejection in the workforce, too. No one would hire me because of my learning disabilities. A brilliant job opportunity fell through because co-workers lied about me.

Photo credit: Workplace harassment via Bing

When I was volunteering at a local retirement home, a male resident assaulted me by groping and attempting to kiss me.

With all of the trauma, I experienced I was a mess!

I spent years reading self-help books…it was much cheaper than therapy!

I could not understand why I was being treated like I was.

  • Why was I bullied?
  • Why was I harassed?
  • Why was I assaulted?
  • What is so wrong with me that nobody would hire me?
  • Why would someone lie about me so I wouldn’t be hired at was to be my only decent chance for a job?

I found it hard to trust. I pretty much kept to myself only spending time with my family.

I had imaginings of a bigger and better life but all of what I went through kept me away from pursuing it. I spent 30 years trying to improve my life, to overcome all that happened to me.

I thought plenty of times I had been healed but recently it all came to a nasty head. All the emotions that I been feeling came out one night and I cried! I vented to God for most of the night.

As the song states “Have a little talk with Jesus, Makes it Right!” and it sure did, I hadn’t felt that clear and at peace in a very long time!

I understand I may never forget what happened to me but I can honestly say I am starting to find ways to begin the bigger and better life I have been seeking.

I have come to understand I have to take life one day at a time. I have to keep pressing forward and not look back.

To my fellow survivors…

What happened to us was not our fault! We must continue on living and not give the abusers any more power.

You are just as worthy as anyone else, hence the song from Gloria Gaynor!

I WILL SURVIVE! I DID SURVIVE & SO WILL YOU!!

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I Quit…And I Feel Free! by Amy Temple

Featured Photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels

So, previously I mentioned that I’d been working for 13 years as a dog sitter for a Christian couple who live in the same residential community as my family and I. Well, it all went downhill very fast and here’s how…

Last month as I was taking the couple’s Boston Terrier puppy for a ride in its stroller, I stopped to talk to a woman who was also walking her dog.

When all of a sudden the couple’s Boston terrier puppy -who’s name shall remain anonymous at this point, jumps out of the stroller, despite having on a neck strap, in which fell completely off and goes after this woman’s dog!

Understandably the woman freaked out by the sudden action of the terrier but remained calm enough to pick up its leash and hand it to me. Afterward, what conversation we were having had now been compromised, she then took her dog and ran onto her porch, which thankfully was only a few feet away from the incident.

I felt completely horrible about the incident and apologized immensely, more times than I could count. Finally, I picked up the terrier who had seemingly calmed down, put him back into the stroller and walked away….deep down as I left the scene, I knew without a shadow of a doubt…

I was done with this job!

When I got home, my parents picked up that something was a little off with me as I still had the look of horror on my face. “What Happened? they asked. After telling them the story of the terrier and the chaos it called that day, they echoed my sentiment and agreed – It was time to quit!

Two days later, I spoke with the couple and gave my two weeks notice. However, after further discussion, we all mutually agreed that I’d be better to end the agreement immediately. In all, the agreement was peaceful and offered an open door for me to visit the puppy anytime I wanted.

When I look back on the situation, I realize that I shouldn’t have said yes when the couple asked me to return as their dog sitter for a new puppy they had gotten right after their 14-yr old Boston Terrier passed away.

I knew the hours for taking care of the puppy were going to be dreadfully long, especially since both worked full-time jobs. Honestly, I did try for several months to train him but this last incident had proved to be a little too much for me to handle.

Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.co.uk

However, as I move on, I can’t say I have any regrets over my decision to quit. Now, I have all the time in the world to put my time and energy where it matters most and that’s with my family and my dog Echo – who is very glad I am not leaving her as often as I used to!

Now don’t get me wrong – I haven’t done away with my dog training career completely. I’m still working and do have other clients but the work is sporadic and not on a daily basis as the past couple’s were.

The puppy experience over the last few months had left me with a feeling of overwhelming anxiety – so much so, it nearly wiped me out!

But now I feel so free!

Free enough to pursue and kick my writing career up a notch! I already have several writing opportunities lined up.

Hmm! I wonder, could that be a sign from God?

I think it might be.

What do you think?

Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

I Survived Hurricane Jeanne

Featured image: Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

It was September 2004. It was supposed to be our vacation.

My parents, my maternal grandmother and I flew down to Orlando on September 20th from Indianapolis to check on the damage done to our mobile home from Hurricane Charley.

Jeanne was out to sea. She was not going to hit land, meteorologists said earlier in the week. “Jeanne won’t affect the United States”, one said.

A couple of days later, she made a sudden left turn and headed straight for FLORIDA!


Bing/Hurricane Jeanne

Meteorologists told residents to brace for yet another hurricane. People were putting up plywood and using tarps in an attempt to protect themselves.

Local government officials were giving frequent press conferences urging residents to evacuate. Shelters were being set up and the Red Cross was getting prepared.

My family and I sat watching the coverage, trying to decide what to do.

We had decided to change our plane ticket but, we were a little too late as the airport just got it’s orders to close. We called the rental car agency to see how much it would cost to drive our rental back to Indiana but it was going to be too costly.

So it was official. We were all going to experience our very first hurricane!


Bing/Hurricane Jeanne

On September 25th, a member of the Orlando Police and Fire Department drove around the mobile home park -a retirement community- with a bullhorn announcing we had by 6 PM to evacuate.

A cousin of ours -who also lived in the park – invited us to join him at his son’s house. Jeanne hit the Orlando area between 3 and 4 AM the next morning.

She was a Category 3 with winds between 80-95 miles per hour with a gust of 70 and left several inches of rain. The media coverage was very professional and calm. I admired their courage to go out and report. Very brave souls!

One got tossed several inches live on the air but fortunately wasn’t hurt. As for me and my family, we were all basically calm. I sat on the living room sofa reading “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” with an amazing view of the storm through the picture window.

I really can’t put it into words what I saw: just the work that I saw God due was just simply incredible!


Photo by Johan Bos from Pexels

The city curfew lifted the next day and we returned back to our home.

The level of destruction in the park left us all in a state of amazement.

Parts of or whole roofs were gone. Front and back porches were gone.

Carports, awnings, trimmings and siding were gone.

The canal, lake and swimming pool were overflowing.

A tree with a birdhouse near the lake was leaning sideways.

The shuffleboard court had puddles of water.

Trees were snapped and leaning or were completely gone.

Very few homes sustained little to no damage. Luckily, our home was one of them.

Now I’m not going to get all “I-saw-my-life-flash-before-me” on you because I’m not the dramatic type. Going through a hurricane was very exciting but it was not a life-changing experience…

It was one very memorable vacation!

Have you been through a traumatic event such as a Hurricane or maybe even a Tornado? Tell me your story below and let’s chat!

Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

My Nana, My Friend

Featured Photo above courtesy of Pexels

March 10th would’ve been my maternal grandmother’s 97th birthday. I had 4 wonderful grandparents but there was something special about Nana.

I was her only grandchild so you can just imagine all of the love and attention I received.

When I was younger it used to drive me nuts the lengths Nana would go to show her affection. The loving stares, the frequent love pats. After a while I was like, “Ok, Nana. I got it. You love me. Geez. Enough already!” Mom would say, “Amy, she is only showing you how much she loves you.” And I would say, “Well, does she got to do it so much!?”

Image Credit: Gif/Bing

Due to my low self esteem and issues with bullying, discrimination, rejection and harassment I received while in school due to having a learning disability. Looking back, I think I didn’t feel worthy of having someone love me the way Nana did so I would act inappropriately, hoping she would come to understand that I am not worth loving and just move on.

God bless Nana, as she never quit showing me love and attention. No matter how many times I’d take my dissatisfaction with myself and life out on her, Nana was always right there with her big, bright smile, continuing her display of affection.

As I got older, I began to finally understand just how lucky I was to have someone love me as much as Nana did. And how very much we needed each other.

I needed someone to show me that I was worthy of having someone love me and after my grandfather passed away unexpectedly, Nana needed to know that it was all right for her to get as affectionate as she wanted.

I came to understand that by rejecting her attention, I was rejecting Nana as well.

And Lord knows I didn’t mean to imply that. I was so caught up into my own world that I failed to see just how fragile Nana truly was.

She was perky and fun-loving but underneath all of that was someone who felt lost… very much like me. I needed love to be shown I am worthy and Nana needed to give love so that she herself would feel worthy.

In 2011, I got a call that Nana was diagnosed with esophageal cancer… and it was terminal.

Image Credit: Pexels

Upon learning this, I immediately went to visit Nana at the nursing home. This was Nana’s home now in which she was placed after having a series of other health issues.

As I walked up to the front door, to my surprise – There was Nana sitting right by the door in her wheelchair flashing her big famous, bright smile.

Outside of being at the door that day, Nana mostly stayed in bed. When I would come, I’d take her for rides in her wheelchair. There was this little hill by the Physical Therapy wing that she loved for me to take her, whether going up or down – I’d always go reallyyyy fast!!

Nana would put her hands in the air and shout, “WHEE!”

It was during this time that I wholeheartedly apologized for my unkindness so long ago. Nana, without hesitation. Forgave me instantly…

She said, “It’s ok, You were young.”

Man, that did me in! after hearing those words, I just lost it..

Image Credit: Pexels

After Nana died, I began what was going to become a 7 year long journey of finding my true self. I knew I had to do some serious soul-searching. I was 34 years old and I was still feeling the effects of all that I went through.

I am happy to say that I am finally there and I would not have gotten here if it weren’t for Nana. She showed me just how worthy I really was and am. It was during the difficult times when I felt like giving up that I reminded myself that someone believed in me, even when I didn’t.

Nana’s been gone for 7 years now and there are still pieces of her all over our place. She’d  spent the winters with my family and I. She and I shared a bathroom.

In the top dresser drawer, is where Nana kept all her combs and brushes. I hadn’t even touched them. They’re still there.

I remember her every time I watch NCIS, she truly enjoyed that show as she was a huge fan of Mark Harmon and whenever I hear the song “Everything I Do, I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams, I would think about the time we all, including Nana went to the movies to see the film “Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves”

I remember Nana saying to me one day, as we looked up at the clouds together, how fun it would be to ride on one those. Now, every time I look up and imagine which cloud she might be on, going “WHEE!” with both hands flailing high in the air.

Image Credit: Pexels

I was without a doubt so blessed to have had her as my grandmother and I know without a shadow of a doubt, she would say she was blessed to have me as her granddaughter.

After all, She was my Nana. She was my friend.

May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.
Amy Temple

Finally Letting Go In Order to Move On…

I’ve been living with a learning disability for most of my life.

And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve also lived with the fact of having many medical professionals tell my parents – that unfortunately, I wasn’t going to amount up to anything.

Because of this stigma, I’ve felt the pain and agony of school bullying and harassment. After graduation, I joined a local job employment program for the disabled where I got my first experience of just how unacceptable society can be.

And trust me, just because I had a disability – employers didn’t waste time making me feel worse than what I already had been feeling, each looked down on me as if I was a complete waste of time, almost as if they “had” to hire me because they didn’t want a lawsuit. My heart went out to the other members in the program who had more severe disabilities. Lord knows what they must have been going through!

After several years of nothing but frustration over the discrimination and rejection, I decided to quit the job search.

Being 23 at the time, most people my age were already living on their own with good paying jobs and there I was, still living at home without a job prospect in sight. I remember volunteering at the local senior citizen center just to get out the house.

I began to feel bad for my parents whom were still having to support me. Thinking of that the job search and the remnants of school bullying and taunting began to make me one bitter person, it was like a plague that seemed to latch on to me daily.

However, I could go on and on about how angry I was at being disabled. The bitterness, resentment and grudges I felt from others judging me because of it which led me to carry some big chips on my shoulders – towards everyone!

Oh my, years of holding all that hurt affected me in all areas of my life. So much so, I began to live with worry, fear and anxiety. It all started in junior high when I created the habit of picking my skin to the point of scars and my nails to the point of nubs. I soon developed an eating disorder.

I had major trust issues. I didn’t have any friends outside of my volunteer work. I didn’t date. This lasted for years.

When I was 34, my maternal grandmother died from esophageal cancer. She was my last surviving grandparent. Losing her finally opened my eyes, it’s sad that it takes a tragedy for us to really see ourselves. I decided that I could no longer live this way and I had to do something about it.

It took me several years of self help programs and books but I have finally found peace. Now that’s not to say I haven’t made some pretty big whoppers. I mean, I am still human and do make mistakes, but I’m a much better ME, a me that I finally approve of!

I’ve been on this earth for nearly 42 years and have done an extensive amount of soul searching. In that discovery, I’ve learned quite a few things about myself as well as my environment and that’s this:

  • Not everyone is going to accept you.
  • People are going to hurt you because they’re hurting themselves and get a “high” off of causing others pain.
  • If you allow haters to rule your life, you’re slowly killing yourself.

I know because I spent well over 30 years accepting and doing just that. Don’t waste your life over how others perceive you. How God perceives you is what matters. He sent His son to die for you. All of your sins, all of your mistakes have been forgiven.

You are fearfully, wonderfully and beautifully made.

And don’t you EVER forget that!

Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.