It’s always awkward writing about yourself so, I turned it over to my friends and they turned it into a host of questions, answered by me, for you to enjoy. Hopefully this’ll give you a sparkle into what makes me me… check back again sometime as I will continue to add them as I receive them. If you are healing from some form of rape and would like to join our Facebook group where we all work together to inspire and encourage one another, join us HERE.
Bobbie Jo Graves asked: Who or what is the biggest influence in your life?
Ultimately, I have to say those who’ve influenced me the most are the ones that have hurt me the greatest. Their actions, the way they lived, and behaved taught me exactly who NOT to be, in life.
On the other side of that, nothing drives those that have hurt you crazier than seeing you happy, living a good life, it’s truly the ultimate revenge and it’s lot fun!
Stacie Medland Harden asked: What motivates you/keeps you motivated?
Winning a card game is the first things that pops into my head! I know silly right? Our lives are a lot like playing cards, though,we can’t control the hand we’re dealt but we have absolute control over how we play the game. I guess you can say, I’m motivated to be the champion, of the hand that I’ve been dealt in life and I’m motivated to be on a winning team so I reach out to help others win as well.
Tammy Olive asked: Why, when life gave you no reason to feel loved or special growing up, was your determination so strong to overcome all that you’d been through?
Oh my, you have me digging deep, sister. I don’t know the answer to this. I’ve been asked this before, several times, actually. Geesshh, I’ve even asked myself this, several times.
At two years old (my first memory of abuse) I didn’t have any faith or any religion. I didn’t even know who God was and I certainly didn’t have the vocabulary to explain what had happened but I remember clearly the bone-chilling, gut-wrenching, paralyzing fear that engulfed my being and I remember telling myself that I would be better than the environment I was in.
Maybe it’s how I internalized that moment. Maybe it taught me who NOT to be. Maybe that’s what I allowed the moment to do. Maybe that was my first choice in life, at two years old, trying to comprehend the trauma and what it left behind.
I’m not really sure how to explain it but that moment is what set the pace for my determination. I remember that very clearly.
A counselor once said that I’m determined because I chose to live in truth. Maybe that’s the right answer, I don’t know, it’s one of those, I feel, only God can truly give but there is one thing that I know for sure and that is that I can’t take credit for what He placed on my spirit in the midst of that tragic event, and I am forever grateful for the imprint it left on my soul.
Eleanor Eitenmiller asked: Do you suffer from road rage?
Brrrrrrmmmmm Brrrrrrmmmmmmmm BEEP BEEP! Was that you beside me this morning at that red light, Eleanor? Hahaha! No, no, no, I do not suffer from road rage but I do sorta, kinda, sometimes wish that people would get out of my way!
Stephanie Rybczynski asked: If you had a “must do” and a “must not do” when advising your children. What would your advice be?
I’m so glad that you asked this question, Stephanie. My children are grown so this advice would be in regards to them raising their own children and the first thing that pops into my mind is a must not do for my grandchildren. My #1 “MUST NOT DO” would be > We must not force our children to hug and kiss people that they don’t want to show affection to and this includes grandmothers, grandfathers, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, etc. because when a parent does this, it tells a child that boundaries are not needed in life.
If a child doesn’t want to kiss or hug someone or sit on Santa Clauses lap we should honor that. We need to encourage our children to have boundaries for themselves and to follow their ‘Gut’. We don’t want to teach our children that they have to do something intimate or physical that they are not comfortable with and it doesn’t matter who the adult is or if it hurts that adults feelings.
If grandma or grandpa gets upset, that is on them, the child should, in no way, be made to feel bad. That makes teaching a child boundaries my #1 “MUST DO”. It is so very important because it teaches them, to not only have self-respect, but to demand respect from others, helping them to make better decisions throughout life, especially in their teenage and young adult years when peer pressure is the worst.
Anonymous says: I don’t have a question but want to share my all time favorite conversation with you. It’s actually a conversation that you shared with me; one that you had with your dad.
You asked him if he had any regrets and what he’d do differently if he had life to do all over again and he said, “My biggest regret in life is that I feel I haven’t loved enough. Life is hard, Kerri, and people hurt you along the way but no matter the depth the wound, the severity of the pain or who causes it, you, in return, needed to love. It doesn’t matter if you’re not loved back – you still need to love. There will be times that you’ll find yourselves struggling with a pain so deep that you’ll have to love that person from a distance – a great distance. You won’t be able to entertain them in life but you must love them and pray for them because love, Kerri, is the breath between you and God and the closer you are to Him, the more love you will receive and add to the world”.
Your dads words are words that we should all live by, Kerri.
Most Popular Question asked: If you were forced to wear a warning label, what would yours say?
We really should do a poll on this question before I answer. I bet 100% of y’all would answer this question the same! And that’s those that know me in person or those that only know me online. Hahaha 🙂
“WARNING: Tells it like it is!”
“WARNING: Tells you what you need to hear > not what you want to hear”.
“WARNING: Don’t ask if can’t handle the truth”.
“WARNING: Brutally honest”.
I’m not going to add everyone’s name to this question but that is definitely me > straight forward and to the point. It’s one of the first things that people notice about me. And with that, they either love me or they hate me but I don’t apologize because I have a great respect for people, a great love and with that I’m not going to insult a person’s intelligence by sugar-coating my words. That’s not authentic. That’s not me and I’ve never liked being treated that way. Truth and happiness go hand in hand, we can’t live in one without living in the other so truly I’m just spreading the happiness where I can and then leaving behind a little wisdom along the way.
Anonymous asked: What is the best present you’ve ever received?
Geesh, where do I start with this one? Every present that I’ve ever received is the best! My salvation, my redemption, my faith, my sanity, my daughters, my grandsons, my nephew, my strong sense of discernment, those that God placed in my path, old friends and new, my husband (the best husband ever, I must say!), my strength, my enemies (boy did they give me some memorable gifts!), my logical thought process, all my blessings, my determination, my flaws, my failures and my successes. Great hair days (hey > perfect weather is truly a gift!), the wine I’m going to drink when I get home tonight, Friday night date nights, beach vacations, snuggles with my sweetie, genuine brothers and sisters (I don’t have to name you, you know who you are), my love of learning………..life is just so full of gifts…………….it’s impossible to pick just one!
Amanda Gonzales asked: If someone asked for your help and you sensed they wanted to tell you what’s wrong but don’t tell you how would you help him/her.
With an open heart and mind I would just keep listening and talking with them. Trust is always a factor so it has to be established first and that takes time and patience. Most people who have suffered some form of abuse are guarded but I’ve walked in their shoes – I speak their language, per say, so they learn to respect me as I respect them. I don’t pass judgment, bash them or shame them and I’m not a family member that refuses to believe, I am simply a friend who always keeps the door open and has a fresh pot of love and life brewing in the kitchen, where one can simply be themselves.
Heather Stroud asked: What was the turning point in your life? Was it an event or person that led you on the path you now walk?
There have been so many things to happen that have led me here, one day I’m truly going to finish and publish that book!!!
Thinking back on my life, and I believe this goes back to the answer that I gave Tammy Olive above. Even though I spent many years in a fog, raising myself, making mistakes, learning hard lessons, simply trying to sort out life and all that I’d been through, I always knew that I wanted something better for myself and that I would work hard to get there, to be that person, to find my happiness and to give back, sharing with others, if only to leave a simple, worthy mark on the world or in another persons life.
For me, every moment is a new turning point, every day, a new path to walk, I just concentrate on being the leader of my own life and wearing the best shoes that I can.
Avery Reed asked: Why are you so passionate about helping people without any foretold benefits?
I don’t feel that I can help myself heal without helping others first. Perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned in life is that you gain strength by admitting you need help and actively seeking it.
There have been people over the years that have taken the time to encourage me to fly, in the midst of their own despair, offering a healthy dose of hope and healing in their own way, sometimes because I’ve asked, and sometimes because I’ve simply searched it and found it online, but through it all, that help has reinforced and enabled my desire to press forward.
Everyone benefits by reaching out to others first because we each have a different insight when it comes to wisdom and knowledge and we all inspire where we can clearly relate so I say serve first when we’re feeling sad, not just for ourselves but for others as – there’s a blessing that resides in the midst of that.
John Morgan says: Something I remember about a conversation I had with you, Kerri.
You mentioned that my celibate life was a reflection of my relationship with Christ instead of a wife. I had never heard that from anybody else. It was so profound that I didn’t totally grasp it until I got home that day. Thank you, Kerri.
JoAnn Carlin asked: Why do you help the kind/type of people that you single out for help?
I let my heart guide me on this. When I am moved to do something or say something, I act. Some situations I can relate to more than others but I
really just let my heart guide me.
L.j Huggins asked: You could have easily given up. What kept you alive during your darkest times?
My rebellion! Hahahaha 🙂 That is my honest answer! It didn’t matter what I was upset about or how hard I cried, in the end I wasn’t going to let
those that had hurt me, win, and I was not giving them anymore of my life than they’d already taken.
Yes! > I am a little hard-headed but for all the right reasons. I may not be worth anything to those that have hurt me but I am worth something to me and I will love and honor myself.
Regardless of the situation or what we’ve been through, we get to write our own ending and simply put, I want mine to be good. Not just a fairytale or a dream come true, I want a best seller, one that will live on long after I’m gone, one that is filled with happiness, a life well lived. One that those who love and look up to me can be proud of, one a person in the midst of their own struggle can turn to. I don’t want to live my life simply as a survivor of child sexual abuse; I want to thrive in spite of it.
I gave up once and swallowed bottles and bottles of pills in an attempt to commit suicide. To date, it’s my greatest failure in life. I fell; we all fall but we have to get back up
I love what Winston Churchill said:
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
This is the bigger picture in each of our lives. Pain, grief and tough times are a process and we need to take the time to understand that, to focus on all the good in the midst of the bad (it’s there > it’s really there) and too press forward because by doing so all situations take a better shape and life allows us to walk different in the world, it’s what prevents us from getting stuck in the middle of hell.
So I confront any challenge (AFTER taking a deep breath), looking for understanding, always being patient with myself.
Ann Barnes asked: If today was your last day on earth what would you want to be remembered for the most?
Sad day. Sad sad day, Ann, don’t ask me this. I want to cry just thinking about it. Don’t you know I plan to live forever? Ha ha ha.
I would want everyone to remember that no matter what I suffered, I stood tall and proud and sang gloriously after each and every storm. I’d also want them to remember that I didn’t sing just for me, I sang, first and foremost, for others, to bring them hope, so they, too, could one day claim and embrace their happiness.
Anonymous asked: If you could master one thing in life, what would it be? Math! Straight up, it’s a terrible fail for me. I’d like to master a sense of direction too but that may be something we’re born with. Seriously, this gal right here, me, I could get lost going around my own block 🙁
Sabrina Rutledge asked: Where do you see yourself in five years? I will be right here, still working on Kerri, still digging deep, still spreading the love. Our time on earth, and the experiences we encounter, bless us with what I’ll call a spiritual schooling of the soul and it’s in the midst of that schooling, that we find our purpose in life, the greater good. I sense that I’m now living and fulfilling mine. I honestly I feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing and that brings me a great sense of peace.