Director of Victims Services Susan Schuenemann is putting her own story into a book. Here is an excerpt from her writings.


 I wish I wasn’t so aware of it.  I dislike the sick feeling in my gut when I see potential danger.  But it’s there, that nagging dread, especially when it concerns those I care for. 

The 15 years after my assault, I lived in constant fear.  I had to eventually embrace it for my sanity.  I hated it for so long and was bitter about fear’s continuous presence.  I would cry and curse it.  I gave up so many things that I once enjoyed because of it.  My entire existence was changed by the mantle of fear that cloaked my heart and spirit.  Fear changed me.  

After many years I could finally embrace fear and then discovered its gift.  When I could see fear’s gift, the constant hypervigilance of fear released its grip and taught me to trust myself and my instincts.  Fear no longer dominates me, but I control it.  I make it work for me.  It became as big a part of me as breathing.  I can’t unsee it.  I can’t unfeel it.  So I now choose to use it.  I currently live aware.  Every day and in every situation.  And that gift of fear has kept me safe for nearly 40 years.  I am grateful for it.  But it came at a hefty price.

Susan Schuenemann: Director of Victim Services for PRCC

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