PTSD Survivor Poetry: ‘Dancing’ + ‘Judging’

In our ongoing celebration of National Poetry Month, this week’s PTSD poem comes from Kathryn Lee-Rider…

Life is a challenge, some good times, some bad.
The smiles are easy, the rough times are sad.
When we walk a blind path, life seems really great.
Then we open our eyes, and we think, and we wait.
We wait…to get better, we wait…to have fun.
Then tragedy strikes, and we don’t walk we run.
Some changes in life, seem drastic and mean.
Vicious lies hover over, so the truth can’t be seen.
During trials of life, some friends walk away.
The true friends don’t leave, they stand with you each day.
Yes, the trials of life, can make you stand strong,
to believe in yourself, and what’s right, isn’t wrong.
I have walked quite a path, in my life this past year.
I have stumbled, I’ve fallen, I’ve shed more than one tear.
It has made me stand strong, I now greet everyday,
with smiles, not tears, and I’m dancing my way!

October 2001


Have you ever judged someone, from what you have been told?
Have you ever turned your head, to think her type as bold?
Did you ever stop to think, her husband was abusive?
There are two sides to every story, so why is his conclusive?
I am a woman, who has lived, in an abusive home.
I am a woman, who held secrets, that others have not known.
I am a woman that broke free, from a strangling life,
now today, to be known, as the “vicious wife”.
I try to walk, through this town, with my head held high,
then someone I know, turns their head, and silently I cry.
It took tremendous inner strength, to spread my wings and fly.
I chose to live my life in freedom, choose not to wither and die.
An abusive husband, is a very charming kind.
“I am abusive” stamped on his head, you will never find.
He will plead the innocent victim when his family falls apart.
He will make her life a misery, as she struggles for a new start.
So if you’ve ever judged me, from what you have been told.
Today is your day to look in the mirror, to see the one who’s bold!

February 2001

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada Kathryn is the youngest of three children who inherited the motto “Giving up is not an option” from her beloved parents.

By twenty-five she held three college certificates, in Financial Accounting, Human Resources and Computer Studies. Subsequently, she worked as a Trainer/Instructor, Information Technologies Manager, Human Resources Administrator and in Finance.

Her success in business led her to personal growth topics, and eventually she found the courage to exit a 23-year abusive relationship. “It was at that lowest point in my life that I began to feel a new sense of strength. The abuse chipped away at my independence and my sense of self, but it also awakened, and then strengthened, my determination to find a better life,” she explains.

“My personal journey to empowerment was a slow and steady uphill climb. I owe many thanks to the people in my life that walked beside me and held me up while walking through the many depths of despair. I owe even more gratitude to all the people in my life that tried to beat me down. Without their many forms of torment I would never have summoned the strength, courage and determination to create new life of love, harmony and joy,” she explains.

Ms. Ryder now devotes her time to helping other abused women find a whole new beginning in their life. Her ebook “Destruction of Love – A Journey to Freedom” is dedicated to all women that have suffered abuse in their relationships. To connect with Ms. Ryder visit:


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