Patty Oakland: To my beloved home and community
When people ask me what I do for a living, I usually can end most conversations with the words “sex assault.” For years, I have dropped the “forensic” portion of my title and stated I am a nurse.
In a way, I have proverbially “closeted” myself with the work I do — so as to not make anyone feel uncomfortable. If I’m not comfortable talking about it, how would I ever expect anyone else to.
For the eight weeks of the “In Our Shoes” series, shoe create events and the post meetings for the month of August, all I can say is, “WOW.” The connection runs deep through our community. Statistics would tell us so, but I still am overwhelmed at the support and love this movement received.
You have stopped me in the grocery store, emailed and called — your words of love and encouragement sing in my heart. When I am sitting in my exam room with a patient, or public speaking using words we were taught were taboo, my thoughts are filled with the embrace of all of you.
Thank you for coming forward as a survivor or supporter. We have a lot of work still to do, but I am so thankful to call this place home with all of you.
Advocates of Routt County social change advocate and UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center forensic nurse examiner
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