I made the biggest decision of my life, when I chose to reach out, get help, and continue to pursue a legal education. [There are moments in life] when time freezes—when we feel like we are stuck and can’t move forward— and today similarly feels like a nightmare that we can’t awake from. We get stuck in the moment, waiting for it to pass. We wonder that if we did something differently, then things wouldn’t have turned out the way they did and that if only we had the power, we could change the past.
However, we realize our own powerlessness when events happen to us that we have no control over. Throughout the past sixteen years, I have worked very hard to set myself apart. I learned to forgive those who have harmed those closest to us, realizing that there was nothing I could do but be compassionate and supportive. In order to deal with the trauma associated with that event, I redirected my focus, and decided to go to law school. As I continue to rally through adversity, I have found ways to identify the significance of that experience, our friendship over the years, and the events that followed, in a positive way. Making a positive difference required me to diversify the activities I became involved with and to remove myself from the cycle of trauma, and be proactive. I decided to volunteer for a local crisis hotline and after two years I researched, wrote, 2 and defended my Honor’s Thesis entitled “Dealing with Vicarious Trauma and Managing Emotions While Providing Advocacy to Survivors of Sexual Assault.” Volunteering enabled me to develop a deeper understanding of effect that trauma can have on one’s feelings of safety, emotional stability, and ability to adapt. The process of recovery and healing has had a significant impact on the person I am today and has given me unique insight into the field of trauma.
It is not until we experience pain ourselves that can we begin to understand the pain associated with a significantly traumatizing event in one’s history. I know now that what I do in the present is vitally important to where I see myself in the future, so that I can continue making a difference and provide legal advocacy to those in need. June 1, 2013 (Unsent Letter) After five months of trying to make amends where needed, and clarify any misconceptions regarding my motivations for attending law school, I’ve finally come to a pause. During a period in which I was unable to make good decisions for myself I reached out to those who I thought would be the best examples of maintaining composure in times of extreme controversy. Often times the people who react first, are the one’s most knowledgeable. To my surprise I opened this invitation only after I returned home, almost a month after, separated from my souvenirs, it was laid flat with the newspaper and red bow it came with, assumed it was a general greetings letter sent from the Hotel in which I stayed a week prior, to walk around the city before it got too crowded. I flew to DC because I inherently knew that if there was anyone who could understand what it means to face adversity, it would be you and your family. The kind of pressure I feel I am under at times, can be overwhelming. I have always managed to persevere under circumstances which prior to this semester where outside of my control, and stated at being so in prior personal statements, which were flipped around by parties knowing that I felt this way, and positioned me in harms way, knowing that I have difficulty focusing, running the risk (willingly) to keep me out of structured environment, making me more susceptible to harming myself, so as to alleviate liability or free themselves of blame, and use my statement against me, to argue that she knowingly put herself in harms way and we in no way contributed to her positioning herself in harms way to which she became of harm to herself.
I have always been honest to a T and never in anyway tried to outsmart or undermine my Professors or the Administration in their abilities to do their job, in fact I often visited the administrators office to handle forms and turn in papers in person because I felt comfortable around them and trusted them and never once questioned them or that they were in anyway trying to put me in harms way or ever feel like they turned against me. However, when I started dating my ex boyfriend, the climate around me began to change, and not understanding why, I became very depressed and did not know why my grades dropped, I never found law school difficult, and was at the top of my class when I started and felt that this was a school that I could excel in and stand out, never once did I feel that I was being downgraded or that I was being discriminated upon.
I believe that my ex boyfriend, represented me in a way fitting to his theoretical perspective, and gave me a “notions” definition to see how my professors would respond, I do not know why he did not want me to become an attorney, I do not know why he did not want me to have my happy ending, I don’t know why he felt so threatened by my ability to successfully complete courses and take notes and argue and brief cases without being a head case and without getting paranoid. I don’t think it was appropriate for him to convince me that I was mentally ill, and I don’t think it was appropriate for him to accuse me of things or maliciously prosecute me [of being promiscuous], and go from being my boyfriend and telling me he loves me and wants to get back together with me, to turning on me and turning this into a full fledged war against me [is how I felt at the time, ignored].
I have never done anything to harm him, and he got a job working for the District Attorney’s Office upon me ending our relationship. Why? Because he was not getting hired, and I inherently knew that because he was too focused on belittling me and screaming at me, that it would be best that we part and that he had a better chance of getting a job if he was not busy fighting with me and putting me down and making me feel bad about myself for no reason, and focus on something positive like helping victims of crime, not trying to prosecute me and victimize me by a system I have always supported, the criminal justice system without hesitation have always been in full compliance with the law, to the best of my ability, and when necessary medical support is unavailable have sought alternative means to stay centered in the middle of storm I was thrown into without warning, which keeps getting worse and worse, the more I go back and read the emails that he sent me, which just stayed in my box unread and replied with a cordial and diplomatic response simply requesting that he stop attacking me and that he was not making it any easier in a general sense to forgive him for not being understanding or aware of the immediate danger and unstable condition I am in terms of my relationship with my family, and school, and past employers, and the general public who grew to question me based upon a sub-standard review by an ex boyfriend, who just wanted to crème me for no reason, because he was jealous I left him.
Leslie A. Fischman
Please Note: I have finished writing the first draft of my first book, still editing Ch 5-25, my goal is to publish my book 2020 after I graduate, working on myself right now.