Note from My Sister Kathy in Reponse to Our Stepmother’s (Joanne C. Shurter) Daughter Christina Marie Blumkin/Shurter

Well, I have to say I was stunned to find out that Christina Shurter Blumkin has taken it upon herself to assassinate my character via emails to those interested in my speaking. It is amazing since I don’t think I have even seen Christina in the last decade. The decade before was composed of brief “hellos” maybe a half a dozen times. I am not entirely certain that she would even be able to recognize me if she passed me on the street (I know that I wouldn’t know her). So, she knows all of the finer points of my character, but she doesn’t even know what I look like? Hmmmm…

I guess Christina mentioned that she is very frightened of me. Oh, really? So, she attacks me behind my back (via “confidential” emails) and accuses me of being “crazy and a liar” because she is so terrified? That’s an amazing tactic. Let me explain it like this: You are absolutely frozen with fear when you see a lion, so you creep up on it while it’s sleeping, and poke it with a stick. Yes, that is always the best way to handle people and situations that frighten you. Uh huh. I am convinced. NOT.

The truth is that I have had very little to do with the Survivor Community. Everyone has to choose their own path towards healing, and my approach has been to move on and leave the pain and instability behind me. As such, I attended the University of Nebraska School of Social Work and obtained my baccalaureate and Master’s degrees. I graduated Magma cum Laude. It was a big deal for me because I did that IN SPITE of my childhood and IN SPITE of a very toxic family. I worked successfully as a dual diagnosis therapist, and I volunteered many hours with the domestic violence programs in Omaha. In fact, I received the Extra Mile Award from the YWCA for my work an domestic violence advocate.

I hold the victims of sexual assault and domestic violence very close to my heart. It was a constant throughout my childhood, and there are court records that attest to this very fact. Christina is 18 years younger than I. She wasn’t even born before I had left home. I lived in a foster home from the age of 16 years old until I graduated from High School. Why? Because I was living in a violent household. There are also court records that stand in testament to my experiences. I have copies of most of the paperwork.

My recent willingness to speak at a survivor’s conference has to do with the need for the survivor community to understand that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is life after abuse. I know it. I’ve lived it. I have walked through the valleys just like some of them are now doing. However, I want to show them the way to the mountain top. My hope is to offer encouragement and help toward their future. Thus, the impact of my story is what happens AFTER the abuse. How does one go forward?

I am not interested in the past. I am interested in how one takes their status as victim and replaces it with strength and resolve. My belief is that not only are we survivors but we are thrivers as well. My belief is that the best revenge is to live your life well.

So, I am not interested in Christina’s rebuttal to my story. In fact, I am not even sure that she has ever heard my story. My concern is for her. Why do this? Indeed, I am interested in HER story because I am almost certain that she has one. For now, I am going to abandon my anger and hurt and focus on the future.

I have so many things yet to accomplish in my life. That’s where I choose to place my energy.

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