I had cold sweats & was violently shaking, I’d barely been able to eat, my heart was heart pounding & head thumping – this was it.  Adrenaline coursed through my veins. It was no longer a time to fight, flight was my only option.

The time had come.

In fact, it had come too early, I wasn’t prepared for it to come now, it wasn’t supposed to be happening today.

This was supposed to be happening on Tuesday.

But I couldn’t wait any longer, it wasn’t safe to.

I was being forced to flee in panic, this wasn’t how it was supposed to happen at all.

In less than an hour my entire life had changed – forever.

Because I’d just left the only life I ever knew.

And now I was faced with a decision.

Would I become bitter and twisted, at all the pain of what I’d been put through?

Or would I make the most of the life I had left and show what I was truly capable of?

My name is Jessie Shedden and my introduction to life was a world away from yours. But by the age of 8 I knew wasn’t for me and I spent the next 23 years desperately attempting to be myself and being shown over and over again that I wasn’t appreciated.

I learned fast that trust, self-respect, authenticity, freedom and justice weren’t available to me and that my best option for survival was to surrender my whole identity.

I was taught that keeping quiet and being walked over were esteemed features, that being broken was a good thing.

But it’s impossible to ignore what’s in your own heart and eventually that yearning becomes so strong that it calls for drastic measures and, in my case, those were suicide or a chance at a new life.

In my memoir Those Boots Were Made For Walking I go over my journey of growing up in exceptionally difficult circumstances and how I broke free of them to become my true self.

I share my experiences of love and relationships after a challenging start with sexual abuse and no sex education.

I talk about learning self-respect the hard way and daring greatly and achieving things way beyond my wildest dreams.

I talk of overcoming and healing and loving and forgiving.

Those Boots Are Made For Walking is hitting the shelves today so grab your first chapter for free now on the download link below.


Previously published on Elephant Journal