Stacey Stevens – RESILIENT A.F.: Stories of Resilience


Fifteen years old, with every creature comfort a girl could want – purple shag carpet, a queen-sized bed, my own TV & a sunset mural on my wall, not to mention the pool in our backyard, nestled behind our modern A-frame house, in a great upper middle-class neighbourhood & a boyfriend my parents didn’t like, I left home.

Stubborn, blind, or a bit of both, who knows? 

I took three things with me the day I left: A garbage bag of clothes, my father’s last words to me predicting a very bleak future, and my response: “Screw you. I’m gonna be a lawyer.”

In the short time it took me to walk away from my family home, I knew I needed a tough-as-nails exterior. I walked with my chin high and shoulders back. All the while, I was a scared little girl who was going to learn the skills to survive. 

I learned how to live small and hide in plain sight. If they don’t see me, they won’t bother me.  

I understood the importance of being agreeable, not confrontational, especially in an environment filled with anger, drugs, and violence.

I became resourceful. I found places to live, went to school, and worked. I learned who could protect me and who couldn’t. I became a chameleon. I was whoever I needed to be in any situation. 

I spent a lot of time living inside my head, reflecting on who I had become.

Five years went by before I literally escaped with my life. 

As I walked back down that same street – this time toward my family home with my tough-as-nails exterior and a huge chip on my shoulder, I was still that scared little girl, hoping for a happy family reunion, picking up somewhere before where we’d left off. 

But everything had changed. Everyone had grown up and moved on.

So, I gathered my wits and took stock of my resources. I started working at a law firm & went to night school to be a paralegal, but THIS time, I wasn’t going to play it small. I didn’t just want to survive. I had something to prove. 

Armed with my defiant promise to my father, this 15-year-old runaway with a high school diploma, two teenage boys, an unemployed husband, two dogs, and not enough money was accepted to law school at 37. I was told I would never be given a law license just before I graduated. 

My resiliency kicked in, and I fought. I relied on my survival skills, and again, I succeeded.  

I became a lawyer at 40 and thought I could finally take off my resilient armor and be myself. I was wrong. I didn’t know who I was. I was always pretending to be strong, detached, and unbreakable. I couldn’t turn that off.  Life was good, but I wasn’t.

Inside, the real me was screaming to get out. I couldn’t trust myself enough to let go of my armor and show the world who I really was until now. Resiliency changes you, and you’re not the same person when you come through it. You are scared and refuse to put down your armor, so you stay trapped by past limiting beliefs & behaviors until you finally decide to use your resiliency one more time to discover who you truly are. 

I faced every challenge with the unwavering belief that I would find a way through. My mindset focused on my ability to persevere, grow, and thrive no matter what I encountered. I survived. My journey to discover who I am is on IG @stacey_lynnes

If you’re reading this, my advice would be don’t be controlled by the limiting beliefs you developed fighting to survive. Use resilience to find who you truly are. 

Are you ready to share your story of RESILIENCE? You can do that HERE.