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Feb. 21, 2023

Brutally attacked, and then blamed for it, Lynn Forney should not have survived, but she did

When home on a break from college, Lynn Forney awoke to a man, a stranger, in her bed. Then he stabbed her repeatedly. Statistically, she should not have survived. And if that wasn’t enough, she was victim-blamed and -shamed by the investigating police, hospital staff, family and friends, and even strangers.

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Meet Lynn Forney: She loves to be creative, go to theme parks, and Scuba Dive.  

She has a big heart and loves animals, playing with toddlers, and tries her best with houseplants.  

She's been told her distinguishable laugh is contagious, and knows that without the dark, there can be no light

This story, Lynn’s story, is not an easy one to tell.  It has not been an easy one to live.  By 21, She had already had her fair share of struggles.  Clinical depression often hid behind her smile, but, deep down, she never lost hope.  Not really.  As she began to heal and find her place in the world, something unthinkable happened. 

When home on a break from college, Lynn Forney awoke to a man, a stranger, in her bed. Then he stabbed her. Seven times. 

She lost 21 pints of blood. Statistically, she should not have survived. And if that wasn’t enough, she was victim-blamed and -shamed by the investigating police, hospital staff, family and friends, and even strangers. 

Now, she’s telling her amazing story of survival: candidly, honestly, courageously. Hoping that in doing so, she will help others do the same.

Her book, "Choosing Survival: How I Endured a Brutal Attack and a Lifetime of Trauma Through the Power of Action, Choice and Self-Expression," details her attack, her miraculous and difficult recovery, and tips for anyone overcoming trauma or struggle.

Lynn is a dancer and actor. She has also written, produced, directed, and starred in two short films, one of which is getting ready to enter the film festival circuit. She still pursues all of these interests and looks forward to combining these skills with her passion for healing through the arts.















Welcome back to Between the Before and After, a podcast about the stories that shape us.

[0:09] I'm your host, Coach John McLernan. Each episode I bring you an inspiring guest with a moving, story that shines a light on the power of the human spirit. I'm excited to share this story with you, so let's dive in.

What would it be like to wake up with a stranger in your bed, unsure about how they got there and then to be brutally attacked by that individual. This is the shocking story that Lyn has in her background and it's really shaped who she is today and why she's here today. Probably should have put a trigger warning in there but we're gonna explore that story and and how, that actually shaped the path that she's on and why she's doing what she is today.

So with that rather stark intro, welcome to the show Lyn, it's a pleasure to have you here. Thank you so much, thanks for having me. Yeah, I'm it might sound strange given given the nature of your story, but I'm excited to explore this story. Having been through my own sort of trauma and PTSD and whatnot, I understand what it's like to go through that kind of experience. But it always what always excites me is the fact that this demonstrates the power of the human spirit, the ability to come on the other side of these experiences and be stronger as a result of it. And you know, I think I made a note in the show notes for those who have looked after the recording that I think statistically you weren't expected to survive, but in fact you did.

And this is why you wrote the book, Choosing Survival, which is also out and available, I believe now on Amazon and a few other locations.

[1:37] Yeah. So that's exciting. So before we dive into your story though, I always like to give people a little snapshot of where you're at right now and what you're up to.
So paint us a little picture.

All right. I'm currently in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two rescue dogs.
I just completed a short film called Hot Sauce, and it's a horror comedy.
So it's a wacky.

This is a horror comedy. I called it a kooky, spooky, spectacular. That is amazing.
Singing and dancing in this like horror comedy film that just, I don't know, is one of those crazy scripts that just I feel like it just kind of flowed out and it's, I think it's really funny. I hope other people think it's funny, but it's gotten into a couple.

[2:22] The film festival circuit's generally about a year, but it's gotten into three festivals so far and it's up for a few awards. So that's currently like what I'm doing. And my next project is like to do a dance on film. So those are kind of the things I'm tinkering with now.

Right, but now, so just to clarify, did you write this, like write the script, perform, direct? I did.
I wrote it, I directed it, and I had a friend kind of co-direct with me since I was also starring in it.
I choreographed for it, and I sang songs for it, and my husband actually did the score.
And so the first time we've really worked very well together.
That's amazing. Thanks.

So your husband is a composer or a part-time composer or full-time?
He's a scientist who started out in music.

Started out as a music major and three years into it switched to chemistry and has like a PhD in it now but he you know kind of like he'll get really involved in music and bands and performing and then there'll be a lull since we moved here it's been kind of slow for both of us kind of getting out performing but I, just kind of said like hey I think you could do this I want you to do this with and so we work together to come up with a score.

It's amazing. Strange coincidence, I started out studying music and transitioned into chemistry. Oh, funny.
Yeah. I started working the field of nanotechnology research.

[3:38] But I didn't actually complete my PhD being the impetuous young man that I was. I decided that I wanted to go and join the military instead because I got a board of conducting research.

[3:48] That's understanding. I think you'll get that. Yeah. Life choices when you're 20 years old, right?
That sounds way more adventurous. Yeah, they're exciting.

[3:59] Yeah, well, that's phenomenal. And you and your husband have been together for a number of years, I gather.

Yeah, we started dating kind of not terribly long after my attack, actually.
He was a friend of my brother's and close to seven or eight months later, I think we started dating a couple of months before I turned 22.

So, yeah, and I'm 45 now. So I've been together a long time.
Yeah, for those who are listening to the audio recording, I told them that she could pass her 32.
I'm not just trying to flatter her.
When she told me her age, I was actually quite surprised. So.
I appreciate it. I really do.

If there's some sort of secret skincare, regimented routine or something like that, or if it's good genetics.
I think it's a little both. I stay out of the sun most of the time.
So I think that helps a lot. Because even, I grew up in South Florida, right?
And the beach was like a mile away. And I just never was one to like, oh, I want, I love to scuba dive. I love to be in the water.
I'm a Pisces. I don't know. But like laying on the beach, I get I'm like, I get bored really fast. I'm like, this is boring.

I want to do something. Yeah, just swimming in the sun. I'm also very fair skin, as you can see. So sweating and making in the sun, my my jam. So I think staying out of the sun helped, even though I can see some damage coming forward, which is Right, right, right.
Yeah, look, I empathize being like a pale half-ginger. I call myself a half-jeaner, because only my beard has red in it.

[5:21] You know, strange, strange fact, by the way, while we're at it. Um, apparently when you have red hair, both parents have to donate the gene for red coloring, but to have a red beard, only one parent, has to donate the gene. Interesting. My mom's a redhead. So I'm, I guess, you know, I have some ginger in here somewhere.


I was like, if you could grow a beard, maybe it'd be red. Who knows? Maybe, maybe. I know the things that, but I was curious one day, I was like, why do I have a red beard and, not red hair? That doesn't make sense to me. But apparently that's why. So interesting. Okay. For, For all the listeners out there, whoever wondered why people could have a red beard, and not red hair, that's why.
Now you know, now you know. My mom was very disappointed to not have a redhead child, I will say.

[6:02] Well, my little boy is kind of like a strawberry blonde. Like he came out fairly ginger, but it's starting to go sort of more of a blondish, like a strawberry blonde kind of color.
So, that's really pretty. Yeah, yeah.

I mean, he's adorable. Not that I'm biased or anything, but.
Right, of course. Yeah, he's just a beautiful little kid in the world.
Little blue-eyed sort of ginger there, strawberry blonde ginger. Yeah, he's adorable.
I'm sure he is, and I believe it.

[6:28] I think honestly, most kids are at that age. Like, he can do just about anything, and we're just like, aw, that was so cute. Especially when it's the first.

Yeah, I actually love toddlers. I've done a lot of babysitting, actually, as I got older, which is funny, but I love toddlers. I know people are like, terrible twos. I think they're so fun.

[6:44] Yeah. I'm like, you want to go do this? Okay, yeah, let's do it. That sounds awesome.
Yeah, take him like a toddler led walk or something like that, you know, and to be like, let's see where the so the way that I look at it is like he doesn't have like fully developed, communication skills, and he gets frustrated. And so when he's having like a meltdown, instead of me treating it like he's maliciously trying to ruin my day, I think he's having a whole bunch, of big feelings right now. And he's trying to figure out he's trying to tell me like, because there's no filter. It's like, this is where I'm at right now with no filter. And I'm, I'm melting down and like, well, if I was angry at him, start hitting him and teaching him to like suppress his emotions. What does that set him up for later in life? So it doesn't mean that I condone like, you know, if he starts checking things, he checked one of, my thankfully was a backup phone, but he checked it and smashed it on like a tile floor. Oh, yeah, I was not happy because even that was Yeah. So I gave myself a timeout because I I was really unhappy with him at that moment.
That's all right.

But all of this to say, Toddler's gonna be lots of fun. He's gorgeous.
He's just, he's an absolute hoot to be around. The stuff he comes out with, I'm like, Oh, this is amazing.

[7:53] Yeah. Well, let's dive into your story. I think we could just have a good old-fashioned chin-wag here and I along really well.
But I think, well, let's get into your actual story. So where did you grow up and what was your childhood like?
I grew up mostly in South Florida with very Southern parents.
So I was born in Atlanta, Georgia and when I was six, we moved to Florida.
And I think as a really young kid, I was very like, precocious, I guess I love to be in a crowd.
I like was a cheerleader for my brother's little like little league team when I was three.
And I like to watch videos of myself and be like, dang, I like knew the routines.
And I was just out there like I had zero issues about being out there and that kind of stuff.

[8:39] And I just loved to dance. Yeah. And I remember the first time I was on stage, I think it was eight because I started like actual dance lessons about seven or eight. And I just was like, this is where I need to be. I love it. I loved everything about it. But I became very shy, you know, like with personal, like, I don't know, with interpersonal relationships, but on stage, I was like, look at me. So it was this very distinct difference, how it felt to me. That is actually really fascinating because, because I've seen this before, right? Like people, they're, they're certain character or they portray like a certain like my wife's involved in theater and I see these people on their own stage and look like these really confident, like outgoing people.
And then you meet them afterwards and they're kind of shy and whatever.

And I'm like, this is fascinating. I wonder what it is about acting that allows themselves, to maybe actually show more of their true selves.
And then when it's not on stage in the limelight, it's like, okay, let me sort of go back into my quiet shell or something like that.

[9:37] What's been your experience or was, as you were starting to feel a little bit more shy?

[9:44] I don't know. I'm not sure, because I think that too, I had some traumatic events that I'm curious that that kind of shaped me and made me a little bit more shy when I was really little.
But there's just something so freeing about being on stage to me.

And I can't quite explain it. It's just this really amazing, it is really hard to explain, but it's very freeing.
And I think it felt more safe for me to be seen and to be open and to kind of, And it also allows me to be really, really present because most of the time my brain is like, right, but when I'm on stage, like that's it.
I'm very, very present in that moment. And there's this amazing energy exchange that happens, between like the audience and the performers.
And that's really beautiful to witness. There is, there is.

[10:25] There's something about like live theater that really, I don't see like movies are cool and all, that, but like live theater, there's just something different about being present for this kind of the human experience. And you're right, the exchange of energy that takes place in the performance.

And so, yeah, so you had quite a history in performing and you mentioned there might have been something in your background. At this point in time, you weren't quite sure if that was the case or not. And very often, I think this is something that can happen to children at a very young age where maybe something's imprinted in their brain, but they're not really old enough to fully register what might have taken place and whatnot. And so, but so going into the teen years and whatnot, what was that kind of like for you? You know, were you a typical theater kid? Did that, sort of affect your socialization or anything like that? I think I always gravitated towards having like friends in dance and things like that. I went to performing arts high school from 8th through 12th grade. And I'm so happy I did because I can't I don't know what it would have been like for me, like a quote unquote normal high school or whatever. But I definitely suffered with depression. I mean, I just, yeah, right, I know. But I definitely had like some depression issues from a young age. And I never understood why that was because on the flip side, I felt like this really positive, you know, kind of bright person. And then I would get I would get really in these very low.

[11:48] Moments and you know my parents ended up getting divorced and all that kind of stuff that also affects you as you're growing up especially in that age range I think. So yeah like I, had some really amazing friends that I'm very fortunate and thankful for but I also had my share of getting bullied you know I went to like a Catholic school in fifth and sixth grade and got really terribly bullied so you know I there's just kind of a hodgepodge of, things all throughout my youth.

[12:14] Oh, thanks. Yeah, you know, which, which, oh, yeah, of course, of course.
But it is it is kind of fascinating, even like thinking about some of these dynamics, like going to Catholic school and maybe you hear the word Catholic and you think religious and you think, OK, well, people should be like well behaved and whatnot.

But yeah, I think history shows that religion isn't actually full of well behaved people.
It's full of like people trying to maybe some in some way, shape or form, maybe improve their improve their life or live a better life.

[12:41] But that's probably why they find their way to it is because they're actually like, well, I'm kind of messed up and need some help or something like that. So yeah. And so, you know, this, depression that started showing up, like, did you have an awareness that this was depression? Or did you at that point, time, did you just like these, these moods kind of come over me, I don't really know how to explain it.

I think when I was really young, like, because I remember, like, even being as young as like eight, kind of, experiencing some really low moments, and I get really mad at myself, I was just this harsh perfectionist. I have a very critical and, you know, part of myself that is constantly telling me I'm not good enough, you need to do better. And so it just, you know, if I didn't get like an A+, it was like not good, enough. You know, if I didn't like nail this routine, it was not good enough. So that I think, started a lot of that for me. But no, I didn't know like the term depression until probably like high school, I would say. And I did start to see a therapist like 10th grade, and it was somewhat helpful. But you know, it was kind of like, I would just kind of have these like, ebbs and flows of, feeling good and then feeling really horrible. But I've always been a fighter, I think, to some, extent. And I've always been focused on dancing and getting good grades and all those things.
But yeah, it's a tough thing to deal with for sure.

[13:58] Right, right. Yeah, you can't get kind of confused. And often like a lot of this, of course, is just in hindsight. But I think looking back about, you know, again, maybe some experiences in childhood that could have shaped you where it's like, you know, what does it cost us as maybe an eight year old to think I'm not good enough? You know, when you when you know, maybe, like, as you told me, as a three year old, like just being like a cheerleader, knowing all the routines and just being really precocious and getting out there and performing and absolutely loving it, you know, to like then then then being like really critical and be like, I'm not I'm not, not good enough, you know, and I often wonder like, how does that come into because I don't believe that sort of naturally is maybe a part of our psyche when we're first born.

So I'm like, somehow this comes into our experience. But maybe we don't always have the answers to that. So when you graduate high school, yeah, did you did you then carry on with theater?
Like, hey, this is this is the path I'm going down. I'm going to drama. Like, was that what your university education was about as well?
Ended up being there, I kind of felt like, Oh, I need like a.

[14:56] Logical degree, I need to get like a science degree. Right? Yeah, let's try not to say that word. But, um, and then.

[15:03] Exactly, right. So I was like, I'm gonna, you know, but I still was dancing, like, I found this, like, on campus group called, floor dance, because I went to University of Florida. And I ended up getting severely depressed, you know, like when I, was 19 was a very tough year for me. And I took a year off of school, actually, because I was just so depressed. And I think, all the years of being so hard on myself really caught up to, me. I just couldn't live up to my own standards of perfectionism. And it honestly breaks my heart when I see a child, especially being like really hard on themselves or perfectionists. I'm like, Oh, please don't. Because I know I know how hard that road is. And even though I logically know I can't be perfect, it doesn't matter. But then I ended up, going back to school and then change my major to dance. So that is what I have a degree in. I have a BFA in dance.

[15:47] Yeah, you're like, that's it. No, this is clearly the path for me.
And maybe that helped a little bit.

So if we get sort of leading up into this attack, I don't want to just call it this incident because I don't want to gloss over it as though it was like a small thing.
We're going to spend a little bit of time speaking about it.
So leading up to this, I guess, you're not back at school, you're not pursuing dance.
Maybe it feels like things are kind of on the up and up and life is sort of starting to get itself in order.

[16:17] And then I guess the question that would be on a lot of people's minds is like, how does, a strange man end up in your bed?
What are the circumstances leading up to that where you find yourself in that situation?
Yeah. I still don't really have all the answers, to be honest with you.

I got there, so it was the semester between spring and summer, and it happened to fall Mother's Day so I was going to go home and visit my mom and I think I got there like on a Wednesday and.

[16:50] I, you know, I went to work at a drug store, they would let me do some hours when I get home just to make some extra money. And then I went to the mall to like pick out a you know, Mother's Day present for her. Like these are literally the things that I did. And, you know, just like I'm like, right, like very just, I, don't know, you know, no, no, no. And my mom's house is, literally, I mean, almost like a couple blocks from the mall and the drugstore that I was working at. So if someone followed me home, I honestly would not have noticed, especially at 21. You, know, like I just, I think if I was driving long enough, I would have noticed but literally, it's like, I mean, around the corner from her house. So it was just a very short distance. I had this man had to see me at one of those.

Yeah, had to see me at one of those two places followed me home. He came out, I didn't know this at the time, but he's a serial rapist, attacker person. And how he actually got in, my theory is, my mom had actually gone out that night, she was single at the time. And she went to hang out with some friends.
And she got home after me, which I have to laugh like I'm the 21 year old, and I'm the one like in bed. I was going out right, right, right. Right. I'm like, wait a minute. But so she because I read I bought like this is weird. The details that stick, with you right, like I bought the new Tori Amos CD, and I was listening to it on repeat. And I fell asleep listening to it. And.

[18:11] When she you know, because I remember her coming in to turn it off. And she's like, Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake you. And you know, that I kind of promptly fell back asleep, because I got up at like 5am that day to work at the drug store for like 12 hours. And when the police got there, the garage door was open. And normally, if you know, I don't.

[18:27] Know, every country is different, I'm sure. But when you have a garage door, right, it'll just kind of automatically go back up if anything goes underneath it. And in Florida, there's a door that always leads from the garage to the outside, and then a door that goes into the house. So all three of those doors were open when the police got there. So that is how I think he waited for her to, come home. And again, this is my theory. I don't really know. And kind of waited in the garage and then got let himself in the house because she never locked the door between the garage and the house, which most people don't. You think, oh, the garage door's closed and the other door's locked. So we're fine.

Right, right. Okay. And you would have like crept in and somehow got into your bedroom, I guess.
Yeah, and we lived in a 1600 square foot house, you know, it wasn't some sprawling mansion, right? So it was like my mom's room in my room. Right, right, right. Yeah, yeah. Right, right next to each other. And the phone was off the hook in the living room area. And this is clearly someone who's done these kinds of things before, like I would say he was well versed in these kinds of things. Yeah. And I mean, each attack was different from what you know, when I was able to read the story of the other women that he attacked. But yeah, I literally was, I was in such a deep sleep. And that's the next thing I know is the man was sitting, Next to me, I sleep on my stomach a lot and he had his arms around my chest essentially and was lifting me up, And that's kind of when I woke up was being kind of pulled to a sitting position Wow.

[19:51] Gosh, I mean, I'm thinking like, what runs through your brain? Like, am I, I guess, like, am I dreaming? Is this real? Like, what runs through your brain when you wake up in the middle of night and this is happening to you?

Yeah, it's, again, it's so hard for me to explain, because it's like time went so quickly and also so slowly at the same time. And I feel like I had like all these thoughts in like a nanosecond or something. Because at first, I was like, you know, I'm kind of waking up in the midst of, you know, being pulled up.
And I could sense that there was, you know, a person on my left and he said, don't worry, I'm a friend of your mother's.

And I did have this moment of like, did my mom bring someone home?
And then I was like, no, that's not, my mother would never do that, especially with me here.
And, you know, I just very quickly was able to be like, okay, this is not a friend of my mother's, I don't know who this is.

And then I just looked and I literally just started screaming and flailing because I was essentially sitting on my bed with him to my left and I was just, screaming and flailing.
So, I mean, it happened so quickly, but I remember having those distinct thoughts, like rapidly. And then my instinct was to kind of come down.

[20:52] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think that what you describe is absolutely fascinating. And I don't want to paint about my story at all. But I think exactly that situation where time went so quickly, but it seemed to slow down and you, register like the tiniest of details in these sort of, situations there. And so I suppose maybe the thought was like his intent was maybe to rape you or sexually assault you in some way. Yes. But I put resistance. Yeah. You know, and I even had people later on say like, you don't know that you don't know that. And I'm like, well, I kind of do like, you know, it's just bizarre to me what what things people have said to me, but like, no, no, I'm no, I'm pretty certain. Yeah. And, you know, of course, I can't prove that. Right. touching my breasts and like, you know, lifting me up to sitting like, there was a reason. Because to me, if you just wanted to, this, is morbid, I guess, if you just wanted to stab me, you just started stabbing me, why wake me up? Why turn me around? Right?
Like, why? have interaction with each other.

[21:50] Right. Yeah. So that is, yeah. That is, yeah.

[21:55] So then it's almost I almost wonder I'm gonna just like spitting yes in a sense but he almost wonder if like the the attack was like sort of a secondary thing like, this isn't going according to plan or or if.

[22:07] Maybe he'd originally intended for both. I think for both because he did have a knife with him He did bring a knife that he used to stab me multiple times and when he attacked other people, He often used a knife and he often stabbed people that tend that was a very consistent thing, Right. That was his, his, his, I guess. And, and, um, yeah, so he's, you know, so you start fighting and then, you know, he stabs you. And do you recall like, you must recall like, the first time like getting stabbed or like, did you realize that you'd been stabbed?

Yeah, this is again, something I just feel like I just know, I just knew things were happening.
I never saw his knife. Um, but I felt this really hard jab kind of in the lower part of my, back towards the side, if that makes sense. And that's the only thing I physically felt. But I just somehow knew I was getting stabbed. And I just I cannot explain it. I don't know how to explain that. I just knew. Because again, I never saw his knife. I never felt anything past that. I just, I don't know. And I just kept screaming, Mom, 911, Mom, 911, Mom, I mean, just over and over again, like, like blood curdling screams. But yeah, my friend asked me that question. I knew she felt really awkward asking him, like, it's a fair question. But yeah, so I mean, thankfully, that's part of the body's defense, right, is to kind of not let us feel these things.
But the first one did feel like a really just a hard punch or something like that.
It's the best way I can describe it.

[23:31] Right. Yeah. And then I guess, um, when, when the attack finished, he must, did you pass out? Did he flee?

No. Um, I just, like I said, I kept screaming and yelling, it's flailing and he just got up and ran out.
I mean, it was like, and I just watched him, you know, stand up, run out of my room.
I stood up. I looked down. there was blood just pouring everywhere. And the next time when I looked up, my mom was coming in. And I was just yelling at her man stabbed me a man stabbed me call 911 call 911, and her response to get us in the middle of night, right. And she's very out of it. But she's like, there's no man here. And, I was like, just call 911. Right. And so I'm the one like, on desk door here. And I'm like, do this, you know. And oddly enough, like I was just in like a navy blue t shirt and some underwear, which is kind of again, I normally have like a full pajama set, but for whatever reason, that's what I was sleeping in.
And I think she thought at first I was hemorrhaging or something, you know, like something like that, because you couldn't really see, because again, it was a navy blue shirt in the middle of the night.
So she could, she couldn't quite tell what was happening, but she went into her bedroom to then try to call 911 and she said the phone's off the hook.

And a lot of people found that weird too, but I'm like, you know, I have to remember, I didn't live here anymore. This was not her room.


She always talked on the phone in her room. Right. And so like she ran into the living room, I guess, to find the other phone and, found it off the-

[24:49] And my phone, I had this Garfield phone at the time. I loved it.
She got rid of it. I was really sad about it. But I had been on the floor the night before talking to a friend of mine.

And I just dove on the floor to grab this phone because I just knew, like if the ambulance does not get here, I am going to die. The end. Like, that's literally all I could think.
So I'm like, yeah, I was like, get the ambulance here. And interestingly enough, the firehouse was, I mean, literally like catty corner, like directly across the street and a diagonal line.
But they had to wait for the cops to get there since it was a crime scene because I kept laying there.
So finally I realized like I pick up the receiver. I can hear her talking to a dispatcher and I just say, oh, thank God and put the phone down.
And then she came back in the room with me and I just kept like, where are they?
You know, where are they? Why aren't they here?
And I kept saying I'm dying like over and over again. And just, you know, she was trying to like I had a like a stab wound in my leg.

So she was trying to like tie a tourniquet around that.
So yeah, I never passed out actually.
Wow. And that's quite something for your mom to witness as well. Absolutely. Yeah.

[25:49] It's interesting. You think about how our brains register what's taking place. And maybe the first thing is denial. Again, I remember just the first hit across the head when I was being attacked.

[26:01] My brain sort of goes, I am like, this isn't happening to me. This isn't real. That was the first thing. And so for your mom, again, maybe the first scared response, like, no, this can't be that.
It can't be that situation, you know? Right. And so then the, you know, and I remember having a thought like, I can't die tonight, I can't die tonight.

That was like literally going through my head. Yeah.
So the paramedics, or I guess at least the paramedics arrive and you haven't passed out from like blood loss at this point?
No, which I mean, it's surprising to me now still, but I remember like they had, and I don't know why, I don't think my mom turned on the lights. I think it was just such a, you know, fiasco, if you will, like it just just quickly trying to act.
Because I remember they like pointed a flashlight in my room and like at me and like, we're the police, honey, we're here to help you. And I was like, Okay, but I'm pretty much like, hurt.
Let's get on with it. Because like, time's time is running out. Right.

[26:58] Maybe I should also mention like, this was taking place in the late 90s. Is that right? Yeah. So this is kind of like pre cell phone for those who like to listen to like, why, didn't you use your cell phones? Because really, we're not in come usage. No, they're around. But no, like, normal people like me to not have fun.

[27:17] Yeah, I know, right. You had a Garfield phone and maybe you had like a long, a long cord or something like, that so you could actually take it away from the receiver. Exactly, and I got that phone when I was 10 years old and I was so excited about it.

So yeah, yeah, it had the, you know, the little, you know, the whole thing.
Yeah. I know kids now like don't even know what that is. I'm like, what?
How is that possible?
Yeah. But, um, yeah, so yes, before we all had cell phones, uh, regularly, which it's amazing how quickly that technology took off.
But, um, yeah, so, uh, I remember like laying there and they cut my shirt off and they just, I just kept hearing them say, there's another one, there's another one. Oh, my God, there's another one. Right. And I'm and I threw up all over the floor at one point. And I was just like, I don't know, I just like, just kept telling them like, I'm dying, like, we need to go like, we need to go. Like, this is all I like think about was just get me to the hospital, just get me to the hospital. Because I'm dying, like I'm dying. And my mom even said later, I just kept saying it over and over and over again. And you're right, it was I knew exactly what was happening. But I wanted someone to explain to me why this was happening. It was, again, very weird, like, I'm very aware. And I remember what I smell and I detail this in my book, like what I smelled, what I saw, what I heard. I mean, everything, I detail it out because I remember it so distinctly.

But I also was just desperate for someone to explain to me like what the fuck is going on, you know, like why is this happening? Why did this man do this to me? Like what is, what is, like what is happening? It's really interesting to think about, like there's, there's this conscious registering of details, but all they're trying to, to like, like part of your brain is like, I'm dying.

[28:44] Alert alert alert, you know, I'm dying. We expect something. And the other part of the like, I remember the yes, something similar, the other part of brain being like, like, why did they do this to me? Why is this happening to me? Yeah. And having like all of these questions where we don't really understand how like, what on earth happened that I ended up in this situation in life?

Exactly. Yeah, totally. I mean, like, was I a terrible person in the past life? Like, what did I do to just, you know, it's, there's all that too. And that, you know, mostly came later than other, you know, not that night, but I just really, I remember asking the paramedics in the ambulance, like, why is this like, what, why, why, you know, and at that point, that's when I started to pass out because they finally got me into the ambulance and, they just kept telling me like, stay awake, Lynn, stay awake, Lynn, but I didn't even have the strength to open my eyes at that point. I was just, but I was like, I'm here, here. And I do remember at one point kind of like starting to like pass out and they're like, No, no, no, no, I'm like, I'm awake, I'm awake. And so it's just all I could do at that point, literally, just was to stay awake. You know, I gotta think about the title of your book, choosing survival and, like in this very situation, fear, blood loss, I think you listed 21 pints of blood, lost. And now that has my brain wondering how many pints of blood are there in the human body?

[29:54] Like, I think about eight to 10 from what I remember from anatomy class. And 21 is an approximate because no one had a beaker collected. That was what I was told between my room and the ambulance and the hospital. But they based it on how much fluid did I have to receive and then how much kept coming out because I was losing more blood in all those scenarios. That's why it's, that many. Right. Okay. That's why is because you think, okay, if we normally hold maybe say 10 pints of blood or something like that, but you had to receive 21, part of it is not everything being transfused is actually staying in and you could be hemorrhaging and things like that. It's not like everything was whole and complete and it's just putting into a closed system. It was, you know, keep giving your blood because we keep losing it and wow. Yeah, that is, you know, again, something pretty crazy to think about, but something in you that that fighter was like, you know, like this can't happen. And I think it's this crazy, not crazy, it's not the right word, But anyways, it's a mind-boggling testament to the will to survive in the most difficult, extreme of circumstances. And so, was there a point in time where, I guess.

[31:04] Eventually comes a point in time where the chaos sort of settles down and maybe the the realization of what happened to you starts to set in.
What point was that for you?

[31:14] Um, it's hard to say like an exact moment because you know, even the night like the entire night in the hospital, like I can recall all of that as well. And that was extremely chaotic and not fun to say the least. But even there I was like, I don't know, sorry to backtrack. But I do remember like there's all these people around me was very chaotic. And I was like, I heard a nurse say like she needs blood. I was like negative AB negative AB. So I'm just like constantly telling people, like what I needed. This is what you this is here. This is what it is. And at one point, they were trying to give me I don't if it was a CAT scan or an MRI, after having like this tube jammed into my stomach.

And I kept asking them to put me to sleep because I was like, I just don't want to feel anything anymore. Like this is horrible.
And, you know, and they kept saying like, well, we can't, because that's more likely for you to die.
And they were very candid with me and I was like, okay.
And anyway, they're trying to give me an MRI or something. And I remember saying, I'm going to be sick.
Like I'm going to throw up.
And so I turned my face, I threw up all over the floor. And then I saw blood coming out of one of my side wounds.

And I just looked up to them.
I'm bleeding, I'm bleeding, I'm bleeding, right? So I'm like constantly telling them like what's going on.
And then this nurse was like, she's waiting. And then that point I was really, really about to like my lips were apparently really blue.
I felt super cold from the inside out. And they were like running me down the hallway to get me into surgery.

[32:28] So that was like that night, right? And then I, the few days after I woke up, I was on life support, you know, I was on morphine. So, you know, I was just, it was kind of like, I would be lucid for a few moments and kind of fall back asleep.
So it was definitely a little bit fully came to.

[32:45] But yeah, so in those couple of days, go ahead. Oh, no, sorry. I was gonna try to answer your original question, but we can get back to that. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I was thinking in those couple of days where, you know, you're sort of semi lucid falling in and out of consciousness, that kind of thing. You're on life support. Do you have any recollection from that moment? You know, because some people might wonder, like, did you have any visions of like passing into the next life or things like that, or any sort of hallucinations or like anything that sticks with you from that little stretch in time?

[33:15] Nothing. I do have, so my book opens with the moment I woke up on life support. And it's a very brief moment, but it's a very distinct one for me that I remember very, very well. And that's kind of how I opened my book actually. But the only thing, you, know, I kind of would joke, I feel ripped. I feel like ripped off somehow. I didn't, get the whole tunnel in the light and someone telling me this wasn't my time. But I did, see when I was being carried out of my room, actually, and I don't always talk about this, but I looked to my right, they've knocked a picture off the wall. And I looked to my right and kind of down the hallway where my room was, I saw like a woman in white and I thought it was my mother because she would wear these like long kind of nylon gowns, like sleeping gowns or whatever.

And later on I asked her, I'm like, well, you were standing in the hallway, right? That was you, right? You were watching and she was like, no, they made me sit in my room because at that point, point she's a suspect, essentially. And I was like, wait, you weren't at the end of the hallway. And.

[34:09] She was like, no. And then I thought about it. And I was like, oh, she had blue, blue and white, and, like dark hair. You know, again, my mom's a redhead. So this one, this person who I think was a woman had dark hair shoulders. And then like, there was no face. Like, I do remember there was no face, there. And I just perceive it as an angel. That is the only, I don't say that's only because I think it's a big deal and there's plenty of people that would tell me I was hallucinating, I was losing blood, you know this and that but I wasn't seeing like dancing hot dogs and stuff You know what I mean? Like I saw this one figure that the only reason I saw.

[34:40] So I really do believe that was yeah some kind of angel you know, Helping me in a spiritual being of description. Yeah, right exactly. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely, And you know, I think again, fascinating sort of experience to go through.

[34:57] Fattening is maybe a loaded word because I don't think anyone's going to put up their, hand to go through what you've experienced. But as you retell the story, I think one of the things I want to maybe highlight here as well, time doesn't necessarily heal all, wounds like we might think, especially going through a traumatic experience like that.

But I want to point out, maybe because I understand this myself, having been through somewhat of a similar circumstance, over time become able to look through this experience from a different perspective. And your ability to speak about it kind of candidly and even, with a few jokes here and there is not at all to diminish the very serious gravity of the situation, but actually a reflection of the work that you've done to be able to move, through what it was you experienced and move on with your life. And I think it's important, for people to hear that because if there are those who maybe have not been through a traumatic she might listen to Lynn's retelling of it and think, oh gosh, it must not have been that serious.
And they're like, no, this, I mean, she was blood curdling, screaming, screaming, calling one, like fighting for her life.

[36:00] But this is a testament to the power of what can happen after having gone through trauma, if we do the work, that allows us to kind of look back from a different perspective on that experience.
And so I just wanted to, I guess, interject that into it.
You know, and I love that about you.
Thanks. No, you're right. I'm so grateful that you're...

[36:19] Yeah. And so maybe you think you fast forward a few weeks after the incident. How long did you spend in hospital? 16 days.

[36:30] Okay. And, and I guess you got some some details about it, you know, turn like maybe at the time, you didn't realize just how many times you've been stabbed. But okay, we there's seven stab wounds. Was there any, like any like vital organs hit or anything like that? Or any vital arteries severed or like what?
Yeah, my spleen was stabbed through twice. And one of those went into my pancreas. So they had to remove my spleen, my pancreas had a tube coming out of it. And then my lung was punctured and collapsed that also I had a chest tube. Don't recommend those. Those are very painful. All of the tendons on the top of my left wrist were sliced through down to my bone. I had like chips of bone missing. And then there's a really important nerve our leg called the perineal nerve. And that was severed through into my calf muscle. And so I couldn't basically flex or even my foot for almost a year. So it takes like nerves about and they grow like a millimeter a day or something. It's really slow. And as a dancer, of course, that was, devastating to me. But yeah, so I had, you know, some more defensive wounds, if you will, like on top of my wrist, but even that like has left me with some difficulty moving my wrist, you know, and then I had one on the back of my neck, which was pretty superficial, thank God, because I think I would have been paralyzed or something, you know.

[37:48] Kidding. Well, I'm actually I'm just hearing you describe like the different different locations, like something in your legs, something in your wrist, something, something in your side, like this, you know, this was like, I mean, it must have been like wildly swinging, just hitting whatever he could. And of course, you're also fighting wildly to defend and try to try to save your life against this vicious attacker and what took place there. Eventually this man was caught.

[38:15] A couple years later. How long after a few years later? Okay.
Yeah, a few years later. He did.

[38:22] And to your recollection, did he carry any further attacks before he was caught?
Like you mentioned, maybe he was a serial attacker?

Yeah. So to be clear, he was never actually convicted for my case. I'm just having to trust that this was the person because I couldn't see him very well. It was, you know, again, two in the morning. But when I read, like an article came out, like the Boca Raton magazine, and they just went through like all of these attacks and the attacks stopped after he was, caught. But he was caught after me because he was trying to rape a 17 year old girl in her apartment complex, like laundry area. And he was strangling her with a tie and he punt like he broke her jaw. And then another woman, excuse me, at the time he, knocked on her door wanting to use the phone and then kind of push the door open and stabbed her. Meanwhile, she had a friend sleeping over and he didn't do anything to the friend. And then another woman he ended up I think she didn't know him and they were on a date and she ended up dying like she was found with a knife in her back kind of thing. Because I think she'd invited him over for dinner. So that's so there were multiple attacks after mine. Yeah, yeah, as well as before.

[39:30] Yeah. Right, right. And, and, yeah, I just think about this, the string of things. And then, so, in once I wonder, if there for a period, maybe a period of time, or maybe ongoing, like, was there a struggle with just the fact that, like, he hadn't officially been convicted in your case. And so there's maybe not necessarily a sense of closure or, I mean, maybe you've somehow you've achieved a sense of closure, despite the lack thereof.

Yeah, I will say that another trauma that happened on top of this was how the police handled my case and treated me, which that has been also taken me a lot to work through.
And I don't want to say I've ever gotten over any of this because every day I look at the scars are all over my body and I'm reminded, right?
And it's, I also write about, you know, it's, I don't know what's worse, like going through this attack or not being believed because the police, I think had a very easy time, I'm like, oh, here's this girl who was depressed.
You know, she did this to herself.
Whatever, you know, and it turned out that they were actually following him that night. They were following him. They knew of him.
They knew of this man. And I'm still getting treated like I was the one trying to do this to myself. And I will tell you that I.

[40:37] Was told my mom had a friend who was a police officer, but he worked in the county department as opposed to the city.

I know the story gets like wilder and wilder, right? This is probably why I wrote a book. But he had told us about this.
He was like, yeah, they know about this guy.
Like they are onto him. They were following him that night, but they got called off on like a drug case or something.
And sure enough, I researched for my book, because I'm like, if I'm gonna say something like this, I have to be able to back it up.

And Janet Reno, who was a really well-known like attorney general of the United States at the time, she launched an investigation to the Boca Raton Police Department for covering up crimes.
So this was something that was nationally looked into.
So it's just, I just, unfortunately became, yeah, like wrapped up in all that.
So, you know, I had to go take it. I didn't have to, but I was asked to take a lie detector, test, which just feels so incredibly insulting.

I mean, it's just, I lived through this, right? Like this is like, hello, like how did I do this to myself?
A and B I'm alive right now. And the only, I don't want to say the only reason I'm alive, cause obviously there are other reasons why I'm alive, but I fought to be here.
I am here because I fought to be here. And even the surgeon told her father that, you know, And thank God for that man who just told my dad, I'm like, she's here because she wants to be, she fought to be here.
You know, and here's someone who had a very direct link to saving my life, right?
But it was with me that night. And that just kind of gave me that little bit of validation that somebody sees me or somebody believes me.

[42:05] You know, I think there's like a line of a song, I might get it not quite right, but it's something like the scars remind me that the past is real.
The the.

[42:17] Um, I believe it was a Papa Roach song. I was, I was a child. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. 80s, 90s.

[42:25] It was a Papa Roach song. Yeah. I think I know you're right. Right. Right. And so I think, something along, now it was, it was a different song. I think it was about self-inflicted wounds, but unless I think there's a line in there, the scars remind me that the past is real.

And anyone who's listening, you know, can comment or correct the fact, but, uh, you know, you say every day you look at the scars and they remind you and you're right. Um, this is what I, I think a lot of people don't understand maybe why I feel passionately about this is because there's similar I can I'm here like Someone's like kind of crossover, you know My attack happened in South Africa and the police are just incompetent over there, Like they don't even want to bother investigating it because I didn't die. They're like, oh you didn't die. Okay, let's just not bother, And nobody got raped at the time. So, you know, whatever it's not worth our time, right?

[43:10] What Right because we you know we have this idea of like the police are there to defend us, to support us and so on. But, you know, I suppose not to just defend the police at all. But in that profession, it must be hard, maybe it's impossible to not get jaded after seeing like the worst of humanity day in and day out. And not to excuse or condone that sort of behavior, but to understand how do people, how do people in that position get to the place where they're basically doing this? You know, and I can only think that must be somehow connected to just seeing the worst in humanity day in and day out, eventually just jading, to the point that you're like, yeah, whatever, you know?

Yeah. And so I think the problem, the attacker was random as far as you know, he didn't know you, is that right?
Yeah, that's very true. And a lot of people would tell me, oh, you must have known him.
Like you had to have known him. And I was like, no, I promise you.
Cause even after, you know, he got caught, I was like, I definitely don't know him.
My mom doesn't know him. Like neither one of us know him.
You know, and then I'd go, well, how does he know, you know, where you live?
I'm like, well, he followed me from the, from the, you know, 0.01 miles from, you know, that, that, Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[44:15] This is what these people do. They stalk people and they find people and then they attack them.
And I came to the point.
Just the way that people, I think the way that they try to come to terms with how they feel about what happened to you.

Each person like pro's at differently and so they try to come to rationalization as to why it happened. And I believe it probably comes from the fear like what if I was ever in that situation and here's how I think it won't happen to me.
To know him it wasn't a random attack because it's actually probably a little more terrifying for people to hear this was like a random attack. Absolutely and I think at 21 I had I didn't, realize like how I had to say it was profound but I do feel like it was this profound realization I came to at such a young age because I just I couldn't believe some of the things people's, this one man and I don't even know who he was was an older gentleman and for some reason I was talking to him about this and he literally looked at me said well what did you do to piss him off, off. And I was just like, what? I just couldn't believe some of the things people would say to me.

I would like rage in the throat if I got asked that question, frankly.
Yeah. Yeah. So if you didn't do that, I would just commend you on that. Because like, I think people don't realize just how incredibly like insulting and demeaning that what did you do to piss him off?
Yeah. Wow. Like some. Right. Staggering level of ignorance there.

[45:38] That's that's the worst one I think that I can come up with that is the most searing like I was so angry and just I don't know like I just had to come up with why people responded this way and I have a very similar thought that you do it's like my attack because it's random affects their, feelings of safety right and that's unacceptable so I must have done something to cause this, therefore it won't happen to them because they won't do anything to cause this to happen to them, Right? So I think, you know, that was that was kind of what I had to come to.
It's like that was just their way of protecting themselves, albeit in a very non compassionate way towards me or anybody else.

I say that to you. Right.
Because I think about how not only do you have to like recover from the attack, and bear the burden of having experienced that there's this additional.
Yeah, this additional burden of kind of dealing with people in a sense.

[46:33] There's a looking for this escaping me presently, but essentially you're like carrying their burden as well because they don't know how to deal with the fact that you went through this experience and their level of rationalization. And I say ignorance not in malice, but unless somebody has been, through an experience like that, there really is. You cannot understand what it's like, but it's like that's why you don't just open your mouth and say callous things because maybe you saw that in the the movies lived experience, you know, and I kind of feel passionate this because, you know, I, I share your pain here.
So I'm like, Oh, I feel, I feel angry hearing people like having treated you like that.
It's just, it isn't fair.
Like people thought, Oh, you guys are traveling. You should, you, they became all the reasons why this stuff would happen.

You must not know how to protect yourself or defend yourself or all that.
I'm like, are you insane?
This is four guys jumping at night in like a, you know, very crazy situation. Right. Yeah.

[47:26] There was no reason for this to happen. They didn't know me from a bar of soap. Right.
And things like that. So, and again, I only share that detail just to say like, I, boy, you've got my empathy here and like, I want to defend you.

And likewise, likewise, well thank you. I'm so grateful that like, you know, you wrote a book detailing these experiences and I think even the experience of writing the book was allowing me to finally maybe vocalize and say without people cutting you off, without people interrupting you, without people interjecting and things like that, you're like, no, damn it, I will be heard.

And I will be heard, my experience be validated and so he wrote the book Choosing Survival.

Yeah, thank you. Because I struggled even with why am I writing this book because I didn't want it to be like, look at me. I'm so great. You know, it's just my trick is to help people. But you know, it's like, how do you do that? Because I don't have all the answers. I don't do it perfectly. I still struggle with depression. You know what I mean? Like I've done so much work. And it's, it's kind of a day to day thing. I have to work at it every day. There's no like, I finally achieved it, you know, like, Yeah, finally achieved like some level of nirvana or something like that.

Or enlightenment's where I know all like, no, I will never know all.
And I everybody's situation is different.

[48:38] And, you know, even if you experience the same exact thing, like your experience is still going to be different from the person next to you because of how your past and how you process and all those things.
But I guess like my main hope is that there is some healing and storytelling and sharing from my perspective as well.

Hopefully whoever reads it and also to to help people feel like, OK, I'm not alone if I've experienced something, no matter what it is.

[49:01] And there's strength in sharing and being vulnerable. And I can choose to get help.
And that's I really thought about that title because I do think I chose to survive.
And I also chose to advocate for myself and to not, you know, even if it got frustrating and there were days I definitely wanted to give up and say, if this, like I'm done, but you know, the next time, well, no, I'm going to keep trying.

I'm going to keep, I'm going to try this other therapy or I'm going to try this other therapist or I'm gonna try this or I'm gonna try that because I just refused to give up on myself.
And I still do.
You know, I think about someone I interviewed, different circumstances.
She acquired Gillian Barr syndrome just after giving birth to her daughter.
And for those who don't know, it like paralyzes the nervous system essentially, and it just, like creeping paralysis through the body until she was just on life support and ICU on a ventilator.
Yeah. After her daughter's just like newborn.

Right and they had to teach she had to learn how to breathe again like because, the muscles atrophy in your lungs because not being used because it means, later and it starts with like five seconds and ten seconds and 20 seconds and so on and so forth but she had this sign on the roof of her hospital bed that said I can try again tomorrow.

[50:16] And so I was thinking about your story here about like going through these different therapies and trying, you know, trying this and trying that and this idea that I can, I can try again tomorrow.

[50:25] It's, it's a powerful thought. And I love that you're, you also say, Hey, you know, this is like, Hey, I still struggle too. Like it doesn't like time doesn't necessarily heal us, but you, you.

[50:37] Carry on and you continue to live your life. And so there's another detail I was, I was kind of curious about here and that is not that long after the attack you actually um met your husband i don't know if you knew him before the attack or if you met him after the fact and you get into a relationship, because i'm thinking just to frame this sort of my question a bit it's like how do you trust people, again right after going through what you went through


yeah um i had met him because he was a friend of my brother's they were fraternity brothers together and um i had met him a couple times, not a ton. So I think at least it gave me a little bit of a sense of trust, like my brother trusted him, then I could trust him. And something about him made me feel really safe emotionally and physically. And I hadn't really dated at all before that. In fact, I've really avoided it because I think, you know, again, childhood wounds and whatever, and divorced parents and all that stuff, I'm just like, I'm not going to deal with that. I'm going to focus on this other stuff.
And yeah, it's surprising even to me that I was able to be in this relationship with him, but I'm so grateful. Again, I think it's because he made me feel really safe. And I hadn't experienced that before. And that was something, sorry. That was something that I just, yeah, I really held on to that. And I was like, okay, there's something here with this person who can make me feel this way, because I hadn't before.

[51:56] And what's really remarkable is like you've gone on this journey together for 25 years.
Do I have my math for 25 years?
Yeah, that's close. Let's see. 24 something. I don't know. 23, 23, 24.
Almost a quarter century.

Yeah, it's been a while. We got like almost a quarter century. And so you think about that. You two are not like the same to people as you were when you first met. But not only that, he has walked beside you while you had to go through this healing process. And so I want to give a shout out. What's your husband's name? His name's Lucas.

[52:39] Lucas, why don't you give me a shout out? Yeah. down below.

[52:43] Because like, you know, and I think because of how my wife like stayed by my side as I went through all the healing and self destruction that I wanted to go through after going through trauma and things like that, that she wouldn't give up on me when I wanted to give up myself and things like that.
Like, again, those who stay with us in the muddy, uncomfortable years, because again, you think this is just one thing that happened to you at one moment in time.

Of what, no, it's something that's imprinted on our brain and a timeless part of our brain, that carries with us for years to come. And for somebody to have enough compassion and, empathy, and also to see just what a marvelous human being you are, by the way, to see that and go like, for all the metaphorical and literal scars, you know, like, I can't imagine, not being with you, therefore, through all of this, I will help you because I want to, be in your life. Like shout out to Lucas, man. That's wonderful. You know, it's so amazing that you get to have that level of support in your life. I think that's really special. And I don't want to gloss over it, make it sound like a Hollywood rom-com or something. Because I'm.

[53:46] Willing to bet, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm sure there's been some bumpy moments as you go through this trying to process everything that happened. Oh yeah. And you know, he's his own person with his own traumas too. And like, so there's definitely been some years that we like, we can admit that to each other too. It's like, okay, these time periods, we weren't as connected, and we weren't as close and like what was going on there. But then here we've come through it and gotten so much stronger. And he's had to do some of his own work too. It took him a while to kind of get around to, but somehow, yeah, I'm so grateful that we've come through all of it together. It's a really special gift that I'm really, really grateful for.

[54:26] And I think part of why I wanted to highlight that as well is maybe a mushy guy at heart or, something. And I like stories of, you know, like, because I think that's a real love story versus, like, again, the romanticized version Hollywood kind of shows us, but it's like, you know, we endure through like the difficult times we grow there. And, you know, you said something really.

[54:44] Like powerful. And that is like, sometimes we're close together, sometimes a little bit further, apart. Like, there's an ebb and a flow to being in relationships. And I guess why I want to share because I feel like we live in like a throwaway culture.

[54:56] Whether it's like anything fast fashion to like social media posts that disappear in five seconds kind of thing.

We just live in this throwaway culture and it's like a throwback to say, we're gonna fight for this, we're gonna fight through this, we're gonna go through the hard times, but on the other side of it, as we were saying before we hit record, like you emerge with something that's worth, more than all the money in the world because you've invested such a significant portion your life into being in this relationship. And so now you have something all the money in the world can't buy.
Yeah, absolutely. And you're right. I mean, even going through like trauma, right. And part of what I wanted to focus on was, without the dark, we can't have the light, right? It's like, it is hard to focus on that in the moment. And it really is, you know, especially when you're kind of going through it, you know, it can get very, very difficult, like to focus on it.
But there's something so beautiful on the other side. And so if you're kind of in the thick of it, I know it sucks.
It's not fun at all. But, God, just there's something there's something that's incredible when you kind of end up on the other side of it. And when you can look back and see where you were where you've come from, you know, obviously, you still have some ways to go. But that's there's something so special in that too. And that's that's not that's no small feat. I mean, that's a big deal. And I think I'm very guilty of forgetting.

[56:10] That, you know, because I still kind of want to get to my perfectionist ways and I'm not doing enough and I'm not good.
No, it's very easy for me to slip back into that.
These things that are wired into our brain in the impressionable years, like the first seven years of life, it's remarkable how, because the brain is so plastic, as we call it, neuroplastic at that time.
It's just how the stuff gets wired in and just doesn't disappear.

The quote from, I think it was from a monk, and maybe it was a stoic Greek philosopher or something said this a few thousand years earlier as well, but something like, you know, give me, the child until I'll show you the man. And what he was, what that quote is expressing is that the first seven years of life are so impressionable and so important that it.

[56:57] Can really shape the individual that you become.
So Again, why I share that is to encourage people to say, Hey, you know what, if there's things that you seem to like be really, you know, And maybe maybe we don't have to fix everything.
Maybe this life isn't about necessarily trying to fix everything but learning to like live with our scars and with our flaws and with our, You know, that's what like if we were all these like flawless human beings, we'd be like, oh, hello. Perfect to you. Hello. Perfect.
Right. Like how boring would that be? It's like, I'm like this podcast exists because we're like all flawed struggling human beings who've been through hard times, you know, exactly.
And you wouldn't be this fascinating human without it.
Likewise. Yeah, I mean, you're right. It would be very boring. I mean, some days you're like, oh, that'd be kind of nice. But at the same time, yeah, it'd be boring. Excuse me. But yeah.

[57:46] I think it's too, there's always been this idea that like, I remember back in the day when I was younger, like, oh, therapy is for, you know, if you're messed up, well, A, we're all messed up and B, everybody needs it. Yeah.
Yes. Bingo. Yeah, well, like, take a look at you know, like, that's, that's, that's the work. And that's, that's really the bravery to me is like, facing all these things, because we all have them, we all have childhood traumas and wounds, regardless of how wonderful it was, or not so wonderful. And it's being willing to do the work and to come through it on the other side.

Yeah, I mean, in my other professional life, when I'm not being a legendary host of this podcast, I help people work through emotional eating. And a byproduct of that is weight loss. I often like to say that side effects may include weight loss, but it's not, you know, but really, my company is called Freedom Nutrition Coaching. Shout out to my own company. Yeah, yeah, But really it's about working through this stuff and and that's that's the hard part is, So because and I guess why I why share this is we we we use so many emotional anesthetics to avoid doing the work, It can be video games. It can be binging on Netflix can be junk food. It can be alcohol can we get drugs, can we get pornography, like there's so many...

[58:56] Emotional anesthetics that are available to us now that never were before that we can use those things instead of doing the work.
And you're right to have the courage to do the work, to face it.
Because I think there's a part of our brain that goes, I don't know if I have the capacity to deal with the pain that I'm going to experience as I go through this work.

But as you can attest to, as you've gone through this work, you come out so much stronger, not just because you've done the work, but because there's this realization, I can go through that and come out the other side.
And you become bolder and braver knowing that, yes, I don't like that.
It doesn't feel good, it doesn't feel comfortable, but I can do this and come out the other side stronger.
And not to paint you as a super human, but you have a remarkable level of resilience to be doing what you're doing today.
And again, I think, I wanna highlight that for anybody who's never been through these kinds of experience. This is not common.

And that's why you might wanna, and don't brush it off. And sometimes people wanna brush off compliments when they hear them, right?
But we don't we as human beings also sort of instinctually want to do that I don't know but like I'm not just like making this up to because we're recording this, It's like genuinely as I listen to your story as I listen to what you've been through, And how you've processed and navigated this like you are genuinely a remarkable human being that's been through something incredible, and come out the other side an inspiration to to so many people and so.

[1:00:23] I i'm going to plug your book again choosing survival. I'm like dang it. This is a book that people need to read because because there's got to be so much more that we unfortunately don't have time to explore in this.
But that's why you wrote the book, to give people more of this amazing story that you're part of and also to give people hope who might be struggling the other side of it.

[1:00:43] Yeah, thank you. I really appreciate that.

[1:00:48] That's okay. And you know, you wouldn't be the first. We're allowed to have podcasts, we're allowed to have emotions. We're allowed to have the feelings. Well, and you've also been incredibly generous with your time. And I really appreciate that you were willing to be courageous, and vulnerable and share some of the most difficult parts of that experience. Your willingness to be, candid in sharing that and talk about it again, when we don't avoid the hard stuff, like it gives others courage to face it. I really thank you for doing that. As we wind up here, if you were to just offer, you know, someone's been maybe listening to this story and, you know, what would you like, what sort of nuggets of wisdom or nugget of wisdom would you like people to take away from listening to this today? I think we all, so speaking of childhood traumas, we all have a magical inner child and I think it's so important to connect to the magic that we all have inside of us.
And you are worth advocating for and I can't stress that enough. No one is going to care or advocate for you as much as you and that's really important and you are worth doing that for.

So that is a huge, huge thing that I really believe and sometimes it gets lonely and sometimes it gets frustrating, but you're worth it and I can't, I don't know, just please do that for yourself because.

[1:02:02] Because I'm like I'm like say that again for for the people that back me to hear this again, you are your own best advocate yeah step up an advocate and fight for yourself because you are genuinely worth it such a such a powerful message well then thank you so much for being on the show today it's truly been a pleasure you've got a remarkable story and I look forward to reading choosing survival as well thank you so much I enjoyed it as well 

Lynn ForneyProfile Photo

Lynn Forney

Choosing Survival: How I Endured a Brutal Attack and a Lifetime of Trauma Through the Power of Action, Choice & Self-Expression

When home on a break from college, Lynn Forney awoke to a man, a stranger, in her bed. Then he stabbed her. Seven times. She lost 21 pints of blood. Statistically, she should not have survived. And if that wasn’t enough, she was victim-blamed and -shamed by the investigating police, hospital staff, family and friends, and even strangers. Now, she’s telling her amazing story of survival: candidly, honestly, courageously. Hoping that in doing so, she will help others do the same.

Her book, Choosing Survival: How I Endured a Brutal Attack and a Lifetime of Trauma Through the Power of Action, Choice and Self-Expression, details her attack, her miraculous and difficult recovery, and tips for anyone overcoming trauma or struggle.

Lynn is a dancer and actor. She has also written, produced, directed, and starred in two short films, one of which is getting ready to enter the film festival circuit. She still pursues all of these interests and looks forward to combining these skills with her passion for healing through the arts.