My Female Silent Hero

by Jessica Hensley

Woman standing under a cloudy sky

Students at Southern New Hampshire University were invited to submit essays in celebration of women’s contributions to society, with a focus on a particular woman who inspired the writer to share her story. This essay was chosen to be published in The Penmen Review on International Women’s Day.

“Some of you are unaware of just how amazing you really are. The way you make people laugh, lift others up or spread some extra love. You do this even though you are struggling too, and I think it makes you such a beautiful human being.” The author is unknown; however, it reminds me of a woman I know. She hasn’t had much self-confidence, self-worth, or self-love over the years, but she is amazing. She prefers to build people up and defend against those threatening to tear them down. She loves hard and is fiercely loyal. She is opinionated and passionate. She is a rock for those who need strength, even though she often feels weak. She is only now beginning to find herself as she accepts all of who she is, even the messy parts. Her childhood was plagued with trauma, but one role she refuses to play is the victim. Despite all that she has endured, she perseveres!

She has devoted her life to her husband and her children. She has a way with kids since she is fun, nurturing, observant, and understanding. She likes routines, sets rules, and reasonably disciplines. She is trusted and respected. She can view situations from many perspectives, so she is often a therapist for her family and friends. She is passionate about helping others become more self-aware. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a child, but she copes well. She is a full-time student majoring in Psychology, and it is her goal to help others heal and develop positive coping mechanisms.

There is so much she has overcome. The woman I know is a survivor. She keeps fighting and refuses to give up! There are several inspiring women I could have chosen to write about, but I chose her specifically because she underappreciates herself. She does not give herself enough credit for all that she has accomplished and continues to accomplish. She has so many talents and will do great things in her lifetime. She carries the world on her shoulders and acts as if it is an easy load to carry. She takes on the burdens of others but is wary of burdening others with any of her struggles. She has a hard time asking for help. However, everyone needs some help sometimes, a hard truth she is working on accepting. The load she carries is heavy. She often feels overwhelmed and consumed with self-doubt. She is a full-time mother, student, teacher, and wife. Compassion and empathy are contagious. One may not think she has contributed much to society because she is not actively changing her community, but everything we do has a ripple effect. Her ability to bring people up when they feel down enables others to do the same. She deserves recognition, especially from me. She is me.

Category: Featured, Memoir, Nonfiction, SNHU Student