I have reset after reset. And you begin to ask “how much can one person take?”

I attended nursing school while on welfare and food stamps in the ’90s at the age of 35, with a child, having “only” completed the 9th grade and got a GED. I graduated and passed the state boards by age 38 and began a career in nursing. I worked hard, built a home, raised my child and paid back the loan for my education in full. 

Fast forward — I was wrongfully arrested at my job as the charge RN on duty one morning. I was taken out in handcuffs in front of my peers, patients and administration.

When you know it’s wrong, you are terrified. The county has a long history of corruption and many fear the law in that county. I sought help from the state, my congressman, my state representative, the state police, the attorney general, the FBI and the media to help fight these corrupt acts. The response from every official was “you have a strong civil lawsuit.” The FBI said “move before you sue them.”

The wrongful arrest was in March 2014 and a federal lawsuit has been jockeyed around by the state since May 2016.

I lost my job, my savings and my retirement fighting back. 

The wrongful arrest destroyed my confidence and my life. I began working to rebuild a life that I had done nothing to destroy. I forged ahead, fighting the terror that reigned on my life, for myself and others too afraid to stand up and say “Hell no! You can’t get away this!” I continue to live in fear, but to borrow from Tom Petty, “You can stand me up at the gates of hell… I won’t back down.”

I maintained my nursing license by proving there was no crime committed. I had been Nurse of the Year and I had an excellent professional career history. A former employer met with me. I gave them the entire story. They were the only healthcare company that would give me a job.

I put one foot in front of the other. I continue with my head up. A company believed in me and helped me to find the strength, courage and determination to fight the fear. Today, I continue to fight back. And my reset is in progress.