"Who are your greatest allies?"

As with a lot of questions, this one calls for a great deal of thinking. Know that as I'm writing this particular post, I will be stopping for multiple "thought breaks"!

I guess the best way to explain who my greatest allies are is to do it one step at a time, right? Cool.

Story time! A little over a year ago, I was watching TED talks. I stumbled across one called "The Art of Asking" by Amanda Palmer, and I absolutely loved everything about it. Not just the talk, but Amanda herself, because she believed in something I'd lost faith in long ago. People.

Long story short, when her book came out, I couldn't actually afford it. No problem, because her fan base was fully immersed in The Art of Asking, and various people were sending copies of the book to other fans, or friends of fans who needed the positive message in their life, etc.

I obtained my copy of the book through an Amanda Palmer fan. Once again I fell in love with everything she stood for. From there, I started listening to her music, and because the universe works in weird ways, a few months later I was sat in one of her concerts, enjoying every moment and revelling in the audience interaction.

I joined a Facebook group for Amanda Palmer fans, and it was like being welcomed into a family who would go on to support me through tearful moments of "I'm not good enough and never will be" and even held me when I frantically posted in the group minutes after sexual assault. That group and everyone in it, is definitely one of my most valuable allies.

Then there are my "real life" allies, of whom there are a small handful. These are people who were there to physically hold me as I tried to process the fact that I'd been assaulted, who held my hand as I gasped for air after a New York subway induced panic attack, and who cried with me as we hugged goodbye at airports.

My allies are the people who show me that I can trust people even after the worst betrayals I've ever known. My allies are the people who will hold my hand even after I've used it to push them away. My allies are the people who believe in me even when I don't.