It’s September in Buffalo so like many Western New Yorkers, I’m thinking about snow.  When will the first flakes fall? What costumes work over parkas? Are there really 50 Inuit words for snow?

Then it hit me.  We need 50 variations of the word fear. But I’ll start with one: productive fear.

Productive fear is a phrase coined by my mom, meaning to take action.  Unfortunately, it’s not easy to implement because by nature hard-wired living thingsfreeze when terrified! Picture the unflinching rabbit escaping the hawk.

For me, productive fear meant walking through the doors at Family Justice Center.

I arrived at FJC alone, after three years of terror.  I was physically and mentally unable to visit multiple locations for the services needed, so the all-under-one-roof model saved my life. FJC shaped a plan and it worked. And over the last 18 months, I’ve re-built a stable, happy life for me and my children.

I’m forever grateful to Family Justice Center and a mom who encouraged me to make my fear “productive.”