As my birthday approaches yet again it always strikes me as such a surprise. Like wow, we made it through another year. Not that I expect to die but truthfully I didn't really expect to live. I know utter nonsense not to equate on to the other. While I did not necessarily expect to live I always hoped to do so. I stepped right out of high school in the 90's straight in motherhood during my freshman year of college, and then settled into a long term abusive relationship.
I have no idea how I held onto hope or if I was holding it or it was holding me. When I got pregnant my life was devoid of encouragement. My choices were to have an abortion or give up on life come home and just be a mom. Having been a mom for so many years I understand the depth that is missing from that last statement. Being a mom is never a 'just' kind of declaration. When you are 18 and your world is crumbling because everyone and everything around you is telling you failed it feels like an end vs a new adventure and opportunity.
My first born would be followed by a second, and another series of settlings. I got a job and worked it well. It had decent pay so I disregarded the disrespect, and ill treatment and took what I could from the experience. In 2004 I mustered up what little bit of gumption I had and enrolled in college. It was the beginning of the longest decade of my life. During that time I lost my sister viciously to murder, birthed another child and learned how to have hope for myself.
In 2011, 16 years after it had begun which was at that time half my life, I ended my abusive relationship. I held myself together with the little bit of hope I had for me and the mountains of hope I have for my kids. I left everything I had and started over. Three years later I left the other abusive relationship in my life, my job. The next few years as I grew and changed it became clear that a lot of the relationships in my life were mirrors of my marriage. My personal and professional relationships were comfortable to me before because it was familiar. As I went through counseling I began to wholeheartedly believe I could have a different life.
In May of 2014 I graduated with my Baccalaureate degree in Integrative Therapeutic Practices. I started a career as a flight Attendant, and started dipping my toes into the process of living life. By 2016 I came into the full understanding of what it really meant to have a relationship with God. I committed my life to Him and have never looked back. Years of wrestling with post traumatic stress disorder, depression, suicidal ideations, fear and I am winning. I learned to see myself through his eyes and accept that I am his beautiful creation. In addition, I learned to be gracious with myself as mistakes are a part of the process.
I am on the cusp of my Forty-third birthday, overcome with joy and gratefulness. I am amazed at where my life has come even though deep down I know I am just getting started. As I learn to live fully in the second third of my life Here are a few things that I have learned that I hope will speak to you where you are. No matter how many times you hear it, somethings don't always sink in until it is made manifest in you.
- Trust God
- Be Patient
- Don't let your circle define you, define your circle
- Nothing happens overnight
- Time really does heal all wounds
- In order for time to work you have to forgive(yourself and them)
- Therapy is for everyone (we all got a little trauma because, people )
- Vulnerability is a superpower when activated with discernment
- Hope is a necessity
- If All else fails just add more love (per my good friend Dan)
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