Surviving the Storm

>> Thursday, September 23, 2010

The rain to the wind said,
You push and I'll pelt.

They so smote the garden bed
The flowers actually knelt,

And lay lodged--though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.
~Robert Frost



I will not be writing a beautiful story because it is not a beautiful story to tell. It is the story of my life, surrounded by abuse, my innocence lost before I even knew what innocence was. Where should I begin? Should I begin with the man I knew as my father? You know, the one who would come home high on cocaine and alcohol, only to beat my mother for some imagined sin? Or should I start with my real father, the man I thought was going to be my savior, my hero?

I think I'll start with him as he was the one that inspired me the most - to break free, to survive and to thrive. I met him when I was 8 years old and instantly wanted to love him. You see, my father (or the man who raised me as my father) was an abusive drug addict but I was still daddy's little girl and loved him. When he was sober, he was a very kind man. I don't remember him going to church, but he would pray before a meal and had a very tender heart when it came to other people's suffering and inspired me to be the same. I learn compassion for him and I loved him for it. When my mother left him, I knew it was the right thing for her to do so I was not troubled by it. When I met my "real" father, I was very excited and hoped to have the same type of relationship with him, just maybe without the addiction. Unfortunately from day one it began - the sexual abuse, and continued until I was in high school when I'd had enough. One day I lost it - I screamed and yelled and cursed and fought back. I was so hysterical when my mother got home, that I had to tell her as it was obvious something had happened. Soon after, he was out of our home. Unfortunately, it took a few years for him to be completely out of my life. The last time I saw him was when I met my half sister. I had only seen pictures of her, but we looked like we could be twins, though she was older than me by exactly 9 months. As I grew up and moved out onto my own, I realized that I did not ever want to make the mistake of having men like these in my life. I was determined to be happy and be with a good man. I have to say, I mostly succeeded. The boyfriends and boy friends in my life have been great, give or take one or two. I remained friends with all of them and our relationships were not toxic. My biggest worry was falling into the trap of thinking I was worthless and somehow damaged and allowing people to continue to drag me down. Instead, I developed a strong will, realizing that none of this was ever my fault. I have forgiven my mother, wanting to blame her for everything. Having two kids of my own at a much older age than my mother was when she had us, I cannot imagine having the ability to handle being able to raise 3 kids on her own, never having worked before. So there it is - laid out for the world to see, a topic that I swore never to discuss again. So, why have I decided to discuss it? Because I want other people to know that they should not be ashamed of what others have done to them. I want people to see that you can be happy again, love again, trust again. You are not ruled by your circumstance or your past - you are ruled by what you allow and I don't want others to allow it. I want you to survive.

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