I found this on PostSecret and it triggered some very sensitive emotions for me. I think many people have varying degrees of PTSD. Sometimes we block out traumatic situations in order to get through the day. The problem is, until the core problem is dealt with, it will continue to manifest itself in different ways.
I have encountered many, many times in my life that I have often wondered, “Am I really this fucked up? I honestly wasn’t sure if I was the way I was because of the things I had been through in life… or if I had been through them because of the way I was. I have had a very “colorful” life. I have had some of the most incredibly amazing moments any one person could ever hope for… and some of the most horrifying, heart wrenching experiences that I would not wish on my worst enemies. I have had people live vicariously through me. Others who would not want to be anywhere near me. I often wondered if I was destined for greatness or if I should just end it all.
My feelings were always contradicting each other. On one hand I could envision myself living in a beautiful home, with a wonderful, loving husband, raising my kids and changing the world through my work. On the other hand, I thought, who could possibly love me? I’m some young, single mom on welfare with no education, no good job, and nothing to offer.
Life was so hard at times that I often thought of death. I dreamt of dying so that I would never have to feel pain again. Then I would think about my family, my kids especially. I couldn’t possibly do that to them. My ex was pretty horrible. My best description of him is everything bad that could think about a man, that is him. He was a high school dropout who was extremely abusive. He was in a gang in Chicago by 14 when his parents decided to move him to Florida. He tried to kill me a few times. Once almost throwing me off a balcony. Another time he had me by the neck, lifting me off the ground while I was pregnant. He never once attempted to pay child support or help with the kids. I would sometimes dream that my ex would die so at least I could get social security and maybe I would be able to afford a decent life for my kids. I would drown away my sorrows, like many people do, in alcohol, sex and sometimes drugs… hoping to either numb the pain, feel some twisted version of “love” or feel powerful.
After him, I stayed single for seven years. I found a job that was lucrative but not without consequences. I felt stifled, as if in a prison or hell that I could not escape. Familial relationships were hard. Most of my personal relationships were, at best fairly awful. Many of those I called “friends” were lying, backstabbing, people who left me feeling empty and disappointed more often than not. The guys I dated were liars and cheaters.. absolutely not marriage material. I suffered deep depressions. They often lasted for long periods of time.
It seemed that every time I tried to beat the depressions and negative thoughts, something else would come around and bury me into the ground. I moved many times. Looking back, I was probably running away, in hopes of a better life for myself and my children. I met the most beautiful man in the world. We were officially engaged a month and a half after we met. And then he tragically died. This was definitely the lowest point in my life. To this day I can hear my own screams playing in my head. I can still feel my heart being ripped out of my chest. Watching myself outside of myself, as if my spirit had detached from my body while my body fell to the ground. I wanted to die. I know part of me did that day.
I know that my kids, God bless them, were the single factor that gave me the strength and courage to move forward. I had to find a way to get to the life of my dreams so I could get out of this nightmare. If not for myself, at least so I could give them a life worth living.
Fortunately, I found my way.
My struggles did not begin with me being raped, although I have been. That was just one of the factors that contributed to my struggles. It took me a lifetime of hardships, loss, and self-analyzation to discover that, yes I am destined for greatness. I remind myself constantly that the truly great people in life suffer through the worst of times to develop the strength and fortitude that I have. I often think of people like Oprah, who suffered greatly and came out on top of the world. I think of the Jews in who survived the concentration camps and made a life in spite of their great suffering and loss. I have been blessed to meet some of them. I think of a little boy named Dave Pelzer who grew up to write A Child Called “It”, based on his true life story of incredible abuse. More than anything else, I think of my kids and how my suffering made them suffer. How much I wish I could take away their pain. But I can’t. I can only show them, through my actions, how to deal with life’s obstacles in a better way than I did, and maybe.. just maybe by that I can save them some future suffering. This mindset keeps me moving forward.
I no longer need anything or anyone to make me feel strong, beautiful or loved. I know I am strong. I know I am beautiful. And hell, if no one else loves me (which I know people that do), at least I love myself and God does too.
I have been procrastinating on beginning this blog because it means that I will be exposed… much more so than I have ever been in the past. That is mortifying at times. However, I know that in order to grow in myself and to help others, I will have to put myself out there to some degree.
However you ended up here, I hope that I will serve my purpose in your life, or you in mine, so that we may grow and evolve and find our Core Strength…