This life isn’t for the faint of heart. I’m not saying my life is worse or better than anyone else’s. I’m not here to compare my demons with anyone around me, or one-up the next guy or gal.
I’m simply here, to tell you, that this life, like so many others, is not easy.
Forgive me if I repeat things, that I’ve already touched on before. But here goes:
Family history of mental illness.
Absent father, for most of my early childhood.
A grown man, related to my step dad, caught watching me take a bath… I was 12, in my own home.
Lost virginity at 13.
Ran away at 15, and lived on my own until I was 17 and moved in with my aunt, then back with my mom.
High school drop out.
Mental and sometimes physically abused by my step father.
Child protective services laughed at me when I called them about the bruises.
Losing my job.
Here is how I survived, and how I continue to live a happy life.
I didn’t get any mental illnesses. Celebrate that!
Foster care opened my little baby eyes, and showed me my ability to deal with stress and heartache, Detachment problems, and trust.
I learned that I don’t. NEED a man to support me. I learned that through watching my mom raise us, in her single income.
Finding a man watching me bathe made me NEVER forget to lock a door, while I’m the bathroom. Never.
I lost my virginity, and now, as an adult, I can attest to wishing I’d have waited until I was older. I can explain the feelings to my daughter. I can list out in detail, why I shouldn’t have even been THINKING about sex at that age.
Living on my own, relying on no one but myself, taught me how to stretch $25 to last a whole week.
Dropping out of high school. I understand minimum wage. I understand not making livable wages. I am able to understand and relate, because I was there. It gives me a better, well rounded grasp of living and finances.
Abuse. I learned how to read people and situations. I can remove myself from an abusive situation and not fall victim, because I know the signs. I grew up with them.
Not getting help from child protective services made me realize and understand that our system needs to change. No one is there for the poor kids. I had a bruise the entire length of my hamstring, and they didn’t take me seriously.
Mitch passing far before I planned made me become the person who doesn’t plan too far in advance. Just a bit. It has made me the person who gives my all to everything. It’s made me appreciate who is around me. I see those who help me, even when others don’t see them. My heart has so much love to give, and so much to teach, and so much room to grow. Mitch will always be my greatest love.
Lastly, being fired. I learned that there is better out there. I needed to quit being too afraid, but nothing like a boot to get you rolling on your resume. And the amazing place I landed, surrounded by some amazing (goofy, annoying, and ridiculous) work family. Without being fired, I never would have found them.
So, there you have it. A brief summary of how I find a silver lining, everywhere. Each bad thing had some other good things, but I’m keeping this short.
Tonight, I put my wedding dress on, and it was too big!