My Story…The Real Ordeal…..
I’ve lived through rejection. I’ve lived through rape. I’ve lived through emotional and psychological abuse. I’ve lived through physical abuse. I’ve lived through emotionally unavailable parents. I’ve lived through a narcissistic psychopathic father. Manipulation to no end. I’ve lived through the chaos of domestic violence. I’ve lived through heart break. I lived through watching my grandmother deuterate and die in front of my eyes at a very young age. I’ve lived through faking life as being happy. A loveless marriage. Childbirth x 7 (not fun). Crohn’s disease. Pneumonia. I’ve lived through keeping a secret of my home life as a child and as an adult. I’ve endured an excruciating amount of pain…the list goes on. But somehow I MADE IT. I am still here and going strong for a reason.
While pregnant with my seventh child I knew I couldn’t become the best version of myself alone. I knew I needed to find support. I knew I need to seek counseling. I thought about for several weeks before I made the call.
I was afraid. Terrified of telling the truth. No clue what to expect. Was there really hope for me? Was I too far gone? Were my problems as big and terrible as they felt? I sure didn’t feel worthy. I didn’t feel like I deserved it. I felt that I was dealt a shitty hand of cards. I was angry. I was sad. I was so confused. I thought God had a strange way of showing me He loved me. I was consumed by lies. By religion. By those around me. By what they thought I should be.
I didn’t even know where I went wrong. I couldn’t make sense of my life. I felt like a victim and that pissed me off. I was fairly certain I was born to the wrong parents. After decades of being tormented by all of this I finally found freedom. At age 9 I remember deciding (after taking a look around at my immediate family) that I would one day find the key to happiness. I wanted to be different. I wanted to enjoy life. That one day I would change my life. I would use all my energy to live happy and be happy. That mission seemed to get buried deeper and deeper into the dirt until I could barely see it any more as years of mistreatment kept coming. And then, 8 weeks after giving birth to my seventh child I decided to take the risk. I signed up for counseling again. I had tried it once before in high school and it wasn’t useful. In the deepest part of my heart I knew I wanted to be happy and I felt in my gut counseling would provide me the tools I needed to get there.
At first each baby step hurt. Getting honest with myself about what had gone on in my home as a child and then as an adult was overwhelming. It left me unable to breath in that office. Several times I felt like I had the wind kicked out of me. A straight abdomen shot. As I sat there doing EMDR wondering what the hell that was and if would really help me. I had to yell STOP more than once. At another counseling session I burst into tears so badly I couldn’t stop and had to excuse myself. I up and left sobbing uncontrollably.
I’m happy to say that after some really hard sessions I gained more and more freedom. I didn’t give up on me. After many sessions I’d go home and have a week of hell. I didn’t want to do anything. I wanted to stay in bed and check out. But I willed my body to get up, take care of my kids, and keep moving forward. Sometimes I couldn’t baby step. It seemed too big. So I would crawl. On my hands and knees to new and healthy levels ever so slowly.
As I became more and more healthy, unhealthy wasn’t attracted to me. I knew where I was headed. I knew there would be casualties. I knew that I was going down this narrow hallway and only I could fit. I knew it was over. I chose to have a chance at happiness and I filed for divorce. Pulling up to that lawyers office I saw the number I had seen during a spiritual experience and I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. It didn’t make it any easier. But I sure was confident that I was making the best choice out there for my self and my children. I went into the bathroom and threw up. I gave myself one hell of a pep talk and forced myself to breath. Washed my face with water and dried with paper towels. I looked myself straight in the yes via the mirror and reminded myself I am a warrior and I refuse to bow down to fear. I held my head high, left that bathroom trembling and I went and sat at the big table in the fancy room. I told my lawyer what I wanted and what I needed. I told her I’d pay her whatever it cost for my freedom. I had no clue the battles I would face in the 10 months to come. But each time I faced them. Each time I felt tired. I felt like giving up. But on I went. And I won them one after another. When things looked impossible, they became possible. When I couldn’t handle the stress, the pain anymore, something shifted. When the other party involved claimed God wouldn’t allow me to get a divorce and I would forever be his wife (puke) the judge was able to put an end to that insane, religious, crazy talk.
I am still in the trenches in many ways. Financially I am starting at ground zero. Setting boundaries with my kids-ground zero. Teaching what love really is and what respect really is to a woman…ground zero. There are days I want to quit. Many days that I cry and hug my pillow. Days I apologize to my kids for things out of my control. But I am at peace with myself. I love me. And I love my kids. I can see how every wrong thing led me to the right place I am in. I can see how my low self esteem, non existent self worth, and boundary-less life made me a prime target for abuse.
BUT by some miracle I never lost my ability to love. I am real. I am raw. I am transparent. I will never hide again. I will face fear with the tenacity of a lion and I will love the hurting as innocent as a baby lamb. I still carry bucket loads of empathy and compassion for hurting humans. I love others and love them well. But I can now say NO and I can say YES where I need to. I can hold my opinions and beliefs when they are not popular. I will never change my core being to make others feel better about themselves. I am me and you are you and that’s exactly how it’s going to be. My heart is still so big even after all it endured. I am proud of that. I am thankful for that. I share my trauma and my rawest moments for several reasons: If my story can help you, give you hope to keep living, and seek help, then it all had a purpose. It sucked. I don’t wish it on anyone. But this is my way of giving back. Being a voice for those who haven’t found theirs yet.
Many times I’d look at my past and be tempted to go back to the familiar ways. I was caught in the middle. I was too scared to go back and too scared to move forward. There I was. Looking left. Looking right. The fear was paralyzing. Familiar felt awful, but strangely comforting. New felt exciting, but terrifying and extremely hard. I was unsure if I could trust it. I thought dying would be easier. I thought the world would be just fine without me. Disappearing seemed to be the only solution I could come up with. The show would go on without me; wouldn’t it? I felt trapped on planet earth; a place I didn’t belong. I so badly wanted it to end. All the darkness. All the pain. My heart couldn’t take anymore pain.
But beloved, I am right where I belong. My story looks different than your story, but you belong here too. The fact you are reading this and still breathing means you have value, you have purpose, and you deserve to be happy. I am now cool with being me. I am totally unique. Weird. One of a kind. And I like it. I am half city girl and half country girl. Some of my favorite things are peculiar (my favorite drink is ice water). I am fun, adventurous, a hope giver, a smartass, a badass, a creator, a writer, a mother, a dreamer, an entrepreneur through and through. There are many parts to me and I am learning to embrace them and not deny who I am. Much is still unknown, but for certain I will be on this self discovery of what is fun and what makes me, Mindy, for a life time. Who wants to join me?