We all hit road blocks in life, some lasting weeks, others years. To survive the beat down you have to remain focused on forward steps, even nano steps are moving forward. I was lucky, abuse, trauma and self-hatred started while very young. Growing up hearing how stupid I was convinced me it was true. I was abused, sexually abused and watched my mother beaten everyday by my step father.
Lucky? By 12 years old I was a drug addict, dating a dealer and planning how to kill my father. My life meant nothing, it never did, my mother was never satisfied, my stepfather hit me in face with his fist while my mother watched. I was on probation for carrying a gun and going to a juvenile detention camp was in my future.
Two significant events happened that changed my life. The State of Texas took custody of me and placed me in a Convent for bad girls. I started to hear affirmations, compliments, how smart I was and given more responsibility very quickly. This type of detention, positive verse punk on punk saved my life. At 13 years old I started a newspaper called the Tumble Weed Connection.
Internally my mind was learning a 180, professors were loaning me Psychology books, Man Search for Meaning, books beyond my years and certainly my education level. I was treated as an equal, a PhD talked to me the same as his peers.
I’ve hit too many road bumps to count in my 55 years but firmly believe the positive influence saved my life. My grandparents were always positive but it is different hearing from people who didn’t know me. My confidence was boosted quickly.
When a road bump finds me, I have to look back at what I’ve learned, how far I’ve come and most importantly the people who supported me, they helped shape the person I am today. Next is take a step.
I’m a chronically ill 55-year-old woman with a mental illness who is a survivor, strong as steel and determined to run my own life. I’m a Christian and the light of God guides me. When I fall, there is no doubt I’ll get up again. I’m facing a frightening illness and surgery now but it doesn’t occupy my mind non stop because the outcome is out of my hands.