I remember as a little girl I had big dreams and an even bigger heart. I had a happy disposition which was odd for a child whose life was filled with emotional and verbal abuse.
I guess time hadn’t happened to me yet because as time did pass my dreams quickly faded and my disposition changed. Control, manipulation, and anger from my abusers wore on me and continued to do so for the greater part of twenty-three years. I became a very jaded person. I had so much love and trust for others in the beginning, but by the time it was over, that was all but gone. I had become the shadow of a person I once knew but no longer recognized.
Everything came to an abrupt and painful ending four years ago.
I had dreamt of freedom for so long but, it turned out much different than I had imagined.
There was confusion, and by the time freedom had come I was battered, worn, and scared. Life didn’t just end up “okay” after the abuse was done, there was a much longer road up ahead.
These past few years, I have fought through the shadows of my past as I’ve journeyed to pick up its pieces. I have battled self-doubt and fear. I have felt so much anger and heartache. But, despite being beaten to the point of hopelessness at times, I resolved to keep moving forward every day.
Now looking back through bloodshot eyes, I can see the worth of it all. Whether it was believing I could take on the challenges given to me at work, or deciding to defeat my doubts and fears by going after a degree at the age of twenty-seven, or putting aside my fear and trusting people again, or choosing peace over anger as I took steps to forgive my abusers; the battle had been hard and will continue to be but I now believe that I am worth fighting for.
The day my abuser left was just the start to a finish. The finish is now having the courage to continue to discover my authentic self and to walk boldly in her path. To let the little girl from so long ago find her way back into the world and to keep fighting like hell for her.
Another year has come and gone again as it will for many years until the day we die. Life is what you make of it. You have the choice to be honest with yourself, the choice to fight, the choice to forgive, and you have the choice to leave.
Don’t wait for things to come to an abrupt end to take your chances and continue to move forward. You will be okay. You will rise from the ashes of your pain as author J.K. Rowling said, “Phoenixes burst into flame when it is time for them to die and are reborn from the ashes.” You are worth taking control of your own life and healing your soul from how abuse has left it.
I chose to fight for the strength to continue to move forward and overcome the demons from my past. I chose to believe there was so much better for my life if I took the steps to create it.
Don’t carry your past with you to your future anymore. You have the potential to be stronger than you know.
Whether it’s talking to your estranged father, making peace with your mother, finding the courage to leave your abuser, or going to school for the first time; speak your truth even if it doesn’t resolve things right away or perhaps ever. Find your voice again. With the passing of each year, I hope to get wiser and kinder, I hope to be stronger and love more, and I hope to continue to cultivate the courage to keep fighting so that I can create and go after my dreams again. “. . . If not now, when?”- Hillel
What are you waiting for? What finish can you start?