Every soul has a story.
From the time I was a little girl, I used writing as a tool to make sense of what my life entailed.
At 4 years old I watched my mother and father get taken away from us for a while. I watched the foundation I built my tiny heart around– my security, crumble in an instant.
I watched how life can just happen to you, how choices can affect you, how it affected both of my parents. I learned that no one is immune to the evils of this world, every one of us is vulnerable, and that being a parent, having a family, it doesn’t protect you from that.
I spent a greater part of my life learning to accept this: that what happened wasn’t ever happening to just me, or even just us kids. It happened to everyone. It broke everyone. My sisters and brother and I were only caught in the undertow.
I’ve made peace with that and although awful things happened as a result, I let go of blame and instead chose understanding. I choose this every day.
Becoming a parent myself has helped to change my perspective.
By 7th grade, however, I had already contemplated suicide a thousand times. A darkness that would not lift, so many questions unanswered. As soon as we would find stability, the axis of the world would shift and we’d be knocked down once again. It didn’t stop.
This was my life. Of sadness, abuse of any kind, turmoil, loss. A pattern that was pre-written, one I couldn’t escape but did not choose.
I know what it’s like to be hungry, to be cold, to live in darkness…to try to hold on to whatever scraping stability you have left, wondering if that will be taken, too.
I know what it’s like to watch both of your parents break and be shattered. Watch them as they try to cope with the leftover pieces in their own ways, all while having a family.
I know what it’s like to try to parent yourself, your siblings, and protect each other from the outside world.
I know what it’s like to fake it, for the sake of normalcy, to hide the scars so that your peers just won’t know.
A childhood was taken from me, my adolescence tainted, truths that would affect how I would choose to shape my adult sense of self, how I’d allow myself to be as a woman. The only way I knew to survive it safely was to write it down. Scream it out silently, onto paper and hope that the power over me would be lifted.
And so I did. I’d write to God.
Growing up we learned about Jesus and God but we were never pushed into faith. We weren’t church goers. But something in my soul reached out to Him. My diary was full of letters to Him. I was raw and transparent. I’d cry and be angry and curse. I’d ask why.
I was so lost then, but He did reach back and touch me with His grace. I was so young in my walk, I still am to this day, but God would give me glimpses of hope, touch me with the Holy Spirit to give me strength to continue. Jesus pulled me to press on. And so I did.
When I was 19 years old, my brother took his own life. He was 23. The hurt and the weight of this world just too much, a lifetime of disappointments and too many lies from the devil brought him to his breaking point. I vowed to live for him. To break the cycle. To get out and be a testimony for others, for us.
I finally broke the cycle at 23 when I graduated college. I realized then that my life was my own now. I was still unsure but completely free. A huge part of my soul still bruised, it may always be, but I was now free to choose. I was living freely, a little too much maybe, when I believe it was God who sent me my husband. He showed me healthy love, acceptance and freedom. He has pulled me closer to my faith.
Life has moved fast since that moment. I’m still healing, still learning, still figuring myself out. I feel like a baby fawn learning to walk for the first time. I’m a forever walking paradox– so enthusiastically happy yet still sad somewhere in the depths of my soul. Sometimes I wonder if after a lifetime of surviving, if sadness has become my default…What my heart goes to when it’s still. I still feel the waves of whiplash every so often–even though it’s been a few years since I’ve left the darkness. There has been healing all over my family, deep within myself, but the memory always remains, lingering somewhere in the background like a misty cloud.
Motherhood has forced me to start pulling out my demons, the darkness, the lies I had allowed myself to believe about myself. That I’m not enough, that I’m not worthy. That I need to stay closed off and calloused in order to protect myself. I knew I needed to conquer these things for the sake of my son. For my husband. My family. Myself. It wasn’t something I planned, but it happened. It’s happening still.
And this is where I am. This is the beautiful struggle I find myself in. Learning how to be healthy. Learning to be okay with the stillness, the calm, the pure and trust that it’s safe to feel these things. Learning to shed my leaves continuously, over and over and over again and allow room for growth and blooming love, to be tender and vulnerable. Learning to be honest with myself, with others about who I am and who I am striving to be. Learning to be brave.
This is how I do that. I write.
I write about the joys, about the mundane, about the happy, the simple, the sad, even the uncomfortable. I write about it all and then I set it free, in hopes that there’s another woman out there just like me who needs the strength, the affirmation, the confidence to do the same.
I’m looking for that too, you know. I felt alone for a long time in my life. Misunderstood. Separate.
Motherhood has given me the confidence to reach out and I’m no longer trying to hide the differences inside. I’m setting them free. I’m being who I am, as flawed as that is. It’s me. I finally can love that now. And I’m looking for others who can too.
I’m here for any woman who needs someone. Whether she is a mother or not. If any part of my story resonates with yours, speaks to you, touches your soul, just know that you’re understood. You’re loved. You’re worthy. You’re well on your way. And I’ll always be rooting for you. You’ll always have a friend who understands.
With love and light,