We're about to get a bit more intimate or at least you will know a part of my story. This is
L O N G and may trigger some of you. I make no apologies for that as this is my story. You have been warned.
As most of you know I also (used to) run a group. I started the group because I never found a place that really talked about real shit. Nothing seemed to resonate as a "safe" place to me for people to let out their truths and not be attacked or judged. I had mostly felt that way for the greater majority of my life and kept things inside out of fear of backlash or judgment. Basically, I had enough of people's low vibing energy and was seeking something greater for myself.
I am still on a miraculous self discovery journey. I am learning new things about myself all the time and I would imagine this will continue for years to come. I'm LEARNING to choose myself more, regardless of how frightening that may be at times. This was not an innate ability or taught to me growing up with a dysfunctional, alcoholic family. I made myself small so I wouldn't be seen or attract attention, albeit good or bad.
My story is full of self hate and loathing from early childhood and on. I was molested at the age of 4 by the male children of really good friends of my parents. My parents, the ones who were supposed to protect me as their child did not. They repeatedly put me back in harms way by remaining friends with that family and leaving me alone at their home and with those same children. This was after a fight ensued the night of said molestation.
My parents went through a very ugly divorce when I was a young teen. I witnessed so many horrific things during that time that didn't even register as such until explained to those that don't know my past. I have memories of seeing my father a little too friendly with the neighbor lady who had been invited over for Thanksgiving along with her family members. Little did I know at the time that was the beginning of the end for my parents.
My mom's rage caused her to try to burn the house down by dropping a lighter on the floor while I passed through the kitchen. She also threatened to shoot him with his own gun in my earshot even though that gun had no chamber. I vividly remember the night she put me in the front seat of her vehicle, while she was completely drunk, and had no idea where we were going. She and I were both crying as she drove us down the road, only to turn around and go back home about a mile down.
Upon returning home, my mom tried to try to hit my dad with the car as he was standing in the driveway with which she missed and hit the truck that was parked there instead. I can only thank my lucky stars that she didn't and I didn't have to witness that! Living through the fighting was bad enough. The fighting continued and there was a point when they tumbled down the porch stairs, my mom hysterical and my dad trying to hold her down. That was the same night I told my mom that I hated her. Looking back at that night just to tell you about it has flooded my eyes with tears.
The impending divorce sent me to live with my grandparents where I would learn some really hard life lessons. I came from a small town and had no idea what it was like to live in a big city or go to school with 5 times the amount of people I had grown up with to that point. Girls were mean in middle school and I had learned that the hard way by befriending the wrong ones. High school was slightly better.
My life at my grandparents was lived under minimal supervision. My grandma worked second shift during the week and while she worked my grandpa was usually at the bar or home sleeping, leaving me and my uncle to be supervised by my grandma's legally blind mother who we called Granny. We went to school during the day and at night were kind of left to raise ourselves. Looking back on all the crazy shenanigans we found ourselves in I am very thankful that we always remained safe because lord knows our world is not, not even then.
It is during this time period of my life that I would make some of the best memories with childhood friends, a couple of which I still have. I also looked for love in the wrong places and it didn't stop after I became sexually active at the very young age of 14. I used to say I was almost 15 to make it sound better not realizing at the time that even at 15 one is not capable of a proper love/energy exchange. I'm not sure what he was in it for and don't pretend to know. I was trying to fill the void in my heart where self love should have existed but didn't. I thought I could do that with sex because it brought with it a closeness.
Fast forward a couple years, my parents are now divorced and I'm living back in my childhood home with my father, his new girlfriend and their child and her child from a previous relationship. What happened to get me here still hurts my soul.
You know those first intimate experiences I had? I wrote them down in what I considered my diary. Dang, my stomach flipped just trying to get this out. That diary was actually a notebook that I kept in my room. We were heading up north to our cottage and I brought the diary with me as I would be dropped off at my parent's home. That diary/notebook was forgotten in the truck and I was frantic to find it the next morning when I arrived at the cottage with my mom.
While I didn't find it, my grandmother had and her disappointment with me can still be felt now as an adult. I would say her biggest mistake was reading it but it was actually giving it to my mother. You see, my mother would proceed to call everyone she knew that would listen and read those intimate moments of mine aloud for the callers to hear. I know because she and I were the only two in that big farmhouse and voices carried.
She had my father meet her at the bar she was working at and tried to get him to read it. She carried it with her for this purpose I swear. The only saving grace my father ever gave me was NOT reading that notebook. My heart still aches as I relive those moments. I'm hoping that someday it won't hurt so much.
Back to where I was, living with my dad. I got my first job and bought my first car while living there. It didn't last very long but it got me from the country to the city for a period of time and then I was able to use one of his cars thereafter. It was at this first job that I met other important players in my story.
I would once again look for love to fill my void and made some choices accordingly. One of the men I chose to align with was very dark and I consider myself lucky that I wasn't raped by him considering some of the circumstances I found myself in. I was 16 years old, maybe 17 at the time and believed the lies he told me. I was ridiculed by others for being a homewrecker as this man was in a relationship and had told me he was not.
It was also here where I would meet my first husband. Our relationship would progress quickly and still to this day I have no memory of the first time he hit me. I've often wondered when it was and what my thought process was to make me stay. It must have been so traumatic for me that I repressed the memory and I am almost 30 years out from when it would have originally happened. That's a long time to search for a memory that doesn't seem to exist.
There were many instances of abuse. I cannot say that any of them were worse than others because they all sucked. You cannot compare verbal to mental to physical abuse because they all cut so deeply. The mental and verbal was a fairly constant part of our daily routine. The physical existed for moments when I would try to speak up or stand up for myself. Even after that first time I went to the police, I would stay and endure years more abuse.
He slapped me so hard the first time I would go to the police! I had left the house with some excuse and we lived only 2 blocks from the station. I drove around a bit and tried to hide my car under the darkness of a tree as to not be seen amidst the light from the street lights. The mark was still visible on my face more than 15 minutes later when I actually brought my shaking body inside the building. I wasn't shaking from pain. I was shaking from fear; the fear that I would be seen or get caught by my abuser.
I had already endured so much abuse that anything outside of being controlled scared me to death. I was dependent on him for everything. His friends mocked me for going to police as if I had no reason to. He had separated me from my friends and family for the most part which I came to learn was part of the abuse cycle as was being afraid to leave. I didn't leave, not for a long time. The night he pulled the phone cord out of the wall after I called 911 and it took three cops to hold him down wasn't my departure either. In fact, when he was released from jail for domestic abuse, we eventually married.
I had it in my head that if we were just married, then he would see that I wasn't doing all the things that he accused me of; that I was finally his in every way. These are the thoughts of an abused person and unfortunately, this thought pattern is not solely mine but that of many abused people. The abuse didn't end after the marriage. It only intensified.
I wish I could say there was some magical moment when I had enough. There isn't any one moment that stands out but rather a cluster of moments and newly found support. The same day he held a serrated blade to my neck threatening me about making friends, I started a new job. That job gave way to new friends and relationships and looking back now I imagine he knew the end was drawing closer for him and I.
My family was being more supportive and I had new friends which brought the boost to my withered self esteem that I so badly needed. While he vowed to not grant me a divorce and make my life a living hell, I tried to pick up the pieces and move on. I didn't know at the time how quickly I would do so but nonetheless I regret nothing.
I was still legally married when my child with my now current husband was born. I did eventually get that divorce and happily never looked back. So much pain was inflicted during those years, it's been hard even to revisit them now to tell my story. We did still have a child together so he wasn't out of my life for good at that point but darn near as he rarely came around.
It was during the first half of my next relationship that I had my awakening if that's what you'd like to call it. I was able to see spirits. I would see them first but not hear them until much later. The fear of that sight along with the unknown was too much and I walked a very long and dark path in the beginning. I had no idea what was happening to me or why for that matter. I didn't know what to do and didn't know where to get help from. I was able to get some help from a sister of a friend at the time. She didn't have the same belief system I did but energy is energy.
I would complete a ceremony to ask that it all go away. I told them I didn't want the sight anymore and to go away, guides (sometimes referred to as guardian angels) included. And for a couple years, my life was quiet. I was told they would come back by that fateful friend who helped me get them to leave and she was right.
The next time I saw and heard spirit my husband's sister was the first to appear in a dream state to me. I had no idea who she was at the time as I had presumed she died as an infant per the last and only picture I had ever seen of her. When I realized (and this comes out of nowhere and all of a sudden sometimes) who it was, I didn't tell my husband for months. I was petrified that he would label me crazy and my relationship would be over as I had come to know it, which if you know me didn't happen.
My spiritual journey was a slow moving train for awhile until I started working with an energy healer. I thought I was going just to have some Reiki work done but of course spirit had another plan. I had to work through some other traumas, including some of the aforementioned ones, in order to move myself forward. I had also gone to see a local psychic medium during this time who told me I would be doing private readings by the following year. I didn't know it during that reading but my own personal readings began the following week. I started with friends or acquaintances in case nothing happened (my biggest fear at the time) and so began my professional career in the spiritual world. That was years ago now.
My life with my new husband hasn't been the perfect fairytale romance I had hoped. I guess I felt like it would be since I fully believe he saved me from more trauma with my ex. We would see our own patterns in relationships replay with each other, allowing the silent treatment to be our biggest hinderance in communication. Years would pass and we would grow apart, not loving each other and not loving ourselves, ultimately leading to a divorce. While we have remarried and paid homage to the Hollywood romance of second chances, it is not without issues. I am finding that I still struggle to choose myself and while our communication has improved 10 fold it is still not enough.
Choosing myself has proven to be the most difficult part of my journey thus far. I have spent years "stuffing" my feelings with food which has been my drug of choice since early childhood. I went from chubby to fat by first grade and have been that way pretty much every since. I am no longer interested in that. I am healing every day and am listening to myself more than I ever have. Learning to love my own broken pieces is how I got here and where I am headed. Thank you for being part of my journey.