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The Life You Thought You'd be Living

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

You probably have heard it said before, possibly in a hundred different ways, that much of what you are experiencing or living today is a direct result of what you have accepted to be true about you- and what you deserve. Personally. Professionally. Physically. Spiritually. Relation-ally. Let me ask you this, when you look in the mirror each day, do you like the person looking back at you? When you have your morning coffee and let your eyes wander around the room that contains your life, do the things that you see make you smile? When you grab the hand or kiss the lips of the person you have agreed to spend life with, do you feel like you picked a good person? When you do the morning shuffle with your little bundles of pure joy- do you even feel joy when you look into their little faces? When you greet each new workday do you step through that big career door happy to be there, doing what breathes life into your soul? And when you lie in your bed at night waiting for sleep to come, does your mind ruminate on the lovely life you feel so blessed to live? (Sigh!)

Or instead, do you cycle endlessly in your mind through the lists? You know the list I'm talking about. The list of those things that need to change- damn it! That have to change. The 'Please God, help me' list that cycles... * your diet * your body * your job * your income * your car * your relationship * your nail color * your hairstyle * your neighborhood * your personality * your this and that- and that and the other. *Those people that you keep allowing to take up space in your life even though they would be more apt to sink your ship than to save you from drowning. *Those clothes that you should have thrown out years ago because they are so ill-fitting and drab yet you can't find the umph to like yourself enough to part with them. *Those Mondays that just keep coming with yet another brutal blow to your spirit -or- with that slow but steady drip.. drip.. drip of poison that numbs your spirit as you accept life without passion, or purpose, or success. * That relationship that you are clinging onto desperately just to prove to yourself that someone- anyone, would want you -or ... that relationship that you remain in day- after day- after day that breaks down your self-esteem, your confidence, your spirit, and your sense of safety.

* That habit that you keep trying to kick every time you say 'Enough'. Enough to spending so much money. Enough to lighting another cigarette. Enough to pouring another glass of wine. Enough to answering that late night bootie call. Enough to seductive sugar. Enough to 'just one more time and I swear I will quit'. But that habit just keeps kicking you harder. * Those kid(s) that came into your life all because your friends were getting pregnant. Your man was going to leave you. You didn't use protection. You thought you were 'supposed' to be a mom. You thought you wanted a family. You needed money- and a baby is a way to make that to happen. You just were just too young and too naive to understand what you were choosing- for the rest of your life. And now you think thoughts of a life without a baby- or kids in it, and you don't want anyone to judge you for feeling this way.

So what happens when you sit back and look at your life and it doesn't look anything like the life you thought you would have? I don't know about you, but for me, that is a hard reality to stare in the face. When I was in High School, there was this fleeting moment when I grabbed onto this vision of what I thought my life was finally going to look like. Actual words came out of my mouth. I will never forget, I said, 'I am going to help girls like me'. And I believed I would with every fiber of my being. I felt something, so deep inside of me, take hold and ooze hope through every pore of my skin. In that moment, it felt surreal. I just knew this was going to be my destiny. But then life took over, bad choices were much easier to make than good ones, I didn't have the encouragement or support that I needed to keep facing forward, and I lost touch with that vision. Oh, I did make attempts to pick it back up through the years, many years in fact, but it just never took. Way back in Junior High, I just knew that I was going to do something grand with my life. I was on honor roll, I had good friends, I excelled in English and my teachers always pushed me to keep writing and singing. And, the very thought of drugs made me physically ill. But I always seemed to like boys that didn't like me back. And that was a very painful, entirely consuming experience. It caused me to draw back, to isolate, to hide the best parts of myself, and to become even more body conscious than I already was. It was very difficult at such a young age to balance the gusto I felt for achieving great things and the loneliness and self-hatred I carried around inside of me. In High School, I had my sights firmly set on High School graduation. I was determined

to keep my grades up, graduate with my class, then go on to college to become a guidance counselor or a school teacher- to help girls like me. I had this beautiful picture of the lovely life I was going to have with a man who adored me, a house filled with kids, and my picture on the back jacket of books tucked in every young girl and woman's book bag. That.Didn't.Happen. Instead, I dropped out of High School. The final quarter of my senior year, if you can believe that. Those bad choices I mentioned before, while they caused me to miss a lot of school. So much so, that I ended up being 4 credits short when I started my final quarter. When I went to talk to the powers that be, pleading with them to let me walk with my class at graduation and I would go to summer school to make up the credits I was short, I was told, 'No, not girls like you'. High School is hard to get through for a lot of people. You are no longer a kid but you also are too young to be an adult. When I look back, I remember High School almost like a slide show of pain. My closest Junior High friends went to the other High School in town, so I had to start all over. The first boy I liked made fun of me in front of our entire class. I started drinking alcohol. I was pressured to the point of forced into having sex with someone much older than me who failed to mention that he had a wife, a young daughter and a new baby on the way. I started smoking cigarettes. I skipped class. I started smoking pot. I fell hard for a boy who without a care handed me over to his dad in exchange for some lines of cocaine. I was not yet 16. I moved in with my best friend and her very loving but very alcoholic parents only to be forcibly removed and sent to live with my father who set up my very own 'personal private living space' in the barn down the road from the main house. The boys I did like agreed to have sex with me on the one condition that no one - no one, would ever find out. My much, much older teacher kept putting me in very uncomfortable and inappropriate situations. I moved in with my boyfriend who was 27- I was only 16, and his best friend who was 29, who pushed cocaine and alcohol on me so that I could keep being their 'best girl'. I made one too many bad choices that threatened to get me kicked out of school, so my family moved to south town so that I would be forced to attend the other High School- and hopefully become a better person. My friends from Junior High were not my friends any longer, they now had other friends. I continued to skip class. I struggled to keep my grades up. The boys I liked did not like me back. Some of the boys I did spend time with were not healthy or safe for me. I was held against my will overnight and repeatedly assaulted by 2 boys close to my age and 1 older man I did not know prior to that night. I continued to smoke pot, to take pills, to use Crank, and to abuse alcohol. A lot of my high school slide show is filled with flashes of faces, or smells, or places I have never been able to remember clearly. Thankfully there were good friends, great parties, fun memories, and wild adventures during those hard years. If those pieces were missing, I am certain I would not be here today. Those times are what kept me breathing through all of that pain, trauma and self-hatred. That dream of helping girls like me was tucked back away deep inside the dark pocket of my heart that day I was told 'No, not girls like you'. Mostly, because I believed those words spoken about me to be truth. And I continued to believe those words through two attempts at college, through two failed marriages, through five miscarriages, through countless severed relationships professionally and personally, through a sexual assault at the age of 39 that pushed me to a very dark and desolate emotional cliff that I teetered dangerously on the edge of. Those bad choices I spoke of earlier, well I continued to make those. I spent too much money on the wrong things. I invested too much effort and energy into red-flag men. I used alcohol to numb the pain of rejection, abuse and self-loathing. And I wasn't fully present at times when I should have been for my kids. Every single particle of my life was filtered through that subconscious lie of 'No, not girls like you'. Thankfully there were good friends, great parties, fun memories, and wild adventures. If not for those, I am certain I would not be here today. So, what happens when you look at your present life and realize that much of what you are experiencing or living today is a direct result of what you have accepted to be true about you- and what you deserve. Personally. Professionally. Physically. Spiritually. Relation-ally. You make a choice to re-write that truth. No one, absolutely no one, owns your truth but you. Girls like me, going through things like I went through, are exactly the reason God put that truth in my heart all those years ago. Those painful things that happened to me, they no longer have the power to keep me bound in self-hatred or self-abuse (praise God!). Today I know and believe I am not defined by the trauma, abuse, or mistreatment that I went through. And neither are you. This is your life. You get one shot! You deserve to feel the sun shining on your face. Laughter- lots of laughter. To love and to be loved. The feel of warm sand between your toes. You deserve to live in a home that makes you smile with people that adore you. A career that ignites your passions. Friends who will ride the bus with you when your limo breaks down (thank you Oprah!). You deserve to live money-to-more-money instead of month-to-month. Your life should be filled with happiness and joy, with abundant peace. When you close your eyes and let yourself dream big dreams... you deserve for those dreams to come true!

Girl, you were created for greatness and nothing

that has happened to you and no one who has

hurt you or made you feel unsafe has the power-

or the right, to take that from you. The life you thought you'd be living... has been waiting for

you. Are you ready to step in?! #livingfree #abuse #assault #selfrespect

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