Making peace with the past
This is a very scary and sad fact that not even my family knows. Very few people in my life know this truth about me, and I can name them on one hand, and still have fingers left over.
But, before we get to how and what - we have to start with the who and why.
It's no big secret to anyone that I've had major self esteem issues my entire life. For a very long time - well before I met my husband - I believed that I should settle for any person who would have me - because, who would love the unlovable me. At least, that's how I thought of my self back then. This didn't start in my 20's. Hell, it didn't even start in my teens. I felt pretty worthless near my entire life, and a lot of my self esteem issues stem from the sexual abuse I endured in my childhood. I felt disgusting, and ugly, and unlovable.
And I know that if my family reads this post, it is probably going to hurt them. I'm sorry for that. It's not my intention with sharing this story about myself. I'm also not sharing this to shame or dishonor them. I'm sharing this because I think that it's important for people to speak about things that are hard - even things that may cause severe consequences or judgement against them. I want people to know it's ok to use their voice, to be heard. My story is just one of hundreds of thousands. Healing starts with one. And I'm hoping that by sharing this very vulnerable and terrifying part of myself - it may help someone else heal, and deal with their scars.
I never dealt with my childhood scars. In fact, I wanted nothing to do with them. I ate them away, drank them away, and stoned them away. I dealt with my issues in some of the most destructive ways possible, because I thought at the time being numb was better than accepting the reality of my circumstances. This goes far beyond bullying. I was my own worst bully. I believed that I deserved what happened to me. I believed that I was unworthy of love. But I so desperately wanted to be accepted, that I literally sought it out from anyone that would show me what I thought was kindness.
Living with this kind of mentality for as long as I had when I met the person who almost fathered a child with me - it destroyed any positive self image I may have had about myself. I knowingly and willingly put myself in situations, because I didn't care very much about me. And that's pretty scary. We truly can be our own worst enemies, sometimes. And that's the problem with not dealing with your problems head on. Eventually, it catches up to you. Sometimes, it's too late. I'm grateful that it wasn't too late for me.
I met a person after my long term boyfriend Ben and I had broken up. This person moved to NJ to live with me in 2002. It was almost instantly that I knew I had made a mistake, and that I didn't love this person. Hell, I didn't even love myself - but I was so resigned to the idea that I should just accept and be with whoever would have me - that I ignored the warning signs, and stayed in a bad situation. Not only did I put myself in this situation, I put my family through hell in the process. (Sorry Mom and Dad...)
This was a toxic relationship. I truly hated this person, and I wanted him gone. But I was so afraid of being alone. A few months after moving in with me - I found that he was being inappropriate with girls on line. This, topped with being arrested (TWICE) for shop lifting - was the last straw. I told him to get his father on the phone, get a fucking plane ticket, and get the fuck out of my life. I didn't want him in my house. I didn't want him in my bed. I certainly didn't want him touching me ever again. We had agreed that he would sleep in the living room.
He had sex with me that night - while I was sleeping. I woke up during it.
It wasn't until years later, after talking with my husband BJ about this event - that I realized what he had done to me was rape. I, of course, was angry the night this took place because 1. I told him we were done. I gave him back his ring. 2. He was fucking around with young girls on line - and that above ANYTHING is grounds for me to immediately lop your balls off. 3. I didn't love him, didn't want him, and wanted him out of my life, my house, my family.
It was a very turbulent relationship. I hated him. But I was terrified to be alone. He was manipulative, and sneaky, and conniving.
As a result, I ended up pregnant. And I was fucking TERRIFIED. I didn't want a child with this person. I didn't want any part of him near me, let alone growing inside me. It made me feel sick, and disgusting, and it made me hate myself even more. I was a manic mess. The spiral of depression that came as a result of this was unlike anything I'd ever felt before. I panicked. Instead of being angry about what had happened - I was ASHAMED and blamed myself.
I had an abortion.
This secret I've been keeping. This lie... it's been eating me alive for over a decade. I tried to justify this as a medical necessity. I've even gone as far as saying miscarriage. The raw hard truth is that I terminated a life that was unwanted by me. And I've struggled with this decision that I made so long ago every day of my life since.
March and April have always been very hard months for me. This is mainly why. March he raped me. April 24th, 2003 I terminated the pregnancy. I was 6 weeks pregnant.
I'm now 36 years old. I have PCOS, and am unable to get pregnant. I haven't gone as far as IVF yet. But, I've sometimes wondered if this is my punishment for the choice I made so long ago. There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not haunted by the life that was once inside of me. There isn't a day that I don't wonder what my child would be like. What kind of person they would be. And it wasn't until very, very recently (like, the past month recent) that I've finally forgiven myself for what I chose.
I'm sure that there will be back lash from my revealing this truth. I'm sure there will be people that will distance themselves from me because of political and spiritual reasons - and I understand. But I am not going to apologize for my past any longer. I don't live there anymore. I am the one that has to live with my choices. I am the one that lives with that pain. And I chose to take these pieces of me, the good and the bad, the right and wrong choices - and turn them into something beautiful.
I could have either allowed my past to swallow me whole, or I can face it head on, and hopefully help others who may be hiding in the dark like I was for so long.
I can honestly say that I met my husband at exactly the right moment in my life. I truly believe he saved my life. And he saves me more and more every day. He is the kindest, most gentle person I've ever met - and I never knew that love could be this way. I never knew I could feel love like this.
I know that on my judgement day, when I meet God, I will answer for my life choices. All I can do now is live the best life I can by helping others.
That child inside still grows
With the same force of life as before
God himself couldn't remove that seed
Not even Heaven could even the score
I lost the child before I knew
The life that grew inside of me
Would give me so much more than
What I expected or prayed it'd be
In the mouthes of babes truth be told
That in this period so short of time
Once a thought, a body, a mind
Coursed through these veins of mine
I speak of regret in the hardest way
Than can be recognized by the human heart
To find that lost stollen child of mine
Where to begin? Where do I start?
I can not say more simply than this
That I take with me the greatest of pain
That fills this body with the blackest night
No sight be seen, no hope held in vain