Once upon a time, there was a girl who could never quit talking. She was not trying to be the center of attention; in fact, she was trying to convince herself that she had thoughts worth sharing, a voice that was beautiful and strong, an opinion that could be valued. She didn’t have the self-confidence that comes with the loving and staunch support of family’; she didn’t have the approval of peers, who teased her mercilessly about her appearance, her weight, her funky clothes and just about everything else they could think of; she didn’t have a lover that would whisper sweet nothings into her ear about her beauty and her importance in his life. She was never treated like a treasure, only a project in need of improvement. She had judgment, harsh commentary, verbal and emotional abuse, bullying, sexual assault, and abandonment to forge her will and she was not a weapon but a blunt instrument, hacking her way through life with recklessness and confusion. She was ME!
For a long time, I was afraid to spend too much time alone with my own head. ‘No good could come from that!’ I told myself as I sought out the company and approval of many. The truth is, none of those descending opinions were the Truth, none of those abuses about me really. They were about power and a lack of empowerment, about the internal struggle of others which I was unfortunate enough to be a victim of. Most of those who slung arrows my way were trying to help me, improve my speech, my manners, my dress, my … whatever, and they did it out of love. But they were misguided; I was just fine as the imperfect human being that I was, and I didn’t need to be fixed with criticism but with kindness, openness, forgiveness, and tolerance. These undoubtedly would have carried me farther than the reality of my early years.
Having shared all of this I can say with certainty that I would not be the same person I am today without having walked every mile of this rocky road. And so, while I type these words, I am flooded with gratitude to those who have been in my life, both positive and negative. I have since forgiven all these transgressions and abuses and moved on from the days when I allowed myself to be abused by anyone, including myself. I did, in fact, form many habits that were self-destructive; they were defense mechanisms to keep out the pain. But you can’t hide forever if you want to be a healthy and happy person, no matter how hard it is to face those demons. I am now free of them, too, and soon the tobacco will be a thing of the distant past as well. Forgiveness, strength. and gratitude are learned skills and, if you can relate to any of this, then you can learn them, too.
Today I sat in the silence of my shop working on my event page, my Tarot of the Day, and more. It was peaceful, serene, and quiet! Now I can say that I am able to be comfortable by myself, sitting in silence for hours on end. I am not afraid of the demons that will pop up in my head. I have faced them each as a weapon, one finely honed over years against the stone, and I have chopped off their stupid heads! Sometimes, when you fight the monsters, you win! Today and every day I am a winner and I am thankful to the Gods for my life, my strength, and my power, and the many people in my life!
Tomorrow, may you be one step closer to fighting those demons that still hold power over you. My guess is that you are stronger than you think! As always, know that if you are in an abusive situation, you can reach out for help, NOW, before it is too late! We are all stronger together and love is the way!