You don’t tell people do you?

 “We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.” – Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What On Earth am I here for?

 

My past is a part of me and I will not be imprisoned by it! I have made the choices I have made and not all of them were the smartest or the most wise but I have healed, learned, and am working on moving forward. I am not the same girl that I once was all those years ago. It may have take a lot of struggles and even more hardships but I am here. I am a girl near graduating college who once thought she wouldn’t and who knows what she wants in life. If I were to hide my past and let it control who I am I would not be nearly as effective or passionate about what I want to do in my life. 

Like I have said in previous posts my mother, while supportive of the abortion thinks of it as a deep, dark secret, that nobody should ever know. She thinks she is protecting me by making this clear as day but all she is really doing is making me feel like I should be ashamed of who I once was. I got into an abusive relationship, he threatened my life, she asked if I wanted an abortion and at that moment I did and I went through it but I don’t think I really wanted it. I can’t let that eat at me or some day when I have children who knows how it will effect me.

Abortion, the word of anger, hatred, judgment, disbelief, and the darkest secret I hold.

In the past couple of weeks a few of my blog posts have had to do over this topic and its because some how it keeps getting brought up. I started seeing someone new and he came home to meet my family this weekend. Well this morning my mom and I were sitting upstairs talking and I had asked her opinion of him and all that, which was very good. She absolutely loves him, which makes me happy because I love him. Well then we are sitting in the chairs up in the more formal living room and she looks at me and asks if I had heard anything about the would have been baby daddy. She asked this because the last time I had heard anything it was on Facebook’s, North Iowa Mug Shots page. My sister saw his picture go across and it was for aggravated assault of his spouse at the time. This was when I really knew that I could start healing because now everybody knew that I wasn’t lying about the abuse I had gone through. I said that I hadn’t heard about him at all then she turns and looks at me and asks, ” You don’t tell people that do you”? Well not thinking I asked her what she meant and she just gave me this odd look and I knew she was talking about my abortion. I told her no.

My abortion is a part of me. It is something I went through, something I continue to struggle with sometimes, and just a part of who I am and why I want to do what I do. If it were not for that life event I don’t know if I would be in the major that I actually am in. If someone doesn’t like me for my past, which would be things I have gone through then they probably shouldn’t be in my life as a friend or significant other. Does that make sense? We all have demons, some of us just more than other, more severe then others, or an abundance of not bad demons but they are still there. Some of us are okay with hiding them, but if I hide it, it eats at me. It starts to consume my life. It has taken a lot of work for me to get here but here I am.

So I guess what I am getting at people is if you have had something happen to you, whatever it may be or you have gone through something in which you suffer from cognitive dissonance (the struggle over a choice made), then let go. I know its hard but it can’t consume you. It doesn’t have to be a deep, dark secret. You don’t have to tell people but once you own it and accept it as your own it is amazing how much better you feel about yourself and the progress you can make in healing.

 

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15 Minute Hello

Trapped.

Sometimes that is what I feel. I can talk and hang out with my friends but I feel trapped. There is this person inside of me dying to get out sometimes. This person with a rough past who has turned into an amazing woman. This person who wants people to know her for her past and who she has become now. A person who feels like she has to hide it all because its not okay to be who she is or to have the past that I do.

The minute people hear “I have a rough past” they automatically assume I’ve been in legal trouble and that is not it at all, but then once they hear the real story they just treat me as if I’m damaged and broken. Yes there are parts of me that still have been effected by my past but only bits and pieces and I have come a long way in the healing process. I try not to let my past define who I am now. Do I have PTSD mildly yes, it takes affect in anxiety problems I have. But its nothing I’m medicated for because I have learned to cope and know my triggers. There is always going to be some problems when you go through a lot at once.

My whole life was kind of rough but that last two years of high school were probably the worst and then my freshmen year and part of sophomore year of college. But I figured it out and started the real healing process and have come a long way.

Everybody judges but make those judgments after getting to know the person a little bit. You never know what a person has actually gone through if you never ask and don’t get to know them. I have been the girl on that end of the stick and its not enjoyable. You just want people to like you for who you are now and recognize that yes you have a rough past but you turned out okay and look at where you are now. Just like the girl with the smile always on her face who everyone thinks is perfect and has the perfect life could come from a family with problems and be afraid to let anyone in.

People are really not all that difficult or different from one another. We all go through trials and tribulations just some worse than others. We all make mistakes at some point and have to pick ourselves up after being thrown off the horse. It is all those things that make us, us. It is all those things that make us realize what we want in life and who we are. It is those things in which teach us in life to make better choices and allow us to relate to other people.

If you took 15 minutes out of your day to talk to someone who may seem alone or look down, or just somebody new in general you might be quite surprised to find out how much you have in common or just even brighten their day. At work on lunch break? Ask somebody if you can sit with them and strike up a conversation if they allow it. I wouldn’t have the wonderful friends that I do today if it hadn’t been for encounters that were by chance.

 

Solitude

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Frozen lake in South Dakota. Solitude can be a wonderful thing. Peace of mind and all. Picture by T. Smith

How is it that in a room full of people one can feel so utterly alone but then when actually by themselves in the solitude of their mind, nature, and a good book one feels not alone and very much at peace?

This tends to be the case with me, especially when around my family. I am the black sheep there is no doubt about that. I have a rough past that most of my family can’t even begin to grasp or understand and so I have a different mind set then them and sit there and observe. I observe a family that acts like everything is okay, like nothing has ever happened and feelings aren’t hurt. I watch a family where a lot of the relationships are built on lies or half truths. Every family may have skeletons in their closets but mine seems to have more than most. Some of that is my fault because my mother felt like we couldn’t tell people about the two things she does know about in my life. That or that once it has been dealt with we can’t talk about it anymore.

I think that is the hardest part for me, I know it was when I was trying to heal over my abortion. I needed someone to be there for me. I needed someone to tell me it would be okay and I did find that, but in the wrong places, and that ended in an abusive engagement. When someone tells you to keep a part of you a secret, even if they think its for your safety or to keep you safe its hard. I felt like I was a horrible person because of what I had done. She wouldn’t let me even talk to her about it so I was closed up inside myself, beating myself up. Wondering and asking all of the what if’s to myself.

Being able to let it all out and realizing that yes I hate when people bash abortion and its uncomfortable for me is my fault. But talking about it is healthy. Talking about it can help others. When I found my mentor in college, a college professor over a paper on cognitive dissonance it was the best thing to have ever happened to me. She told me her story and I knew I wasn’t alone. When you go through something traumatic you always know that you aren’t alone, yet at the same time you can still feel utterly alone. Knowing that you aren’t alone can help you heal, knowing someone is there for you where you can speak openly and get advice from someone who has dealt with it and coped helps.

When I write blogs like this or one of my very first ones over what happened to me I know there are people who read it and think the worst of me but if my situation taught me anything is that yes you can have beliefs over something and think a certain way about things and judge people but until you are put in a situation where you have to make some of those hard choices you honestly don’t know what you would ever do.

I wouldn’t change anything from my past. It has made me who I am, brought me to the path I am at in life of helping other. It has showed me what I want to do in life and what I deserve in life.

Sometimes I have learned the solitude a person experiences when being alone is for the best or when curled up with a good book, even just sitting looking out over a frozen lake. We need those times to compose and think and realize that who we are is okay.

Life will always be as okay as you let it be. If you let the bad control you then you could be miserable for a long time. Wounds heal and leave scars that are reminders but that is all they are. They don’t control who we are or who we can be unless we let them.

“Disney” Dad

I have a “Disney” dad. What is a Disney dad you may ask, well it is a dad who wants none of the responsibilities of being an actual dad, but if he can have fun with the kids or party with them he is right there.

The minute my dad no longer had to pay child support, which he acted like was beyond painful, he quit doing anything that a normal father should have to do. My father really knows nothing about me, he never really has if I think about it long and hard. As a child my father was never really around because he was traveling for “business” and even once my parents did live together again after their separation he took no attempt in getting to know me.  He found out about my abortion last year and has never even tried to talk to me about it or asked me if I am okay. Which yes, he did find out long after it having happened but still it is odd that he has never brought it up in all the times where we have been alone.

But anyways, my dad doesn’t help pay for any of my stuff, mom and her husband try to but he is more than willing to take us to do small, cheap fun things. My dad quite often says he is broke and doesn’t have the money to help pay for things but then him and his wife turn around and go on serious, expensive vacations. I’m not saying he has to pay for much but if you have a child then their are responsibilities and you should want to be there for them no matter how old they are.

I guess what I am saying is guys it doesn’t matter how old you are if you are willing to have overprotective sex in marriage or out or even plan for a child with your spouse then be prepared for the cost and don’t be a “Disney” dad. Be the dad that your son/daughter can turn to for advice and when things are wrong. Be the dad for your daughter that shows her how men should treat her by how you treat her and her mother. Realize that the responsibilities really never go away, they will always be there and grow to love it. Yes, being a “Disney” dad can be fun for the child but in the end they will lack serious things that other kids had growing up from a dad that was there for them.