For the past few days, I have sat in front of my computer, trying to decide what I would write for this blog post; staring at a blank screen, wondering where to even begin. I start this story in the middle, not for convenience, but for you to understand my current thought process; the thoughts that seem to roll through my head as if to taunt my sanity. Issues that I have felt since I can remember are heightened and brought to the surface. Last year, I shared a little bit of my story from my childhood. The memories I had of my father and how he treated my mother and me. This time around, I wanted to go in to more of the feelings that are tied to abuse. No time like the present seems more fitting for me to convey the emotions that have been ripening from the milestones of my life.
I consider myself a strong individual, one who relies on my own opinions as my source for self-worth. Too often, this isn’t the case and I place my value on the actions of others. I allow my happiness to be dictated by someone else. I know this is horrible and self-destructive, but I really believe that I am not the only one. In fact, I would bet that most everyone is this way; you just may be at a different level than others. There’s a constant need to feel accepted by the ones you love; whether it be a girlfriend/boyfriend, spouse, child, or parent. When that love is reciprocated with betrayal, rejection, or even violence, it makes a lasting impression that can take years to overcome, if you do ever get over it. This is really something that I am trying to overcome. I have to make an actual effort every day to stop and tell myself that I am the one that is in control of my emotions and my happiness. If I don’t take the time to make my own self happy, no one else is going to. I’m sick to death of people, who are not me, having so much power over my current state of mind. Of my mood. I can’t control the mistakes of others or the hurt that they caused, but I can control how I deal with it. I know, I know… At this point I sound like a really cheesy motivational poster that you had hanging in your high school. It’s so cliché, and it’s so true.
So many memories seep their way into my day. There’s not a day that goes by that at some point I don’t remember things from my childhood. They don’t always break me down, or get the best of me, but they were a part of my life for the first eleven years I was alive. I can still vividly smell whiskey from time to time, the smell of whiskey mixed with vomit. The feeling of shame that is associated with living as poor as we did. The tension we felt from not knowing if we were going to have a place to sleep that night. How thick the air got when my father came through the door drunk. The pain of seeing things no child should ever see.
No matter how many of these emotions I’m feeling in any given day, they are always overshadowed by these:
I don’t know how my life will wind up; I have no clue where I will be in a few years… I do know that despite the things I had to go through as a child, I’m who I am because of them. I’m tired feeling hatred and bitterness toward things I can’t change. I had it lucky compared to a lot of people.
I have probably made myself sound like a huge old bag of crazy, but I’m not… “That’s exactly what a crazy person would say…” *whispers* “Now look, she’s talking to herself.” I don’t consider my emotions, or struggles, any rarer than other people’s. I know that there is no way that I will every truly understand why things happen the way they do. It is life, everyone has a sad story. Everyone deals with their chapters differently. Just don’t let the emotions of the past become who you are. Learn to accept the things that have changed your life, there’s nothing you can do about them… Except grow from them.
October is National Abuse Awareness month:
If you’re in need of help go to http://www.thehotline.org/ or call 1-800-799-SAFE
About Nikki: Nikki was born and raised in Alabama. She became involved with UniteWomen.org in February 2012 following a series of legislation on women’s reproductive rights. Kicking ass and taking names, volunteering on the National Campus Team, Graphics designs, and working toward equality for all have been her contribution to the UniteWomen.org team. She is currently attending college and working toward a degree in Film and Photography Communications. Don’t be fooled by her southern charm, she is badass and witty as hell.
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