For those unfamiliar with my story, Screwed Up: My Life, please start at the beginning here. The purpose of me writing this intimate account of surviving a difficult childhood is explained here. This story in its entirety can be found at Blurb.com and is available for purchase for $12.95 plus shipping and handling.
This is the final installment of an almost year-long journey to tell my story of overcoming a difficult and painful childhood. It is my hope, and always has been, that through me sharing my story that others who have gone through similar situations may find the hope and courage to overcome and be strong despite their past. Each person's story is unique--you may feel that you had it harder or that you didn't have it as hard, but the one thing we can all do is lean upon each other and find solace in Something Greater than ourselves.
Do you know someone that may find courage and hope through my story? Are you that certain someone? Then I encourage you to direct them to this blog where they can read my story in its entirety, or if you feel so inclined purchase my book, Screwed Up: My Life. A portion of the proceeds will go to a charity of my choice.
My college years would be filled with many ups and downs as I attempted to figure out life for the first time on my own. I had lost a great deal of my childhood and would find myself often wishing to have it back and yet also knowing I could never go back in time. Oftentimes, I contemplated my future life and what I wanted to do with the rest of my days on Earth. I knew my life would get better from this point on.
I knew God was with me and I knew He loved me also, even if I couldn’t always feel His presence. My spirit had been beaten and trodden upon for so much of my life, and yet I had also witnessed God’s all encompassing love and knew He had been there with me all along. I would be shown the generosity and unconditional love of others and I would make lifetime friends while living in Idaho. I would share pieces of my life story with these friends, but would not tell everything to them until years later.
At times, I look back upon my life and wonder how it would have been different if I had been born into a loving and stable family. Other times, I wonder if I would have stayed with one particular family or another, if my life today would be the same. I wonder if I would have finished college, if I would be living in my current state, or if I would have married my husband and had my three precious children that I have born into this world.
I can't go back in time. There is no magic machine that will turn my teenage years around. All I can do is make my life better for myself, my husband, and most importantly my children. All I can do is inspire others to live a good life and not make the same mistakes that I made and that my parents made. All I can say to those that feel like ending their life is that I too have been there. That even if it seems no one in this world loves you, God does love you and He does care about you. You will be missed—it is hard to see who loves you when you are in the depths of despair. Please, get help. Tell someone. There is no need to cut your life short.
I miss my sisters Donna and Shelly. Each of their lives was cut tragically short. I never met Donna as she committed suicide when she was nineteen and I was barely a year old. She didn’t feel that anyone loved her and she had lived a harder life than most. Her husband committed suicide just a couple months before she did and no one was there to comfort her and make her feel wanted and loved. I’ve read her letters where she desperately asked her parents to visit her and love her. According to her, they never return her letters. So, on a winter’s night in 1982, she ended her life. Oh how I wish I could have met my oldest sister! The love and sisterly bond we should have shared would never be.
In 2008, I lost my sister, Shelly. Her death was unexpected and needless. I’ve always felt a special connection to her. I didn’t meet my older sisters until I was eleven years old, the result of adult bitterness. I wish I could have spent more time with this dear sister. I wish I could have grown up with her. I’m glad I did get to share my life and heart with her the last three years of her life. I hope I showed her how much I loved her went I tried to helped her a month before she passed away. She was my rock and my support. She was my sister.
If you can take anything from my life story, I want you to remember to show those you love that they are special and wanted. I want you to affirm and reaffirm your love to them a thousand times over. If you see someone who has a hard life, do not be quick to judge them. Love them and accept them for who they are. Show them you love them and tell them you love them. It is nice to hear it and to feel it.
Go on—do not be ashamed to proclaim your love to those you care about.