To be honest, sharing this much of my personal life online has been incredibly difficult for me. I don’t like to talk about these things very much, and very few people knew much about my story until now. Some may ask, why then are you doing this? This may sound strange, but I believe my Heavenly Father wants me to share my story with the world in order to help others find hope through him. Let’s talk about my current life, and how my past has molded who I am.
Emotional Child Abuse- As of today my Mom still occasionally sends letters or things to my children and I. I always check the mail before giving it to them, as there have been some inappropriate things for them in those. I do share with them the things she sends that are positive, and I do my best to teach them the positive things about their Grandmother. I don’t think she comprehends fully how destructive the things she says can be, and I do not expect her to change. I’m doing my very best to keep my distance while finding a way to love her again.
I still struggle with forgiveness, but here’s what I’ve learned so far. Prayer really does help. The closer I am to my Heavenly Father, the less the pain hurts. Forgiveness in terms of an abusive relationship is different than other relationships. You need to learn how to protect yourself and those you love from the abuser, yet let go of the pain and anguish they caused and wish them no ill. The hardest part about this process for me is accepting that I cannot expect her to change. I need to love myself and love her enough to not let her treat me this way any longer. I’ve spent years trying to forgive and continue a relationship, since I truly do love her and miss her companionship. Until she can admit fault for even a portion of her actions, I just can’t let her back into my life because I don’t feel safe.
I truly believe in the 10 commandments, one of which is honoring your father and mother. This is something I have struggled with for a long time, how do you love a parent that is abusive to you? In no way am I an expert on this, but I am learning. For me, honoring my Mother means praying daily for her, and for myself to be able to heal. It means accepting her for who she is, abuse and all, and loving her anyways. It means not responding to vicious letters, emails, or Facebook posts. It means restraining myself from going into great detail about the things she has done to me. While I have shared a lot of things on this blog with you, I’ve done my best to only state facts that pertain to my life experience, not hers. It means doing my best to teach her grandchildren the good things about her, and not giving her the opportunity to abuse them. It means finding a way to let go of the greatest pain I have ever experienced. It does NOT mean letting her back into my life and waiting for the next round. It’s NOT giving into guilt trips, or trying to have a relationship that ignores the abuse and the issues we have.
Depression- it is a REAL illness! It’s OK to admit it, and it is healthy to seek help that you need. You wouldn’t expect a cancer patient to go without chemo would you? Depression is NOT just in someone’s head, it is REAL. Don’t be embarrassed about it! Talk to people you trust, work through your emotions, and build a relationship with Heavenly Father. My personal prescription consists of exercise, medication, counseling, and daily prayer. If you judge me for that, oh well! I have made a choice, I don’t want to follow my brother’s path, I want to LIVE. I don’t want the people who love me to experience the pain of that loss. I want to learn from my brother’s choice, keep him close in my heart, and find happiness while living on this earth.
My journey through life has shaped me into the person I am, and I am learning to love that person. I am a daughter of a Heavenly King, and his love for me can overcome anything! I know that Jesus Christ came to this earth with a purpose. I have some awesome people in my life, but they are not responsible for my happiness. I am solely responsible for my happiness, and you are responsible for yours. Blaming others will never help you in life, so don’t play that game. Own your mistakes, apologize when you mess up, and keep moving forward.
When I’m in my darkest places, there is one thought that gets me through: “I am NOT alone. Jesus felt this pain too. He really does know exactly what I’m going through, even if he’s the only person who does.” Then I pray, and as I do I feel comforted. Slowly, I start to feel hope again. I feel like it’s going to be ok. I know I am in good hands, and that he will help me through this. The more I build my relationship with my Heavenly Father on a daily basis, the less I experience depressive episodes. I’ve broken my record for the longest time going without suicidal thoughts, and I’m going to continue that! I now have the tools to help me get through, and I hope that through this blog I can share my toolbox with others who need it!
Another thing I’ve learned is that when you slip up, it’s ok. If I fall back into a depressive episode, I know how to get back out. It’s important that you don’t get discouraged if you lose it again. What makes you strong is when you get back up. No matter how many times you fall, you can always pick up the pieces, pray, and work towards being healthy again. NEVER LOSE HOPE! Every time you pick yourself back up, you learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I hope that wherever you are, you know that there is always someone who knows what pain you feel. He knows you better than you know yourself, and he really can help you accomplish the impossible!
All right, now that you know just about everything there is to know about my past, let’s move on to some lighter posts! Next week you can look forward to my first posts on homeschooling, sewing and crafts. I will also do a post on spiritual food for thought.