The next turning point in my life would happen just a few years later when I was 17. I just graduated high school and I was so happy to be done with school. It never really held my attention because I didn’t care about the things we learned. That summer I had met a guy, and we started dating. It wasn’t long after we started dating that he got possessive and totally changed. When I met him he was charming and sweet and seemingly overnight he had become an entirely different person. One evening we went to his house nobody else was home so we went up to his room to watch movies. I’ll never forget it, he put Sin City (to this day I still cannot watch that movie) on and he started to get forceful with me. I told him that he was hurting me, and that I wasn’t ready but it didn’t seem to matter. He pinned me down on his bed and sexual assaulted me. I have never felt so worthless and low in my life. He told me that it was my fault, that I was being a tease and deserved what I had coming. For some reason I believed him, I ate up every word he said to me. That would be the last time I saw him, or talked to him. I never told anyone for years; it wasn’t until a few years ago that I told my mother.
After this happened to me, I went home and just stood in the shower trying to feel clean but it never happened. I always felt as if I had a layer of scum on me that seemed to be a part of me now. I went spiraling into the deepest depression I have ever been in. I went into the darkest part of myself, hearing this little voice in my head saying the worst things about myself and me accepting them to be true. After all, when my dad was angry he would say thing to me like “You’re fat” or “No one could ever love you, you aren’t worthy of love” so with the man I am supposed to look up to saying these things, I believed every word of it. Things got so dark for me, I stopped eating, I didn’t want to live anymore and I thought about killing myself. I didn’t want to live this way anymore, I couldn’t take it. I was just sick of it all, so I found another way. I turned to drugs, alcohol and sex. The drugs and alcohol would take all of my pain away, they would make me forget why I was sad, lonely, and depressed. The sex was easy; it was meaningless and empty just like I was. Everything I had was already stolen from me, so I had nothing left to loose. This way of living worked for me for years, until one day it didn’t anymore.
I knew that I had to do something to take my life back, that the darkness had control over me and I needed out. So I did something that I hadn’t done since my grandma had passed away; went to church. My friend and I woke up early one Sunday, got dressed and went to church. I was nervous going in, I had been so long that I didn’t know what to expect. I felt completely out of place, I wanted to leave but my friend pushed me to go forward so I did, I put the holy water over my heart. I sat down, pulled down my knee pad and began to pray like I had never prayed before. I asked for forgiveness and guidance. I knew that I had given into the darkness that surrounded me that I had taken the easy way out. I finished my prayer said “Amen” and sat through the service. We got the bread and wine, and soon after we left. Walking out of that church I felt like I had been reborn. That everything I had done was forgiven and I was ready to start a new journey for myself. Driving away I felt like I had an angel flying over my car with me, protecting me and guiding me.
It wasn’t long after that I had met a guy that changed my life. I stopped hanging out with people that offered me nothing positive in return. I stopped doing drugs pervious to meeting him but was now forever done with it. I even stopped drinking for a while. I was done with it all; I no longer needed to a way out. I was with him for four years, he changed my life in so many ways but ultimately he reminded me to much of my father so I did what was best for me and left. It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, but I did it for me. I knew that I had put everything into the relationship that I could but it would never be enough for me. I didn’t belong with him and it became very clear to me. After moving out, I felt like this huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I trusted in myself enough to know that this was the right thing for me. Nothing else mattered but my happiness. I had to come first.
I was finishing up schooling to get a job that I loved, so I had to move in with my parents. It was time for me to get my life in order; I knew my happy ending was out there somewhere I just needed to know what I wanted. To love myself for once; self-esteem has always been something I have struggled with, not feeling worthy enough or always thinking someone has a motive behind why they are talking to me. A lot of damage had been done to me in my life but I no longer was willing to let that damage define who I was. Little by little I started to love myself again, wearing make-up to make myself feel pretty. Dressing by how I felt and not what I thought I had to wear. I started to trust myself more and more, letting my intuition lead the way. Never giving up hope, and knowing that something better was waiting for me.
Five months after leaving a relationship that done a number on me, I met my now husband. Upon meeting him I felt completely comfortable and was simply myself. I will admit I was nervous because he was so handsome but the way I instantly felt about him was something I’d never felt before. It wasn’t long after dating that we moved in together, bought a house, got a dog and before we knew it we were married. I knew from the moment I kissed him he was my home, the person that I was meant to live the rest of my life with. I always knew I wasn’t going to marry a man like my father; I was not going to put my children through the same things that I went through. So I was aware and I wasn’t afraid to do what was best for me. And in return I am lucky to spend the rest of my life with a very loving man. When you take a leap of faith, the universe always rewards you.
If I have learned anything from my life it’s that you have to trust yourself. You have to do what is best for you; you choose how your life will turn out. Even in the darkest of times I see why everything needed to happen the way it has. Everything truly happens for a reason; it has taught me so many lessons. Not everyone has your best intention at heart, everyone has their own issues they are working through, that in order to be happy in a relationship you must first be happy with yourself. You cannot take care of others if you do not first take care of yourself. No matter what you think you cannot change anyone, they must change themselves. You will only get hurt in the process. Some people are okay being lost and afraid; it isn’t your burden to bare. People will only respect you as much as you respect yourself.
I cherish every wrong turn I have taken, every lessoned learned, and every experience I have had. All of which have made me the person I am today. I have made no mistakes in my life; every turning point has been a reason to grow stronger, a reason to grow. I have no regrets in my life either, everything has played out exactly how it was meant to and for that I am grateful. I am no longer ashamed of the past that used to haunt me. I wear my scars proudly, because to me they only show my strength against all odds. They are proof that I have been to hell and back and that I am more alive and stronger than ever. I am simply a human dealing with the cards I’ve been dealt, making the best out of my hand being thankful for everything along the way. I have always believed that love was waiting for the right time and for me.
No matter what you’re going through or what has happened in your life, you are the master of your destiny. You can choose to be happy or you can choose to be miserable. Either way the choice is yours and yours alone. You do not need to wait for someone to save you from your life, save yourself. Be your own hero, love yourself, and give yourself the love that you so freely give to others. Forgive yourself, so you can move forward. You deserve to be happy, go find it; take that leap of faith. Go live your life for you. The world is waiting for, it’s time to dive in.