I have not gone through nearly as much as some women, but for me, my story has affected me tremendously and made me the person I am today. Today I am 28 years old, married to the love of my life, and have two beautiful children. We are in a good place in our life, we rely on us and nobody else and that’s something to be proud of. But it took us a while to get to this place. Took a lot of learning and trials to become the people we are today, for me to become the woman I am today.
I was born in Kentucky and always had a big loving family. The innocence of the world surrounding me, I knew nothing but wonder and love. As I got older I started learning lessons that were hard to swallow at the young ages I was. I learned really fast that my dad was not reliable. He broke my trust and my heart on many many occasions. Promises of tomorrow that would never come because he wouldn’t return home after a night out. He would not show up to pick my mom, sister, and I from Easter egg hunts miles away, forcing us to walk home in the rain, as he slept on the couch. He would steal from my mother to take other women out. The reality for me at 8 years old was that men couldn’t be trusted. They were always going to hurt you, lie to you, and break your heart. I watched as my mom struggled, working multiple jobs, and quitting school so that she could make ends meet. I watched as she finally stood up and told him to get the hell out. I watched as she cried, as she struggled, and as she worried. What that taught me is to never rely on anyone but myself.
As far as extended family, to say they were dysfunctional would be putting it mildly. There were always drunken fights and always drama. My grandparents did their best though. Both sets of grandparents were always there when I needed them, showing me the love and understanding I needed. One grandfather in particular took on a father role for me, he was my best friend, and the one I always knew I could rely on for anything. But that all would be shattered when I was 8 years old and my mother told me she met a man and we were moving to Michigan. Michigan was 9 hours away, to an 8 year old that seemed like an eternity. I was going to go from seeing my grandpa every other weekend to 3 times a year. I was leaving my friends and school behind. I was going into a world of the unknown. I had to say goodbye to my family as I cried and they cried, I watched them fade in the rear view mirror, not fulling understanding the gravity of what was happening.
When we got to Michigan I tried to adjust the best I could, but it was so different. The weather, the people, the atmosphere, and the schools, but after a while I really enjoyed it. Growing up was nice, my stepfather was amazing, he was tough and there, which I wasn’t used to, but he taught me to strong, independent, and a hard worker. He taught me to have pride in myself and the things I do. My biological dad also moved and married another woman, and things were good for a while. Wasn’t until she had a child of her own that I became more of a hinderance than a child to her. I became her personal maid. My visitations began to revolve around me babysitting, cooking, and cleaning. I had to sleep on a couch bed for a while, because they didn’t have enough room for me. The house always smelt terrible, and dishes would be piled to the ceiling waiting for me. I sat and watched as my stepmother morphed into a new person, someone I did not like. I had to deal with my dad always telling me things like I was getting fat while there or how much of a terrible daughter I was. I came to learn as I grew that was a form of emotional abuse.
In high school, I dated a lot of losers. I had no pride in myself, I didn’t like what I seen in the mirror. I was 120 pounds and 5 foot tall, but from being a gymnast I was muscular and had a big butt. I would be told by family to suck in my belly or to do situps to tone. So even at a perfect weight, I learned I still had to improve somehow. When I was a senior in high school I met my now husband. He was a hard worker (he was already graduated) but he was very much immature. He had alot of family issues of his own he was dealing with. But we just clicked. It may be cliche to say, but it was love at first sight. We ended up moving in together after 6 months, and got engaged at 1 year. We married a couple years later and have been together now 10 years, married for 7.
We had trials in our marriage of course, and we made a lot of mistakes. He has cheated, there have been lies. We have struggled financially, we have lost loved ones, we have moved away from family, we have switched jobs, and we have prevailed. At 28 years old, I am more in love with this man than I ever imagined. We’ve learned from our mistakes, we have grown together. He is one of the most romantic men I have met. He would literally break his back to provide for the children and I. He has taught me that good men exist. I can rely on him and trust him fully. He has changed the negative thoughts I’ve had about myself, and help me find my strength again. He is my best friend and the one my soul longs for.
What I have learned through all my struggles is that I am me. I am imperfect. I am weak but I am strong. I have anxiety, which took me a long time to admit. I have flaws. And I am perfectly okay with all of that. Love me or hate me I will not change, and you shouldn’t either. Embrace the weirdness that is you, make those silly faces, dance those awkward dance moves in the middle of the dance floor, and always make time to laugh, even if it’s at yourself.
Much love xo