So the other day a woman I have gotten to know over the last 6 months and I highly respect (I am totally addicted to her energy) wrote out her story on Facebook. She did it quick almost in a bullet point fashion. It included trauma from her childhood, the choices she made as an adult and her attempted suicide. This post resonated with me in so many ways. I related to her trauma and when I was done reading it I felt empowered. Empowered by her strength to share. Empowered by the fact this is exactly the point I am trying to make lately. We all have a story! I decided a few months ago to share my story to bring a voice to those that feel like they are alone. If we all shared our stories what a powerful change that would create.
I started to wonder what my timeline would look like. So here it is.
My dad wasn’t in my life very much. He was sick. In and out of VA hospitals with debilitating PTSD and mental illness.
Age 8 - I ran into my Dad at a store after not having seen him in months and I said: “Hi Dad!” He looked at me and said “You are not my daughter” with an upset tone in his voice. I decided I didn’t want to see him anymore. My mom honored my decision.
Age 8 - My aunt tried to commit suicide. I still remember the stained carpet at my grandparent's house where she had puked from the pills. She was my idol. I didn’t understand when my mom told me she tried to kill herself. I couldn’t wrap my head around what that meant.
Age 8 - I remember my anxiety attacks starting. I used to hide in my closet and scrape my arms or legs until they bled.
The next few years were spent between my mom’s house and my grandparent's house. I spent about 50% of my time at my grandparent's house. My dad’s parents lived next door. They were Mr. and Mrs. Pelletier to me they didn’t acknowledge that I was their grandchild. Then my dad would come home from the hospital and would stay in the apartment upstairs. If I was outside playing he would just walk by with his head down. He didn’t look at me. He didn’t say hello.
Age 15 started drinking and doing drugs
Age 16 was date raped
Age 18 got a soccer scholarship to go to college. Almost lost my soccer scholarship for refusing to eat. I guess somewhere in the timeline I had decided to join the eating disorder club along the way too.
Age 19 my grandfather died. He was the only father I knew. He was the person I respected most in the world.
Age 19 Broke my own hand punching a floor during an anxiety attack. I was wasted almost 100% of the time at this point in my life so I was probably high at the time too.
Age 19 landed in the hospital for drugs. I passed out in the shower. Probably hadn’t eaten in days. I was completely dehydrated.
Age 20 was date raped again by a boyfriend I had just broken up with
Age 20 moved to Utah with a boy I had only known 3 months. I ended up spending the next 16 years with him.
Age 22 Ryan…one of our closest friends died suddenly.
Age 26 got married
Age 28 owned my first business. A nightclub and a restaurant. I worked 3 jobs with no days off for months to be able to make it happen.
Age 30 had my son. The second night we came home from the hospital was the loneliest I have ever felt in my entire life. I remember standing in the kitchen with him in my arms both of us crying.
Age 32 had my daughter. When she came into this world I knew it all had to change. For her.
Age 34 separated from my husband for the first time. I knew our marriage wasn’t healthy. I also was scared to death to leave him. He controlled every piece of our life. How would I live?
Age 36 my father died. I hadn’t talked to him in years. I had always wondered if he ever thought of me. He died in a mental hospital with barely any belongings but he had two pictures of me on the wall. The perspective changed on the whole situation. I realized he walked by and didn’t say hello to try to honor my wishes and protect me.
Age 36 One of our best friends died of a Heroin overdose.
Age 36 got divorced. Lost my home. Lost my business. I had to completely start over.
Age 36 started my graphic design and marketing business back up. It has been on hold since having kids and owning a club.
Age 38 met a man that changed my perspective on what a relationship should feel like…..what love should feel like.
Age 38 got sober.
Age 39 100% work for myself and am about to launch a new business and I couldn’t be happier.
I know there is more to my story but when I think quickly these are the things that jump out. This is also my perspective on the pieces of my life. That is the crazy thing. Two people can live the same life and have a totally different perspective of the events or a different reaction to how those events affected them. This is the piece of the puzzle that we have to remember has humans. We need to be sensitive to how people’s own stories affect them. Not how you think it would affect you.
I have worked really, really hard the last few years to not feel like a victim. I have spent years working on my anxiety. Thanks to acupuncture and my sobriety, my anxiety is completely under control now. I don’t feel like a victim. I feel incredible. Without my story, I would not be where I am today.
What would your timeline look like? What are the things in your life that transformed who you are today? We are all humans. Let’s all grow, share and learn from each other’s paths. These are our stories. Let’s shift perspective together and live the story that truly brings us happiness. No one can tell you what your story should be. You are the only one who knows what you want the next chapter to say.
- Amanda (@missdjlux)