I am almost on my 29th lap around the sun. Most of this time has been made up of slow walking, trudging, crawling, scraping. It has been rough, that I know for sure. I have such deep bruises, gashes, cuts that still have not healed. It’s hard to breathe, even now, when my life looks so much better than it ever has. But even with all of these wounds, I can see how strong I am. I have a new appreciation for my capabilities, for my courage, for my enduring faith in something better, and for my ability to remain an honest and true person. I hold tight to my beliefs now, and when I made the choice to be a person of strong conviction, I found a freedom that began to lift me up.
Over the past two years, I have cut ties with every single person in my biological family. I have severed the relationships that refused to lift me, that sought to destroy me, that would not (and perhaps, could not) be filled with a desire to do the right thing. For a while, for a long while, I felt a loss. Everthing I had ever known – trying to please, trying to be loved, trying to please, trying to be loved – was gone. These people whom I let get away with grave offenses played a bigger part in my journey to healing than I ever thought. The very blood flowing through my veins were made up of their words, their actions, their poison.
I gave them everything. Every single fucking part of me. I lived my life trying to please them, trying to twist myself into something they could love, something they could stand. I could not understand how my molecular need to love harder, to be better, was not reciprocated. I put myself in harms way so many, many times in attempts to show my loyalty. And all the while, I believed that even the most painful moments were worth it … because, I told myself, my actions would be appreciated. They would be cherished. They would be seen.
Sometimes, the people that the world tells you to love, are the very people that you need to rid of. Sometimes, family is poison. And let me tell you, no one is as pissed off about that as me. I bled and sweat and gave of my tears for the very people that should have protected me. The people that, all too quickly, would turn on me in the blink of an eye … if it so benefit them in any way. These people. These people that let sexual abuse and rape and emotional abuse be swept under the rug. These people that, when the time calls for it, will never stand up to do the right thing. These very people, who told me that I made up my childhood abuse.
Or. From the person I trusted the most, from the person I believed about her own abuse when no one else would. This person, the love and light of my life, could have shot me millions of times with a gun … and it would have hurt less than her utter betrayal.
28 laps around the sun. Such fucking painful and horrifying laps …. the old me would think that this was THE proof that I was nothing but all of the bad things these people said about me. That I should just fucking give up now, because all of it was true. I am nothing. I am unlovable. I am disgusting. I am a liar. I am a cheater. I scam. I am a slime that infests people. That I just want attention. That I am NOT FUCKING WORTHY of a families protection. That even though I believed people’s stories, when no one else would, that I did not deserve the same.
The old me would give up now. Would throw in the towel.
But I am not the old me. Entering this 29th lap, I am doing the hard work. I am surrounded by a team of loving, honest, caring, compassionate, understanding, non-judgmental people that will do whatever is necessary to help me succeed. People that show me the same respect and love that I give to them. Equal relationships. Good relationships. And I myself am stronger than I ever have been before. I am doing the hard work of opening up the wounds I tried to glue shut for so long, so that I can know that I have done everything possible to give myself the life that I deserve.
I am not defeated. I am not unlovable. I am not a liar. I am loved. I am worthy. And I swear to god that no one will ever take anything away from me again. I will continue to be the person that does not hide from doing the right thing. I will continue to refuse to be silent. And I will no longer accept the cowards and the liars and the abusers (and the abuser-sympathizers) in my life.
What once felt like a loss, now feels like a victory. Those people deserve each other. They will never, ever, know the honest happiness and love that I feel. So on this 29th lap of mine, around the sun, I fight on and I fight hard. Because this is who I choose to be.