It is not as often as it used to be, but every now and then I will awaken from a dream that makes me want to not close my eyes anymore that night. These dreams are always the same, and always of my past. They seem almost more horrific to me now, than the reality did when I was living through it. Now some would say that since these dreams still haunt me maybe I have not been healed from my past, or maybe I have not been set free. I do not believe either of these lines of thought to be true! I can honestly say I am sometimes grateful for the nightmare. My life has come full circle and only the nightmare brings back the depth of pain, hopelessness, fear, and sorrow my life consisted of. I believe that memory only makes me more grateful for what I have now, and more willing to share the darker side of my story so someone elses who is hurting knows they too can make it and there is hope! Also I find writing to be therapeutic. It takes away the sting from the portion of my life I just revisited, and gives purpose to the pain.
Like all of my nightmares, once again I find myself in the midst of a fight with my ex. He is drunk and hateful, and I am afraid and broken. I am always trying to find a way to hide my children from the reality of their circumstances. They are the only light in my life and my real concern is that they do not fully feel the pain in which we live.
But this story starts way before the incidents taking place in my dreams. It starts when I was a young teenager. It starts when my father leaves and my mom becomes broken and alone. It starts when I was an awkward teen who fit in absolutely no where. It was these feelings of being unloved and unacceptable that I embraced in my early years that put me on a crash course with disaster! It was the feelings that maybe it was my fault my parent‘s marriage failed, maybe my father didn‘t love me because I really wasn't good enough, and maybe the kids at school didn't like me because I really was a skinny, ugly freak. Early on I learned to view myself as the exact opposite of who God created me to be. Just like so many others I bought into these lies and they had a devastating effect on my future.
At the age of sixteen I was already pretty broken mentally. I only wanted to feel accepted and loved. I soon became involved in the wrong relationship, with someone I would spend the next 15 years of my life with. He was from a very hard life. He had a history of being abused and in and out of foster homes. At that stage of her life and for many years prior, his mom was both an alcoholic and drug abuser. And as it is in most families, he was already starting to follow in his mothers footsteps. I remember the first time I visited in their home being shocked by the living conditions. They had so very little, his mon was drunk and she had transients in and out all of the time. We ate food someone had gotten out of the dumpster from a local fast food chain. Even though his mother was pretty wasted she must have been rather wise and insightful. I remember her sitting me down once and asking me if I loved her son or if I felt sorry for him. I didn't know how to answer so I said "both". Years later I realize how smart she was to ask me that question. Now do not get me wrong. I loved my children's biological father. But now I realize it was not the type of love on which you build a marriage. That was something I would not experience for many years. It was something I was incapable of experiencing until I was able to change some of my ways of thinking.
At this stage of life and after walking through so much rejection and pain over the years, I have come to realize that escaping the nightmare wasn't just about changing the circumstances in which I lived, but changing my way of thinking.I had to come to a point in my life where I saw myself as who I was created to be and not who I had become. It was easy to listen to the lies all of those years that I was unlovable, that I was worthless. I went from a bad relationship with my father, to an abusive marriage, to a life that fell into such a desolate place that not many who end there are able to come back from it.
Still to this day, there are times I struggle with feelings of inferiority. There are moments when my failures as a mother come back to haunt me. There are days I wake up and wonder why my husband and children love me and what they could possibly find good in me. But , fortunately I can also say that those days are fewer than they used to be. As I have come to find value in myself, I expect more for me and my family than ever before in my life. I have come to recognize who God has made me to be. And that person is not unlovable and worthless. That person has a lot of love to share, and alot of herself to give to others. Now my next battle is learning to trust others.