Saturday, January 03, 2004

You know, it must mean something that I can talk about my past now and not have it ruin my mood.
It works! This is the first time I have used FTP to upload to our Comcast webspace, so I wasn't sure if it would go through the first time. The servers at our old web hosting company weren't always cooperative, so I got in the habit of expecting things not to work the first time.

I am optimistic about 2004. I have started to build the life that I want, and that adventure will continue this year. I can't wait to see what happens next! I have my plans and my hopes, but life will surprise me. It always does.

My mother keeps asking me about my resolutions for this year. I haven't really answered her. I haven't really thought about it in terms of making a list this year. That never works for me anyway. I know what I want, and I have some idea how to get it. I just have to do what is required and weather whatever setbacks come my way.

That's pretty much the secret to life. Show up. Do what you have to do. Don't let the bad things that happen distract or destroy you. You get where you are going eventually. It seems obvious enough, but I had to learn the hard way.

A lot of people seem to think that they shouldn't have to suffer in life. Suffering is a bad thing, they think. I would never choose to repeat the terrible times in my life, but I know that those awful, painful times taught me many lessons and made me who I am now. Some of those experiences made me a better person. Some made me worse, to be honest. But I am a survivor.

I survived a boyfriend who beat me for having a period that was incovenient for him. I survived parents who only liked me as status symbol as long as I was 'perfect', and who employed a cruel psychological warfare against me when I wasn't perfect anymore. I survived being coerced by said parents and boyfriend into a late abortion of a baby that I desperately wanted. I survived being ass raped by said boyfriend the very same night I came home from that abortion. I had a second abortion a few months later-- when the counselor at the clinic said I shouldn't go through with it, my parents insisted another counselor talk to me instead and had every freaking member of my extended family in the waiting room to make sure I went through with it... and I was weak and broken, and gave in... And the doctor screwed it up, but my parents wouldn't take me to see a doctor. I ended up being taken to a psych ward from school because I went to school and sat crying in a stairwell instead of going to class. But, hey, at least I got some medical attention at the hospital, and some time away from the world. I didn't think I would survive-- and I really didn't want to-- but I did. I got accepted into a good private college. I wanted to fix my life so that my babies wouldn't have died for no reason at all. At the very last minute, my dad told me that he changed his mind and wouldn't pay for it. I should pay my own way, he said. Lost and reeling from having the carpet pulled out from under my feet again, I embarked on a string of anonymous one night stands, resulting in my oldest child. It wasn't a good choice, and it made my life very hard, but I survived. I survived my first husband trying to strangle me in the middle of the night when I was pregnant with his second child (#3). I survived a bad string of multiple miscarriages between child #3 and child #4. I survived living in miserable poverty in a trailer park full of crazy people when we pulled up stakes and moved to Michigan out of the blue. My daughter had a brain tumor that was misdiagnosed no less that seven times while we were out there. We both survived that, for which I am very grateful. Child #4 had a rough birth with the cord wrapped around his neck twice, and he didn't start breathing right away. He spent a few weeks in the ICU, but he survived, I survived, and life went on. Then our house burned down. Thank God we weren't home! But we lost nearly everything. It was just stuff, so I went on. We found another place, but then we got flooded out by hurricane Floyd. We lost more stuff, but it was just stuff. I held our family together through some really hard times around then. We'd been surprised by baby #5, and my husband was mean to me for a while. He lost his mind for a little while, alternately ignoring and screaming at me. But he got better, and I survived.

And that's the short version of my survival story. I am not sure I care to write a long version.

The last few years have been much quieter and happier. I've had some time to integrate what I have learned, and to recover. I've had time to come to terms with who and what I am. This process hasn't been easy either, but I think it has been worth it in the long run.

If I don't leave right now, I am going to be late for work.

I thought I would make this so that I could write all my random thoughts and leave them out in the open where other people can see them. My life has changed significantly lately, and I want to review who I was, where I have been, who I have become, and where I am at now.