I've talked a lot about my life. A lot about my childhood, and the trauma I am now enduring because of it. I've never really hidden anything from anyone on this blog, but I don't think I've fully put my story out there. Truly shown how far I've come in the last ten years. It's an amazing story full of God and love and I feel like I need to share it. I know that somewhere out there, there is another girl living the same life I lived, and if my story can help just one girl see that there is hope, then I need to share it. So here I am. Forgive me if I've told some of these stories before. I can't quite remember, but it's important to me to get it out there. So, here goes.
I was a good kid. Despite everything I went through, I was a good kid. I was determined that I would not ever do drugs. I wouldn't get caught up in alcohol, and I absolutely would not have sex before marriage. No way. I went to church three times a week. We didn't have a youth group but I stayed as involved as I possibly could. I went to church camp every summer for at least I week. I was a good kid. And I was determined to stay that way. Gosh was I wrong.
When I was 15 I had my first real life boyfriend. :) I mean I had 'boyfriends' before, but for the first time in my life a guy picked me up in his pickup truck and took me to the movies and I was actually allowed to date. I thought I was grown, let me tell you. I got caught drinking for the first time with him. So much for my good girl persona. We dated for four months. I was determined not to sleep with him, though I didn't exactly behave myself. I compromised, but it wasn't enough. Right after Christmas we broke up because he found someone who would sleep with him, and I was no longer worth anything. Surprise.
My best friend stood by me. We were kids and you know how teenage drama is. It was awful. I literally thought I was going to die. I went and stayed the weekend at my her house to get away, and there I met her brother. He was 17, dark and handsome. I was in love immediately. Problem was, he was dating a friend of mine. I knew she had to break up with him, though, because her parents didn't approve because he was 17 and she was 14, so I just bided my time (is that proper English? Bid my time? meh) until I could have him. And have him I did. Sigh.
One after noon we (my best friend, my boyfriend, and my brother, who had married, divorced, and moved back home again) were sitting on the back deck at my parents house. We were talking about anything and everything. I remember it being cool. I remember we started talking about sex, I said that I wanted to wait until I was married. They all laughed at me, especially my brother. I walked off and sat in a swing my Daddy had hung for me and cried. Later that night we all decided to go to the movies. The closest theater was 1.5 hours away (yeah, boonies) and when we got there, nothing good was playing, so we decided to go to the beach. Bad idea. We snuck out onto the beach behind a hotel, I'm sure it was a private stretch of beach, and we went swimming. It was cold, but we didn't care. We were laughing and having fun. Soon my brother and my best friend decided to go for a walk. I didn't know this, but my boyfriend had asked them to. He began asking me if I wanted to have sex with him. I said no. He waited a few minutes, and then he would ask again. We were kissing in the water and messing around. He kept asking, and I kept saying no. Eventually we wound up on the shore, lying in the sand and he didn't ask, and I didn't say no. No never worked. I had been saying no for 20 minutes, but he kept on and on and just like every other time in my life, I thought if I just stop arguing it'll be over with and we can move on. And my life was never the same.
I spiraled into a deep depression. I had prided myself on my innocence, my good girliness, my obedience to God. And now, all of that was gone (not that it wasn't gone before, but in my head, that was different). I started drinking heavily. I would go to a friend's house whose parent's worked nights and I would sit with a bottle of Jack Daniels and drink it. Straight. I started smoking a lot then, too. I still refused to do drugs though. I think it was because that was the only thing I said I wouldn't do that I still hadn't done, and I had to hang on to something.
That relationship went on for 7 months. It continued in the same fashion, and I became increasingly depressed. My parents had me put on anti depressants, and I became very self destructive. I was only 15.
On my 16th birthday I finally found the courage to break up with him. It felt as though the abuse had just been transferred from my brother to my boyfriend, and it had to stop. So I broke up with him. I learned quickly, however, that when you start dating someone else, you pretty much pick up physically where you left off with the last boyfriend. I didn't see the point in not sleeping with the next one, bc I had already given myself away. What in the world was the point?
On February 22nd, 2001 I decided I had had enough. My parents were in Hawaii. I was staying at home with my brother. We had a party the night before, and I got drunk. This is the only time in my life I got drunk and I don't remember what happened. As a matter fact, it's the only time I've ever blacked out under the influence of anything. It freaked me out. The next morning my Aunt asked me if I would drive her girls to school, and I could skip. I agreed. I dropped them off and on the way home I was looking for my way out. 10 minutes before I got home, I saw a tractor pulling onto the highway. The witnesses said I never braked. I only remember the impact, and waking up in someones car in the median, and seeing my aunt's car on fire. I remember coming in and out, being in the ambulance. I remember the hospital. I remember being a bit pissed that I was alive. Stupid air bags. No one ever asked why I didn't brake. No one ever asked if I had intentionally driven the car into the tractor. No one ever asked any questions. So I let it go.
The cycle of depression and self destruction went on for years. I still went to church, and to church camp, but I was so messed up. When I was 17 I discovered pot. We were on the way to school one day. We had a 45 minute drive and my cousin and a friend asked if they could smoke a joint in my car. I said they could, and after a few minutes of them offering it to me, I took it. I promise you that when people say smoking pot leads to harder drugs, they aren't lying.
My parents will tell you that about age 17 I grew up and became a much more mature person and much easier to live with. What they don't know is that I was just getting high, and I didn't care anymore. I smoked pot all. the. time. I stayed high. Before school, at lunch, after work. It didn't matter to me. I wasn't that kid who started getting high and their grades dropped and they become unreliable. I was easy to get along with, I went to work, I even graduated with a 3.75 GPA, even though I missed something like 30 days of school my senior year. I hid it very well.
After graduation things got worse. I was still going from guy to guy. I eventually started doing harder drugs such and cocaine and Ecstasy. I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. In fact, I was perfectly happy not doing anything. I don't remember what, but something happened at the very end of the summer and I KNEW I had to get out. One morning I asked my parents if I could go away to school. There was a Christian college in Montgomery, and I wanted to go. They said of course. They were just glad I was showing any interest in school at all. It was last minute, but I got in, and at 17, I moved 12 hours away from home to start my new life.
I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a photographer. I'm a lover of Jesus. My house is a mess, my kids are dirty, we eat take out more often than not. My life is loud, busy and crazy. And that's okay with me.
This is Eric, the man you've been praying for. He's a paramedic. He quilts in his spare time. No, I couldn't make that up :) He has NASH (a form of liver disease, non-alcoholic) and diabetes, but those things don't define him. He's a man of God, an insanely wonderful husband, and the best daddy in the world.. Just ask these guys..
Our daughter Ali, she's 9. She's fiercely opinionated and strong willed. She's a Daddy's girl, but the umbilical cord hasn't but cut from me, either. She's a gymnast, and proud of it. She spends more time upside down or turning flips than she does walking. She's crazy smart, and absolutely sure of it. She is my insufferable little know it all.
Our son Dylan, 7. We lovingly refer to him as Chubs. Or Chubby. Or fat boy. Ahem. He is all boy, as you can see by his crazy wild energy. He has the highest pain tolerance of any child I have ever met. He plays soccer and does gymnastics, but truly he is a gamer, a nerd. He is an avid reader and loves to climb. Not to be outdone by his sister, he's a drama king, but to him, I'm the best mommy in the world.
I'm here to use my voice. So many people can't. In a world of darkness, I just want to help God's light to shine through. I pray that my words are His, and my love is His, as well. This is my journey through the darkness. To start are the beginning of the story, click here.