In the spring of 2014 I ran across a request for articles for Hello, Darling Magazine, the magazine associated with MOPS International. One of the subjects caught my eye…and my heart. I sat down and wrote the article “7 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me.” The article was published in the summer 2014 magazine.
I am going to share an elaborated rendition of that article in seven different posts. These posts are deeply personal and very revealing. Most aren’t for the weak of heart. Some of the subject matter may be offensive. I’m sorry. I will still share because these experiences have shaped me into the person I am today.
You may identify with some of them or possibly all of them. Chances are your experiences are different than mine. They are uniquely, and sadly, yours. Just as mine are mine.
It’s okay though. I came through the hard stuff stronger, wiser, compassionate, and loving. I pray you did too. Just in case you are still battling your past, there are a few things I would like to tell you.
I grew up as the oldest child of a broken marriage. My mother married my father when she found out she was pregnant. It happens. Life happens. Another dysfunctional family is not out of the ordinary. We were in no way unique. We had problems. Just like everyone else. Four children later, my parents divorced. I was 5 years old.
I lived with my mother through my eighth grade year. It was not a pleasant experience. I have very few memories from those days and most of what I do know was told to me by my grandmother or an aunt. I do know that I never felt comfortable, never felt loved, and never felt I had a place in this world that fit my definition of home. It is not my intention to bad mouth my mother so I will offer no details of my younger years. She has her own demons she must face and forgiveness she must seek. I must answer for my own missteps and mess ups. That is more than enough for me.
The summer before my ninth grade year I went to live with my father. My father had remarried and had three young children at home. I no longer lived in fear, but I didn’t really know how to live. I was suddenly living with people who were a family and it was a foreign concept. They ate meals together, at a table. They went places together. I actually got a class ring. I still have it in my jewelry box. In spite of all my awkwardness and social blunders, the world became a huge pond of opportunity. I began to dream.
Even with a haunting past, I believe there is a time to let go and move forward. Moving forward does not necessarily mean we forget. We have an opportunity to learn from the past by dealing with it, not just sweeping it under a rug and pretending it didn’t happen. The next seven weeks I’m going to share with you the seven things I wish someone had told me so I wouldn’t have had to figure them out on my own. These seven things helped me overcome the victim mentality and learn to take responsibility for my own actions, both the good and bad.
I pray these posts encourage you to go after everything God has for you…and you let go of a past that is keeping you from your future.