Be advised: this post may contain triggers for some
I’ve been reading a lot of ‘decade in review’ posts and learning so many interesting things about my blogger friends (mainly where I compare to them age-wise). As is the reason behind these posts, I too began thinking about my past decade and I can honestly say this will forever be the decade that changed me the most.
In 2010 I graduated high school (see what I mean by the age thing…?). I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life and my parents weren’t forking over the money to send me to university, so I enrolled in the local community college and took on a couple of part-time jobs. Looking back, yes this was a wise financial decision, but I hate to admit how much my relationship affected that choice. I was 18 and proximity to my boyfriend of 3 years was high on the priority list.
Soon after I started getting into the swing of things with school, work, and personal life, my entire world was thrown off kilter. I became a victim of sexual assault and that one event turned into ongoing abuse when my attacker began to blackmail me. For 6 months I lived my personal hell too scared to speak up; afraid of truths and lies not looking the same to others as they did to me; terrified of the repercussions of asking for help.
My boyfriend found out and broke up with me. My parents found out and their view of their only daughter was forever changed. I felt alone with only the darkest thoughts of my life to keep me company. My abuse finalized while I was at the jagged end of a knife. My attacker fled for the last time and all I could do was crumple into a ball and wish for the end.
I gained the courage to speak with police about my abuse; so began my transformation.
For far too long I was the victim. When someone goes through something so heinous and degrading, (s)he can only come out a survivor-at least that’s what I was told. I became determined to fight my abuser and make sure he would never again have that same power over anyone else. The court process was long and arduous, but resulted in my favor with 2 lifetime sentences plus 20 years.
I slowly built myself back up and allowed people to assist me in the process including my high school sweetheart. Our relationship never returned to it’s former glory, but it was reinstated and continued from where we were.
Continued, not matured.
The years that followed were a combination of blind love and toxic attachment. I proved time and time again that I would do, be, and give anything to be with my partner, but realized after too many tears on my part and not enough action on his that our relationship was over.
“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.”
In 2015 I found my light in the form of a friend. I am forever grateful to have found this friend when I did because my life was at a turning point and could have ended anywhere. This friend was a shoulder to cry on and the helping hand when I was ready to yet again, pick myself up. He told me things would get better and with him, they really did.
He made me comfortable with companionship again. He showed me the world and told me nothing was off limits. He taught me more about myself than I knew in my lifetime before him. He became such an important part of my life in such a short amount of time that it’s hard to believe it to be anything but fate.
Of course I’m talking about my Fella. He inspired me in many ways, but one major way was by encouraging me to start blogging. Soon enough writing became my creative outlet and a new source of making friends. I’m so thankful for having such a supportive group online who understands the importance of sharing themselves in such a unique way; it’s truly a blessing.
But the biggest blessing from this past decade is that I’ve found peace. I wholeheartedly believe that the best way to appreciate something is to be without it. Once upon a time my life was a constant struggle; something I thought everyone just had to endure. It seemed as though the bad outweighed the good and happy memories only belonged in the past. But these past 5 years have been a blur of goodness. I found a career that keeps me on my toes, I married a wonderful man, and together we have built a beautiful life full of adventure and laughter.
Understanding that life is full of highs and lows is only the beginning; figuring out how you are going to react to them is how you take control-how you find peace.
Happy New Year my friends and welcome to the resurgence of the Roaring 20s! Let’s make this decade as lavish and tasteful as Fitzgerald once imagined.