- Friends & Family
I grew up in a broken home. My father was absent. All I knew about him was that he was a doctor and a drug addict and that my mother left him after catching him molesting me when I was about 18 months old. As a teen I ran away from home to seek my father out. When I found him, my mother said we could keep each other and left me with him. He attempted to have sex with me and engaged me in inappropriate sexual acts daily. I tried to tell my mom but she didn’t believe me, so I ran away from home again.
I never dealt with the pain of the loss and the betrayal. I fell into a darker and darker depression, drank until my stomach could no longer tolerate alcohol or anything else and tried every psych med on the market. Nothing helped. There were no Band-Aids that could stop the bleeding. I was bleeding to death from a massive spiritual and emotional injury.
I continued to believe that God had not forgotten about me. I’m not saying our relationship wasn’t rocky, sometimes it still is, but I didn’t give up living because I taught myself to remember that everyone has problems. Everyone has to endure pain and challenges. Nothing has bested me yet, and nothing will because God is behind me. I had a lot of dark thoughts that wanted me to give up and find a way out, but I chose to keep living my life.
An old friend and pastor contacted me about a project he is working on and asked if I might like to get involved. I had been saying no to everything and everyone for so long that it was liberating to say yes! The project involves telling my story and helping others tell theirs. Just talking about the things that I have dealt with restores my personal power and breaks down the fear, which is a power source for my emotional barriers.
My unsolicited advice:
1. Parenting never ends. If you are a parent of an adult child who is struggling, they still need you. The loss of you is still devastating especially when it is your choice.
2. Forgive people. Then forgive them again and again. I’m not saying let people walk all over you, but I am saying forgive them. It is hard to be an example of love in everything you do, but it should be the goal.
3. Never offer more than three rules for living/pieces of advice.
Today I am a cripple learning how to live without all of my limbs. I constantly have to remind myself that I can and will adapt and survive whatever life throws at me. I am climbing out of depression one desperate claw at a time, and while I didn’t find the help I was expecting in therapy, I will keep trying to feel better and live with more faith and less fear.