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I have lived many lives

Saturday, March 26, 2023 — I have lived many lives just in this lifetime alone.

I have been a young girl filled with hopes and dreams.

I have been an adolescent, scared, angry, and rebellious, with a desperation to break free from my abusive, alcoholic father and my unhappy home by any means necessary.

I have been a fifteen-year-old wife and mother, filled with hopes and dreams for my new little family, even as I was a prisoner of war suffering from every kind of horror imaginable at the hands of my husband.

I have been a seventeen-year-old mother of two, waking up to the harsh reality of adulthood.

I have been a nineteen-year-old mom who was completely broken when her children were taken away from her.

I have been a young girl whose hopes and dreams were shattered and crushed and beaten and broken.

I have been a young girl who screamed for help and begged for love.

When none came and none was given, I have been a young girl who felt truly alone.

I have been a lost soul, turning to alcohol and drugs to dull the pain.

Until there was nothing left of me. Until I was less than a pile of ashes in the terrifying darkness.

I have been close to quitting this life. Many times.

But, at my darkest hours, the love for my children always prevails.

And, the love for their children, present, and future.

And, finally, finally, the love for me.

As the smoke finally clears, I can see myself, a phoenix. Ready to rise from the ashes and soar to the highest of highs, something I could only know because I have experienced the lowest of lows.

Free from the chains of alcohol and drugs.

Free from the chains of fear and loneliness.

Free from the chains of darkness.

And, once again, filled with light and joy.