Everyone is collateral damage in some way shape or form. We all have had our egos, spirits, bodies, something about us damaged due to an unplanned event. Maybe it was a car accident, or a work scandal. Maybe it was a company going under, maybe it was abuse. I am about to get real. Really real. The transparency is high in this blog post, so be prepared as you read it.
My collateral damage incurred was a wounded sense of self. I am not talking scrapes, I am talking gapping wounds. Ones that take a lot to heal. A lot of time, therapy, emotional digging and turning a new leaf in life. Are you ready for the real? Because I am ready to tell you.
As a child I lived a fun filled life running around the town of Cape May NJ. I was vibrant. In your face bold. Frequently spoke my mind. Filled with confidence and I didn’t care what anyone thought. I carried this with me, but internally I was lacking. Lacking emotional attachment that children need. I needed fulfillment emotionally I wasn’t getting at home, so I turned to what many girls do.
I had moved to Florida and the bullying began. Bruise number one. I was called names fat, ugly, you name it. Typical childish bullying. It happens. That wound healed and I moved on, well I thought. Turns out that stuff is carried with you longer than you think.
Years passed, I built up myself back to the girl I was in Jersey. Vibrant. Loud. In your face bold ready to handle life. Then he came.
Like a freaking hurricane I didn’t need.
I was 15, he was 19. My life turned upside down. I didn’t know I didn’t need him. I thought I did. He was the freedom and acceptance I never felt anywhere. He calmed my internal tornado, or so I thought.
It started out normal, as normal as it could be with a drastic age gap. Then it changed. I didn’t see it. Young, immature. It shaped me. Into the person I never was.
It started with not being able to go hang out with friends like I once could. He was ALWAYS there. I couldn’t go hang out with family like I once could. There was always an excuse to what I needed to do that was more important, or something that needed to be done.
Then it morphed. I was told ‘I didn’t need that extra slice of pizza’ too many times to count. Yet I was 5’9” and 130 pounds. Active in ran track, cross country and rode horses. Carbs were not my problem. He was, but I couldn’t see it.
It became ‘no one would love me like he would because I am not good enough to be with anyone else.’
I became collateral damage.
After almost three years I gained insight, power and control back over myself.
It took me 8 months from the day I realized I needed out to actually escape from this emotionally abusive man. Boy, because men don’t act like this.
I took as much as I could and I left.
I got home. Walked in the room where my entire family was and told them the news.
I had no room at my parents’ home. My aunt was staying in my old room. Naturally, I couldn’t move back in.
Fortunately, my other aunt had a place for me. I put my stuff there and lived a freedom I had never felt. The problem? I was abused mentally for 3 years and it hindered my mental growth.
There wasn’t a time where I worked through the mental abuse, or emotional neglect I had my whole life. An attempted to fill it with another man is what came next. What happened next is history.
This new relationship didn’t stand a chance with so much unprocessed grief, abuse, neglect the emotional wreck I was. There was no way.
Then all that unprocessed junk consumed me again.
I was being stalked by my abusive ex, he tried to manipulate me back to him. There was no where to go. Feelings of alone plagued me.
I was alone and the world wouldn’t care if I was gone.
September 8th 2009 I decided to end my life.
I was almost successful. My ex-boyfriend found me. He saved me.
No, not the abusive one. The one that cared. The one that loved me and our lives were just wrong place wrong time.
Well he was in the right place at the right time and found me near lifeless that night.
He saved me.
Figuratively and literally.
They didn’t think I would make it. By God alone I made it through the night.
Here I am.
And you know what? I am a freaking POWER HOUSE.
I’ve learned that my life is precious. My life is meant for so much more than what I was always told, what my environment taught me.
I am a freaking WARRIOR.
No one needs to feel what I felt that night on Sept. 8th 2009 or the emotions I felt prior. If I had someone tell me I wasn’t alone. That they were there one time. That my life is worth living and that I matter. Someone who felt that depth of despair I once did. That knew the warning signs. If I would have read somewhere a story like my own. My outcome may have been different.
Maybe not, because I needed that low to build the empire I am building to help impact others’ lives.
Here I am. Living. I was collateral damage to a bunch of junk in life.
That does not define me, but it shaped me. It molded me into a person who won’t let ANYONE tell me how to feel. How to live. How to love.
My life is worth its weight in gold.
Your life matters. You can overcome the junk and be the person you dream of being. If I can do it, so can you.
You can be anything you want in life. You are capable of things beyond your wildest dreams.
Darling, you are a fighter.
If you or someone you know is suffering from thoughts of suicide, please call 1-800-273-8255 or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org for more information.
If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit http://www.thehotline.org for more information.