I am a survivor. After a traumatic childhood in an alcoholic family, I entered into my adolescence with deep sadness and heavy resentment.
I had my first psychiatric hospitalization when I was 15 due to suicidal thoughts, and I was already a self-injuring “cutter” by that time. My parents and I had continuous friction in which they became abusive and overly restrictive, so I chose to live in a group home right before I turned 16. I got my own place when I was 19, but unbeknownst to myself --- I had already cultivated very unhealthy relationship patterns.
As a co-dependent, I was subconsciously attracted to and comfortable with the same patterns of dysfunction that became so familiar in my family of origin. This generally meant someone who was active in an addiction, narcissistic and self-serving in nature.
These partners would abuse me while draining me of my energy and finances, while I was focused on taking care of them in every aspect. An inside view into those relationships revealed my so-called “partners” inflicting a host of abuses on me --- including everything from “gaslighting” me, to breaking my nose and fracturing my jaw.
My life was riddled with abandonment and loneliness.
As I navigated these fruitless relationships in search of validation that wasn't available, I became more and more devastated. With desperation I felt like I had tried so very hard to be happy .
Of course this was before I realized that most of my difficulties were actually a “set up” from the conditioning in my formative years.
Of course, this was before I realized that most of my difficulties were actually a 'set up' from the conditioning in my formative years.
By the time I was 23 and Christmas of 2008 came, I had reached the end of my rope. I ingested a heavy dose of several prescription medications. In fact, I had consumed just one of these many medications, in enough quantity to kill six people.
As my dad arrived with me to the ER, I died that night. It is by the grace of God that upon their third attempt of resuscitation --- they were successful.
I still went on to navigate some disturbing situations, the following year. By the time 2009 came to an end I had been held hostage and a supposed “friend” of mine had attempted to rape me. In between all of that were some random, sporadic jail trips and drug use.
Then I married my alcoholic husband with whom I had two children in 2010. Within a couple of months of marriage, I was pregnant, yet I also began recognizing his symptoms more and more.
I endured him choking me, telling me he was going to kill me, watching me through windows without my knowing he was there, and abandoning both me and our first born, over and over again.
Gratefully, by the birth of our second child, I had discovered Al-Anon and had embarked upon a very different path for myself. As I gradually took in all that Al-Anon had to teach me, I became stronger and resolute in not wanting to continue my marriage.
Shortly after the birth of my second child, my sister and only sibling died unexpectedly in a car accident, which resulted in the death of her significant other as well. This left my niece and nephew orphaned.
In 2016, I found a new job opportunity that was very exciting and a step up for me in career advancement. Not long after moving to be closer to that job, my new boyfriend moved in with me and my kids.
As we began to escalate in an argument, he pulled a gun and shot me 6 times in front of my children, who were 2 and 6 at the time. One of those bullets passed between my heart and my lung --- somehow missing them both --- and that bullet still sits in my sternum.
In an attempt to aid and support my kids and my healing, I moved us to a new location about a year later. This is where I found the ARCS program, in the Fall of 2019.
I glanced at the ad a couple of times, just looking at it and thinking about it --- but a short time before I had already taken an interest in life coaching. After a couple of months of consideration and a few synchronicities later, I became certain in my decision to join.
Now, a year later, I am still learning so much! It has been mind-blowing in moments, revelational in others and just profound in general. It has given me the ability and the tools to move forward differently.
ARCS really is life-changing.
The love, support and understanding of those around you is a priceless gift; the online class environment bears the gift of allowing all of those who enter a chance to start releasing what they have been dragging.
By no choice or fault of our own, we get conditioned and become practiced in patterns that create layers of who everyone else has always told us we are “supposed” to be and how everyone else has always told us we are “supposed” to be --- as a means of pleasing themselves.
Once you start learning the nature of childhood and social conditioning, along with the depths of how trauma literally alters your DNA --- which results in a list of common symptoms, most of which I have suffered --- this information starts to shatter the illusion that we’ve all been “force fed” our entire lives.
Most of all, ARCS is helping to teach me who I really am and what I’m really capable of.
It's a beautiful experience to witness and participate in.
There is no replacement for the words “me too” and nothing better than sharing life experiences with those who can identify by those words.
I love being part of the program and witnessing the healing in others, while I experience my own healing. I love how powerful it is for all of us to join together in our online classes. I am beyond blessed to be part of ARCS, and I can’t wait to see what else the program has in store for me.
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