I have had friends, best friends, boyfriends, lovers, one-night stands, enemies, family, etc. All have come and gone to make me who I am today.
Someone I once knew said, "Some people are in your life for only a season." As I think about it now, it is the perfect way to describe life when you are young.
Heartache, love and miracles happen. As individuals, we must take each experience as a learning lesson to build our character.
So, where do I start?
I am a woman who is re-married with a 9-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old stepson. The seasons got me through the real hard times of life before meeting my husband. As I grow with him every day, I now understand how meaningful relationships can be, the work required to maintain the bond, and the road to love unconditionally.
I believe filling my toolbox is needed to live a fulfilling life. If you are looking for answers for what happens after you stop drinking, why relapse happens, or maintaining a leveled existence — then you need the ARCS program.
I still have to remind myself of these seasons because, no matter what, what I have been through does not disappear. Yet, I know that I can do anything I put my mind to — despite the past and my deep-rooted trauma.
I keep one foot in front of the other, take one moment at a time, and space out moments to relax and reflect. It is easy to slip into old habits for me, and I will explain as my seasons change.
Season 1: Youth
I had such a light in me when I look back at my pictures, as a child. I always loved being outside to explore, play games, or connect with other kids.
I felt as though I was alone most of the time, but I do recall my sisters being there from time to time. We would get the neighborhood kids together to play soccer, baseball, and football games after school or on the weekend. Those were the best times in my childhood.
The main reason to be outside was always to stay out of “trouble” with my parents.
The word "trouble" brings back so many memories, some great, some good — but mostly bad. Not even one person who was close to me knew about what happened behind the closed door of my house.
This abuse started when I was a little child and lasted all the way through my adolescent years in high school. I can recall all those specific days like it was yesterday, and I still get a fight-or-flight feeling, unless I can quickly redirect my thoughts.
My doctor says it is good to get my memories off my chest to make peace and move on, so here it goes:
WARNING: The following content describes violence and may be disturbing. Discretion is advised.
1. I ran around with other kids after church was over, but my mother had counted to 3, so I knew what my punishment was going to be when I got home. With great force, my pantyhose were pulled from under me while I was still wearing them — I fell back and hit my head, and I had to be rushed to the hospital to get six stitches.
2. I was in third grade, standing in the bathroom stall at school. As I pulled down my pants, I cried in pain and hoped no one could hear me. I had been beaten with a belt until my skin turned purple and bloody. The bruising reached from my butt to the middle of my back, yet I was expected to act like nothing had happened —every single time it that it happened.
3. While in my room, I was asked to fold and put away my clothes, but she was not satisfied with the outcome. So, as I was bent down on the floor and looking up, I felt my head fly back because I had been kicked in the mouth. This caused a fat, busted lip and a possible concussion — then, I was sent to school as if nothing had happened. My fourth grade teacher told me to go to the office, and social services came to the house, but what could I have told them at that age? I was frightened for my life.
4. I do not remember the assignment explicitly, but I was having trouble understanding what I had been asked to know about the dictionary. So I was told to strip my clothes off, and I was spanked each time I got an incorrect answer. Tears and snot ran down my face as I looked at the dictionary, unable to get my thoughts together, hoping to get the answer right when she came back. I sat on the chair naked, and my butt was throbbing with pain. I do not remember if I was able to put on clothes or if I had to stay like for the night.
5. I was in second grade. I do not remember the specifics of what led to this, but I had duct tape placed on my mouth while getting spanked because I was “too loud”. I remember having the tape ripped off of my face when she was done. Then, I was left in the basement, in the dark, with crickets chirping and bugs running about.
6. I fell off my bike and scraped my knee. When I came into the house, I was spanked for getting hurt.
7. I remember running away and hiding under the kitchen table, as I thought it was safe. But the table was lifted up, and I was pulled out to get spanked.
8. I remember crying one night while in my bed. I had the covers over my head, and I was listening to my older sister from across the hall. She was yelling while she was getting spanked, and I was hoping not to be next.
I clearly understand that I was abused throughout my childhood. Those are the memories that I must live and cope with, especially if I'm stressed or triggered. In fact, I am starting to get anxious, so let's move on from this season for now.
My trauma lives with me daily because those memories, those things that happened — happened.
I still go to therapy because sometimes, I need a different perspective of my thoughts. I also take medication to keep me on track. I must take time to care about myself, to connect with like- minded people, and to have a strong understanding of my addiction disease, so that I can stay ahead of it every day.
I have learned that it is an every-day battle because one thought can take me down. But it is what I do with my thoughts and my actions that matter.
The ARCS course keeps my toolbox full so that, on both my good days and my bad days, I am better prepared for each season as they come into my life.
I understand my triggers better, why and when they happen. I connect with others in similar situations, as a child/teen/adult/wife, and I hope to help others as I share my story.
I would recommend this course, but I also understand that it is a marathon — not a sprint. (There are 3 other seasons I need to finish up about my life situations, so stay tuned for season 2,3&4)
Try a Free Online ARCS Class