My father came from a really brutal past. Around the age of 6 he accompanied his dad to a public place to meet with his mother. From what I know, they were going through some kind of break up and my grandfather wasn’t taking it very well.
That’s the day that my dad witnessed his mother being fatally shot several times by his father. He struggled with drug and alcohol addiction,
depression and PTSD from the childhood that was tragically stolen from him. He was drowning in his own darkness so he couldn’t see what his kids needed from him. He was verbally and at times physically abusive.
My mom is the sweetest lady you’ll ever meet. I respected her a lot because she never laid a hand on me or said a negative thing to me. But she had her own codependent struggle with my dad. She was so consumed by the continual drama that she couldn’t invest into us kids like she needed to.
I remember not caring about school and grades at all. How could I? There was a lot of walking around on eggshells in my house, never knowing what would make dad mad. We stayed in the car or at hotels with my mom when things became too crazy at home. It seemed that the older we got, the worse things became.
By the time I was 16 I just couldn’t take living in my home any longer so I ran away and lived with my best friend, Jessica. It was nice to be away from the “eggshells” and to be able to go out and do things with my friends, walk around the mall, go to the movies, yes, even party together.
Life felt much better but I still wasn’t happy. I struggled with a deep emotional pain that just wouldn’t go away. I started smoking weed and drinking, more socially than anything. But it gave me temporary happiness, it gave me a break from the pain I felt inside.
After things blew up with me and my friend, a fight over boys, we were teenagers after all… I ended up living with my boyfriend whom I met while living with my best friend.
For months we lived from place to place, sleeping on different people’s couches and floors and at times sleeping in a car. At one point we had nowhere to go so my boyfriend talked his mom into letting us stay with her. After several months we got our own apartment, I was 17. I didn’t know how to live without drama so I was physically and verbally abusive to my boyfriend just to push him to the point of abusing me in return.
I lived off of the highs of our relationship and the highs of weed. But when I hit the lows, they were SO LOW. Nothing kept me happy, nothing rid me of the deep pain inside. I attempted suicide 3 times by overdosing on different medications. Thanks to God, it wasn’t my time to go. Another way I dealt with the pain was cutting my wrists. It took away the emotional pain because all I could focus on was the physical pain that I would much rather feel.
When I started working at a daycare I met a girl named Star, she always talked to me even when I wouldn’t return the conversation. Though, eventually I felt comfortable enough to engage in the conversation. I told her about all of my drama and what she said next took me back, ” have you prayed about it?”
I responded, “No, I’ve done nothing for God, why would he want to do anything for me?” What surprises me about my response is, at this time I wasn’t even sure if there was a God.
Her response will forever stick with me…
“That’s just the devil trying to keep you away from God.”
This was the changing point of my life… I went to Barnes and Noble to find a Bible that spoke the way we spoke (I had no clue that it was called NIV). I found a teen study Bible and I took it home. I sat down in my studio apartment and started flipping through the pages. There were some colorful pages with different verses on them. The first page I stopped on said this:
“Love doesn’t hold grudges, it doesn’t keep thinking over and over again about how someone hurt you.” 1 Corinthians 13
The way it was written was perfectly worded for my heart! I had no idea where the deep seeded pain inside of me was coming from. This was the answer! God knew!
I was holding a grudge against my dad, I was constantly thinking about everything he had done and said to me over
and over again inside of my head. This was the last night that I would live with that unforgiveness and hate in my heart. God showed me how to forgive and that constant pain I had for as long as I could remember was gone!
From that point on, I didn’t feel like cutting anymore, I didn’t want to die anymore, it was no longer hard to be happy! I went on with this joy and peace for the next 9 years. Then I came upon the hardest time in my walk with God.
That familiar deep pain returned but it was delivered from someone else. I relapsed into suicidal thoughts and cutting… But that’s a blog post for another time… **Spoiler Alert** God heals that pain too! And gave me more wisdom and strength!