The abuse changed me.
The healing changed me.
It secretly thrills me when people who have known me for a long time (some of them a decade or more) say, "I had no clue. You're so normal." I just really try to keep myself from dancing in a circle while fist pumping and screaming, "YES! YES! Woot! Woot! WOOT!"
I am not a blubbering mess.
My state of mind is often peaceful and steadfast.
I cry over things that others are unphased by.
I can go from feeling immense, unspeakable joy to indescribable sadness in the same moment, over the same event.
I am fragile.
I have superior strength.
I wake-up at night in a cold sweat.
I am haunted by terrifying images.
I am grateful to be alive.
I have fantastic gut instincts. In my family, we call it 'the rat sniffer.' My people-reading skills are eerily accurate. I could make a great career out of working for the CIA.
I have learned to trust my intuition.
I am learning to give grace to myself even though I am still harder on myself than anyone could ever possibly be.
No matter how great I am, a part of me is always a failure.
No matter how beautiful I look, a part of me is always ugly.
I am compassionate in ways I never would have been otherwise.
I am not as quick to judge.
I can empathize with hurting people.
I wish more people knew that it's okay to ask for help when you have depression.
I hate being alone.
I have taken unnecessarily, even ridiculous and complicated steps to safeguard my home.
I never take a shower without thinking, "What do I have close by that I could use to protect myself right now?"
When Mike is away, I sleep fully-clothed in the event there is an emergency and I need to get the kids out quickly.
Mike pre-screens all of my movie viewing (at my request) so I am not accidentally confronted with one of my triggers.
I am proud each time I do something that gives my children a happy memory.
I am proud of myself for raising a child who is convinced he is the smartest, most handsome, and awesome kid on the planet.
I feel victorious that I can say I am grateful I am a sexual being.
I know that forgiveness brings freedom.
I still have some forgiving to do.
I do well in a crisis.
I am hyper-vigilant.
Migraines are a normal part of life.
I am so skilled at managing panic attacks that no one would even know I'm having one. Not even in Target.
I sleep best during the day.
I do not take happy families for granted.
When I see a homeless woman or a prostitute or an addict, I see what could have been and think, "By the grace of God."
I feel proud and grateful that I did not marry a jerk even though the odds were stacked against me. I am blessed because I have a safe place to land.
I wholeheartedly recommend counseling for anyone. In fact, you should stop reading this right now and go get counseling.
I've learned that baggage comes in all shapes and sizes and not all of it is easily seen.
I am glad I've had the opportunity to deal with my baggage before my kids or my husband got too old to enjoy me.
I like being useful.
I am proud that I was the one to stop the cycle of abuse.
I think of Frances many times everyday.
I am aware that the world is bigger than my front yard.
I am fluent in three universal languages: love, motherhood, and suffering.
Standing in a shower of warm rain is sometimes the best therapy.
I am learning that spontaneity is not dangerous.
I finally overcame my fear of the water and learned to swim.
I am realizing that it's okay that I never learned certain skills (like how to smartly do grocery shopping or do a french braid or make decent pancakes). I am making myself learn them one by one, and having fun doing it.
I am grateful that I can be honest with myself about the past.
I am grateful that I can be hopeful about the future.
I am a different person than I would have been and that's not such a bad thing.