The truth was out to those closest to me. All my siblings were giving me the space I had asked for. I was ready to live life. Embrace and rediscover myself. No more tears and no more pain. I was ready to fully embrace the love in my life and redefine what family meant to me. I was ready to break away from them and start my own family. All my plans for a huge wedding with my family involved was out the window. All I needed was him now. The two of us tied the knot in a small chapel in Reno, NV with our two friends as witnesses and I knew that regardless of what the world had to say about him, he was perfect to me. People asked me all of the time while we were dating, why him? Because of him I'm still here. I wanted to live again. I felt loved and protected and for the first time in my life sex felt right. It felt pure. I had nothing to prove, just a husband who loved me and would do anything, or take down anyone to protect me and keep me safe.
I remember all the anxiety I had not knowing what the first conversation with my mom would be like. The calls came and went and no talks about the situation. Days, weeks, months had gone by and nothing. I chose not to go home for a while and instead flew my parents out for a visit and still nothing. I didn't bring the conversation up because my dad was still unaware of the incident. I decided that it was probably just too hard of a topic for her, so I let it go.
Fast forward a few years later and while I was home visiting my parents and I walk out of the back and there he was, standing there in the kitchen holding my daughter. The anger and everything I thought was gone instantly resurfaced, except this time I was ready for war. All I could remember was my mom stepping in front of me and asking me to put what I had in my hand down. I felt so betrayed. So hurt that she didn't get it. All she kept saying over and over was that I needed to forgive him and find peace and that she couldn't hate him. I remember saying I can and I do and I left. I'd never see things from her point of view and she couldn't see them from mine. We never talked about it again. It became the elephant in the room. Those who knew understood my behavior and those who didn't continued to think that I was mean and a b****. But that was ok, as long as those that mattered most to me knew.
For years after I would have these rollercoaster of emotions. I just felt lost in the world. Visits home to see those I love meant reliving the trauma over and over again. So much was happening and so much time alone to think about it all didn't help.
A few years later I came across a statement in a book I was reading. Forgive, not because they deserve forgiveness but because you deserve peace. In that moment I knew that message was for me. The universe was speaking to me and this was not going to take up anymore of my time and energy. I was so broken, so defeated and hurt, so tired of wondering why me. I sat there and looked at my daughter and knew I needed to find peace. If not for myself, I needed to find peace for her. I needed to find peace because my husband deserved the best version of me. He loved me through my worst and it was time to give him my best.
Determined to love and protect them I started my journey of healing. I confronted my abuser. I went back to counseling and I started mentoring young women and shared my story. I wrote a new set of goals and went after them with laser focus. I was determined to win. And slowly but surely I found peace. I learned to fully trust the man I love. I could talk about my story without shame and embarrassment. I believe that I went through it all so that I could bring hope to others. During my darkest of days, I always remember everything I've been through and recall my purpose. My scars are my fuel and serve as a constant reminder that I'm strong! Not because I've always wanted to be but because I've had to be my entire life. Life is worth living and somewhere out there is someone in a very dark place and I just want them to know that there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. When something bad happens, you have 3 choices, let it destroy you, let it define you or let it give you purpose. I choose purpose.