Thursday, February 14, 2013

Your past is not your future

Disclaimer: This week’s blog isn’t a hardcore Bitch session.

Sometimes something will happen and get you to thinking about how far you’ve come in life. That was the case for me the other day. It had me reflecting on the differences between my childhood and what I’ve been able to provide for my own children. 

My parents divorced when I was only 1 year old. My mother worked 3 jobs to support me and my 3 siblings, while my bio-dad moved out of the states and rarely communicated with us.  We lived in public housing and food stamps kept food in our fridge.  When I was 7 my mother married a real piece of shit, an abusive alcoholic asshole. He could never hold down a job, but my mom kept working 3 jobs to keep our family going. Everyone seemed to think my stepdad was a cool man – he could really turn on the charm sometimes. They would have been shocked to know how often he abused my mother, or beat me and my youngest sister with belts, fly swatters or even his hands. It leaves a hell of an impression on a young child to see her 3 year old sister gagged and tied up in her bedroom just so “daddy” could get some quiet time with another bottle of beer while mommy was working. Many nights my mom would lock me and my little sister in our bedroom before the asshole returned from the bar. Her instructions were always the same, “Don’t come out, no matter what you hear.” She tried to shield us from the worst of it yet I still saw him hold a shotgun to her head and throw knives at her. My mother tried many times to leave my stepdad, but it wasn’t until I was 14 that she was finally successful.  

When the asshole was finally out of the picture I started getting into trouble with the law. Go figure! I got into so much trouble that I spent a month in juvenile detention and then was removed from my mother’s home at the age of 15. Luckily, some family members stepped up and took me in so I wouldn’t be placed in a foster home. This was a major turning point for me. I changed schools, started participating in school activities and got back on the honor roll. I began to realize that I had been acting out in all of my anger and years of pain and frustration. I resolved that I would live a better life and that one day I would provide an environment for my own kids that would be so completely different than what I experienced.

I think this was really the start of my “Bitch lifestyle”. It was at this time that I knew I would never let another person treat me so horribly. It was when I knew I would always protect those that mattered to me. It was when I knew I would not become my past. I would do what it took to rise above everything I had been through.

My adult life has been so different from my childhood. I’m successful in my career. I have one college degree completed and I’m almost done with another. I have a great husband and three wonderful daughters who I instill with my beliefs of being strong, independent and determined women who won’t let someone kick them down. At the same time I teach them compassion for others. I give them opportunities to become confident in who they are.

So many people allow their past to become their future. They repeat patterns and stay with what is familiar to them. It doesn’t have to be this way. What happened in the past is not who you are in the future. It should shape who you become, but you have the power to make decisions that will change the course of your life. I didn’t have an easy childhood, but I don’t use that as an excuse as others do. I use my past as motivation for my future. You should, too. It’s never too late to be the person you want to be.   

21 comments:

  1. Bravo! I can identify with your story. It is funny that just the other day my husband said much the same thing to me about not letting my past take control of the future. Your blog is amazing <3

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  2. I'm so glad you shared this story. You are such an amazing woman and I am so proud to call you my friend. Love this post. xo

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  3. Wow! I was just saying this to a friend this morning! I too broke the cycle of divorce and abuse. I'm amazed how I went from a latch key, only, angry child, to a woman who is married almost 21 years with 7 children! I never understand why people repeat history. Don't you want more? For yourself? For your children? I have a half sister who drives me nuts! Got pregnant out of wedlock with biracial baby, now she's with a guy who has 3 boys! She's doing great now, she just always wanted so much but just repeated the cycle like her mother. Love getting to know you! You're one awesome bitch! :)

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    1. Thank you, One Tired Mama. Kudos to you for breaking the cycle, too. I've seen it repeated by other family members and by some friends. It is frustrating, but more heartbreaking, to see others living through the abuse instead of rising above it. It's even more heartbreaking when they believe they don't deserve a better life.

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    2. I heard a great saying the other day, you accept the love you think you deserve....must be true....I've been told I think too highly of myself, um no, I just won't put up with bullshit, or being treated like shit.

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  4. Yeah, my childhood wasn't great, but my early adult life was CRAP. I married an abuser and made some really bad choices. But like a lot of people, I've been able to turn it around. I don't want to be judged by my past mistakes, but there are those who refuse to look past that to see the woman I've become. That's a shame. They're missing out on something really great!

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    1. I also had a couple of abusive relationships before meeting Dickhead. Nothing like what I lived with as a child, but abusive nonetheless.It did take me some time to break that mold, too. And I agree with you that it's a shame others won't look past your past to see who you are. It's their loss, though, not yours.

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  5. Makes me proud to be a bitch! You rock!

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  6. I'm late reading this. But dang....I'm glad I did. I love reading the not hardcore bitch sessions....almost as much as I love reading thehardcore bitch sessions! <3

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  7. Beautifully told! I had a similar childhood and happy to say that my life now is the best it has ever been. Two beautiful kids and fantastic husband. I truly believe that all of those horrible experiences taught me at a very young age to be self-sufficient, independent and not to take any shit off of anyone! Bravo to you!

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    1. Bravo to you as well! Way to learn to learn from your past!

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  8. I just want to say I love reading your posts and blogs, I seem to always agree with you, and they make me laugh when I'm having a bad day. I can also identify with your story. My dad was an alcoholic and abusive to mom, fortunately not abusive to me or my siblings. We were simply ignored. There is nothing more traumatic to a child to see your father break everything in our house (including windows) and attack my mother and learning how to dial 911 by the age of 5. Thankfully for us, we have a strong mother who left him and raised her girls to be strong and independent women and take no crap from anyone. Anyone that meets me today are usually surprised that I grew up in that kind of environment. I won't let the past determine who I am, and I vowed to myself that I would never repeat the same mistakes. So far I have succeeded in accomplishing just that. I'm glad you shared your story, and kudos to you for being a great role model to your daughters.

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    1. That's great that you've broken the cycle! Stay strong and always remember that YOU are in charge of your future. <3

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  9. Two of the most powerful words a woman can say NO More

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  10. "Together we can say "No More!" on

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