I was abused mentally and physically as long as I could remember- my earliest memory was 4. I wasn’t aware as a child I was being touched inappropriately and around 13 realized and no one was there to protect me. I was raped at 15 by a friend’s cousin. Relationship with mom was so strained I dropped out of college. I was pregnant at 19 years old, I was a single mom. I moved into a tiny 2 bedroom apartment I couldn’t afford. More often then I’d like I admit, we didn’t have electricity and I can remember praying for my food stamps to be on the card while sitting in the grocery store parking lot.
I worked two jobs and hardly saw Layla- she was shuffled between friends, they sacrificed a lot for me, and I will forever be thankful. I didn’t know how I was going to afford diapers so I started potty training Layla really early. Some days I didn’t eat because I could only afford food for one of us. When ebt hit everyone liked my cooking and would come get food and I was to embarrassed to say no and why, plus I wanted people to like me.
I cried many nights because I was so mad that my life wasn’t where I had imagined it should be. I felt I deserved more and I wasn’t living. I became sick, in and out of the hospital and found out, I had lupus and fibromyalgia and was given a year to live. 𝘿𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙙…
That’s where the story could have stopped. But every damn day I woke up and fought for a better reality. I starting classes toward a degree in behavioral health. I kept plugging along, slow and steady. We moved to Rhode Island. I graduated with my undergrad while pregnant. I enrolled to get my Masters, moved to Delaware. Graduated while working, planning a wedding and running a business and didn’t know I was pregnant with Brianna, became a certified health coach. I started my doctoral to only become pregnant a few months later. I worked hard and sacrificed a lot and at times it wasn’t enough. I have experienced five miscarriages, and felt incomplete and inadequate.
I have survived struggle after struggle. Been the poster child of busy. I have known depression, darkness, loneliness, guilt, been suicidal, broke and broken. I have lost people in the process of discovering myself. I have learned that my story is one of a kind, but so is yours. I worked my tail off and continue to do that, so do you. It doesn’t matter where you’re at today. Just keep striving for more. Stop allowing other people and their lack of growth keep you from what’s on your heart. Don’t allow anyone to kill your dreams. What you have no one else does, it’s your super power and was given to you for a reason. The vision is yours why are you sitting on it? Your life isn’t where you want it because the bridge that you need to cross you won’t out of fear so you quit before you start because it looks hard, or you are unsure. Don’t you dare give up, don’t you dare keep living in fear… keep dreaming and create the change.