I have had a myriad of experiences, many of them terrible. I have been through things I hope you never have to endure. I have been in an abusive relationship where sexual assault was commonplace. I have been homeless. I was an unwed teenage mother. I was a high school drop out. There was a time when I was ashamed of who I was and I was afraid to tell people about what was going on in my life. When I did share my story with others, their reaction was often pity and some judged me badly. Some people wondered how such terrible things could happen to one person, especially someone so young. I often wondered the same thing. For a long time I blamed others for my “misfortune.” As time passed I realized I had no one to blame but myself. I made choices that made my life worse. Then I realized that if I could make choices that hurt me and the people in my life, I could also make choices that would make my life better.
Now everyday when I wake up I make a conscious decision to make today better than yesterday. My life needed to be better for me, for my husband and for my children. Now, I am not only a high school graduate I am the first person in my family to go to college. I have been married for almost ten years to a man whose sole purpose in life is to make me happy. I am a mother of two wonderfully happy and healthy children. I am no longer ashamed of sharing my experiences. Now when I tell people my “life story” I do not receive their pity. When people judge me they do not judge me badly or at least they do so less often. Now, I believe I can help. I believe I can learn from my mistakes and even avoid a few. I believe I can overcome any obstacle that appears on my path of life. I believe I have something to contribute to my family, my community and to the world. I believe in me.
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