I believe in the power of a single choice. Reflecting on my life I began to think about the choices I had made. I replayed them one by one in my mind. Through the visions of the tears in my family’s eyes, my hopes and dreams fading away and the confusion in my own face, I realized that I never understood the impact of the choices I was making. I was haunted by the fact of being a victim of circumstance (sexual abuse) and the cause and effect it had on my life. I felt powerless and alone. I was watching myself disappear. The power of a single right choice was about to open my eyes to an unknown inner strength and the ability to change it all.
I was a broken, fragile, scared and alone young woman who needed help. I knew that I had to come forward. It was time to be honest with myself and the ones who loved me, that did not understand how I had become a person without a conscience. But what would people think? How would my family view me? Would I have to face the predators that did this to me? These were questions I asked myself. I soon realized the fears regarding the questions were no comparison to those I had felt for years about the abuse.
I remember the day well. It was a sunny springtime day. Crying and with my mother, we drove into the parking lot of a treatment center and turned the engine off. Scared of the unknown, I sat there for what seemed an eternity thinking about how to undo and redo choices in my life. The roads I had chosen, the decisions I had made, all had taken me to the same dead end journey. I thought about the pain I had inflicted on others, but most importantly, looking in the rearview mirror I seen the pain I had inflicted on myself. I opened the car door, took a deep breath, put one foot in front of the other and walked through doorway to the rest of my life.
I don’t know if I could ever find the words to fully express the power of that single choice. It changed my life in ways that only I and others like me will ever fully understand. I am no longer a self destructive woman, who empowers drugs and alcohol to make life lasting choices. I have dealt with my ghosts and I have faced all of my demons. I am finally content with a past I regret. I have learned to forgive myself, as well as others. Today I am a self constructive woman who realizes that the roads I didn’t choose are the same roads that led me to the roads I have chosen.
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