39 years is exhaustingly close to 40…… 😬

39 years is exhaustingly close to 40…… 😬
Name: Vanessa
Pronouns: She/her
Instagram: Vanessa_ann44

How can you tell a stranger everything about your life, that makes you, YOU…without getting too personal?  I believe that everyone has a story to tell.  Something that has made them into the person they are today. That story may be painful, it may be horrible, it may be simple, or simply beautiful.

My story has a bit of everything, many tiny puzzle pieces that fit together in an incomplete mosaic of moments from my life.

My childhood was fairly unremarkable—my father was in the military, so we moved almost every year.  While I don’t have “friends I grew up with,” I have friends all over the world and from all walks of life. I also learned to adapt to most situations, and can make friends pretty easily 😊

My childhood was pretty unremarkable—my parents are very conservative, so I was raised that way, until I joined the military when I was 18, and was out on my own.  Being a female in the military can be a good thing, or a bad thing.  I chose to make it a good experience, and made many good friends who I’m still in touch with today.

I have been very fortunate to have had three healthy children (19, 13, & 11) and and have been married for 13 years to a guy who helps me do laundry sometimes, haha.

When I was first starting out, I did everything I could to be the best mom I could be.  Unfortunately, my son had severe asthma and needed good medical insurance.  I allowed my parents to take over temporary guardianship of my son when he was 2 years old, so he could have my father’s insurance.  Once I was on my feet, and employed with a good company and amazing insurance, I was confronted with the fact that my parents “didn’t think I would want to uproot my son from the things familiar to him.”  As always, my children come first, and I was young, so I did what I thought I had to do for my son to be well cared for.  I allowed him to stay with them a while longer.  I soon came to realize that my parents didn’t ever intend to send my son to me.  Instead, they used my love for him as a weapon, because they knew I would do anything for him.

My parents lived in Phoenix, and I was in Vegas.  I was in a deep depression without my baby boy.  I self medicated, and soon became addicted to cocaine, working at a cocktail waitress in a high end club, making more money than I knew what to do with.  Most of it went to my drug habit, the rest went to designer clothes, bags, shoes.  The drugs were the only thing that could numb me enough to keep me from feeling empty, without my son.  I’m not going to lie, it got pretty ugly. I was raped by a drug dealer, stalked by quite a few customers, and found myself in some very dangerous situations that I was lucky enough to live through.   One night I was afraid to go to sleep because I was scared that I wouldn’t wake up, due to all of the drugs in my system. I got on a bus to Phoenix the next day.  I have been clean and sober since January 15, 2004.

When you have been numbing all of your feelings for three years, and then stop….well….life pretty much smacked me in the face.  I never spoke about being raped until literally three months ago—15 years later.  Only one person in my family knows that I’m an addict, besides my husband.

My husband and I had two more children, and now live on the coast of North Carolina.  I have dealt with poor self esteem (the only time I’ve ever felt confident in myself and my body was when I was on drugs) and disordered eating.  Now that I’m not on drugs, I FEEL everything, and I feel things so deeply.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to it, but I do my best.

The state of our country right now is a freaking disaster, and I do everything in my power to peacefully protest, get behind causes that should already be human rights that everyone in this world deserves.  Ocean cleanup is a huge movement here, and we like to get out there and be a maid service for the ocean animals as much as we can.  We have been here 5 years, and while we’ve found sea turtle nests on the beach, so far we haven’t seen any little guys hatch and make their way to the ocean. Some day.

I am a practicing Buddhist, with an anxiety disorder, depression, and a genetic mutation that predisposes me to a bunch of different cancers—I had ovarian cancer at the age of 25…that was my first taste.  Since then, I’ve had 20 surgeries, but I think I’m done now 🤞🏼🤞🏼 I always laugh with my doctors about how my body is definitely a wonderland 😂

My husband and I work in tech, so we’re lucky to be able to work from anywhere.  I really want to get a decked out RV and just travel for the rest of my life—to see all the beauty that gets buried so often by all of the ugliness our world sends our way every day.  In the meantime, I do my best to be compassionate with everyone I meet—knowing that I have no idea what they’ve been through—but always willing to sit down and listen.  Sometimes all people need to feel less lonely is an ear willing to listen.

Recently, I decided to cut ties completely with my parents, as they are honestly just very awful people.  They knew I couldn’t afford a lawyer to take my son back, and they kept him at a distance so that our relationship was affected every way possible.  I was never allowed to be alone with him—even at his high school graduation—I wasn’t supposed to have his phone number, but I work in tech, so I do, haha.  I never used it, until I asked him if it would be ok if I texted him once in a while so that we could build a relationship.  He agreed, and we had a nice, light, texting thread going.  Things were good.  My heart felt better, and my depression was pretty much non-existent.  When my mother realized we were corresponding, she told him not to talk to me anymore.  Out of respect for her, he listened.  I still text him a couple times a week….I’m not giving up.  I refuse to be violated in such a life changing manner, twice.

At this moment in time, I am trying to find my tribe.  My people.  Like minded, friendly, kind, compassionate people, with open minds and open hearts.  I hope to get to know all of you soon, and am so grateful for the opportunity to share my story with you. ♥️