My Blessings

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I grew up with a family full of hard headed individuals, some of which struggled with anger, aggression, alcoholism and addictions. My Biological father was very abusive, my Mother left when I was 3. I never saw or heard from him again.. he passed away about 3 years ago now at the age of 46 due to his substance abuse.

The family that we came home to is a wonderful family… I learned how to be kind, how to be loving and how to help others, but I also learned a lot about who I did NOT want to be as a human being someday… I witnessed a lot of verbal, and physical aggression as a child… I’ve experienced the physical aggression which was something that has continued to have an affect on my life still today. For the better part of 14 years of my life I fought a constant battle of feeling like my feelings were not valid.

I struggled with depression but couldn’t say it out loud or bring myself to ask for help because I didn’t want to be told I was being dramatic, or that I was seeking attention. I quickly learned to not argue, or share my feelings because they were always wrong or invalid. I became a professional at avoiding my feelings, working with troubled youth made it so much easier…temporarily. Focusing on helping someone else with their own struggles makes it 100 times easier to avoid your own, and I mastered just that. That was until, I was offered a new job.. .working at a rehab center for women, going from working in a juvenile center to a women’s rehab center was a serious change of pace and I soon found myself with a lot more down time. Along with this down time cane thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and no way to shut them out. I found it almost impossible to busy my brain enough to avoid those issues and I was at a loss, I had absolutely no idea how to deal with or process through these emotions.

But, lucky for me, I was in an incredibly safe place with some of the most amazing people I have ever encountered. My supervisors and co workers were/are incredibly supportive and encouraging, and they proved that they truly cared about my well being. My supervisor gave me the small push that I needed to muster up the courage to reach out for help.

So I started going to therapy, it had been the absolute best decision I’ve ever made for myself. I’m learning so much about myself, I’m learning how to feel the emotions I have within and really process through those. I’m beginning to feel like a completely different person.. when I look in the mirror I see more in myself than I could have ever imagined I would. I’ve come to realize that my life doesn’t have to be this way, I don’t have to live, or love the way that I’ve watched my family live and love.

The people that I work for and with have shown me what a truly healthy relationship looks like.. they’ve shown me support, encouragement and compassion. I feel so beyond blessed that my supervisor saw the potential in me that I couldn’t see in myself and her along with the rest of the bosses went on a limb and gave me a shot.

My life has been intensely, positively impacted and it has changed so drastically. I truly feel like I owe it to the people who brought me in, welcomed me with open arms, believed in me, and pushed me. These women will forever hold a special place in my heart, words could never be enough to describe how grateful I am to them and the company I work for!

This experience, learning process and period of growth has given me intense motivation to continue to learn, grow and better myself, as well as to strive to hopefully be a person like that in someone else’s life.

My passion truly lies in supporting others. I say support because realistically, I can not help anyone, individuals are the only ones who can help themselves. It doesn’t matter how hard you try or how hard you push it won’t make any difference until that person wants to help themselves. Although, being a listening ear or allowing someone to feel like it’s okay to reach out for help or support can make a world of difference.

Acknowledgement…noticing when someone has improved something in their life, no matter how big or small can create immense motivation to continue to make improvements. Letting someone know that even if you can’t “help” or “understand” you can still care.. you can still support and cheer for them to continue to move forward. That’s what being human should be about, nothing but compassion, love, support, and encouragement!!

Story submitted by Donna.