STRONGER TODAY

Published:

September 16, 2020

Written by:

Porscha Pride

STRONGER TODAY

Published:

September 16, 2020

Porscha Pride

Many times peoples current problems are unknowingly results of past traumatic experiences. I vaguely remember when I was two years old, walking down the street alone and confused in a rough neighborhood in Hollywood, California. I was wearing a pretty, sparkly, red dress and did not know where I was going, I just wanted to find my mom.

My mother was a heavy drug user and had left me in a house full of sketchy people that I didn't know. On his way to pick me up my dad saw me walking up the street and quickly put me in the car. When I think of all the possible outcomes that could have happened, I know that God was truly watching over me for my dad to be the one who found me unharmed.

Throughout my life and still today I wonder about my mom and how my life would have been different if she had been around. Family members have told me that she passed away but I never found out any details. They always told me how much she loved me and how beautiful she was, but I still felt the pain of so many questions that I would never get to ask her.

I am grateful that my mother was aware enough of her drug problem to realize that she could not give me the care I deserved. She loved me enough to give custody to my dad, who she knew was able to care for me. I remember her hugging me on the courthouse steps and telling me that I would be living with my dad and stepmom from now on.

Moving in with my dad and stepmom was a big change in my life. Being that young having lived with a mother with a strong drug addiction had effected me mentally and emotionally. I would be jumpy and often spill or drop things. Many times I would be in a daze trying to figure out why my mom couldn't care for me and just trying to make sense of this new reality living with my dad and stepmom.

I remember my stepmom being kind to me at first but later that drastically changed. When my stepmom had my little brother things got worse for me. My dad was working hard to provide for all of us, often leaving me in the care of my stepmom. These were dark times, if I didn't clean up after myself I would get slapped. If I didn't say "Bless You" when she sneezed I would get yelled at. I remember being filled with fear anytime my dad had to go to work, which was a lot. I felt like I was Cinderella and was trapped with an evil stepmom.

Through the years of being under my stepmoms "care," she pushed me through a glass table, kicked me, punched me and beat me like I was a grown woman. I always blamed myself I tried to do better to keep from deserving the abuse but nothing worked. My dad would come home and ask what happened and she would blame the marks on me falling and being clumsy, I was too fearful of her to say otherwise.

Years later that fear and shame I had developed found its place into my romantic relationships. The man I dated before my soon to be husband was also very physically and mentally abusive. Despite that, I was with him for two years because my feeling of shame made me think that was all I deserved. When I was with him I never looked in the mirror because I thought I was ugly and had forgotten how to love myself.

When I woke up to the fact that he didn't appreciate my value, I broke up with him and stayed single for a while. During this time alone I worked on loving myself more and dissolving all of my built up shame. A few years later I met the love of my life. That time alone working on self love gave me a much clearer realization of what I wanted and needed in a relationship.

Getting those toxic people out of my life has changed me for the better. I don't put myself down anymore, I am able to look in the mirror and like what I see. Now I feel empowered to speak up about the things I want and need. I know I am strong and I know that I am worthy of love. Looking back I realize that overcoming these traumatic experiences made me the strong woman I am today and I know my mother would be proud!

"You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending."

-C.S. Lewis