Pageants Or Videogames…

It Began With Heartbreak

It began with heartbreak. All of it really… If I think about it, I can trace every learning experience in my life back to heartbreak. Sometimes I learned and responded negatively, sometimes positively. Unfortunately, these responses became life-long behavioral dispositions and I still struggle with the negative ones everyday. My biggest dispositions are: untrusting, insecure, and stubborn. As I go on to explain my reasoning for these please note that I am not looking for sympathy. I am merely writing to settle my own heart and mind for the moment.

Trust. It’s huge and it’s what relationships are based on. Think about it, if your best friend all of a sudden started lying to you all the time could you still be best friends with them? Probably not, this is because they have broken your trust. Without trust, a relationship is nothing. It means nothing and will not grow. Often times when trust is broken, it is not ever fully restored.

I would love to say that I am a very trusting person. However, if I did I would be lying not only to you but to myself as well. In all honesty, I hate trusting people because I hate getting hurt. Most of my life has been built on lies and hurt, at a young age I learned not to trust people. It saved me so much disappointment and hurt. So yeah it helped, but at the time, I didn’t understand how it affected me negatively. Because I stopped trusting, I was never fully able to get close to people. And I now know that having close relationships is very important to happiness.

My parents have had mental and physical problems ever since I can remember. Both of them addicted to drugs, my mom bipolar with a very unstable life, and my dad who never moved out of his parent’s house. My lack of trust came from my dad’s incessant leaving every weekend. He would prepare to do his little drug escapade and I would cry and beg for him not to leave every time, and every time, same old story. He told me he would be home in the morning. And each night that he was gone I would stay awake as long as I could and wait for him. Some nights that meant 4 a.m. Some mornings he would come home, sometimes he’d be gone for days, some nights he’d come home beat up (black eyes and all), and some nights we’d get a call from jail. I could never comprehend why someone would do such things to my daddy. He was such a good man and dad, wasn’t he?

My mom on the other hand lived a lie. Though she was honest with me, there was so much I never knew about her. And most of the time she wasn’t home, when she was she was exhausted or caught up with the temporary man-candy. I would come home from school in 5th grade only to find her gone, sleeping, or getting ready to leave. At that point we lived in Marine City and her job was in Detroit. My mom was full of extremes. Because she was bipolar her moods were either really hyper/happy or really depressed, almost to the point of suicide which she had attempted several times. During 6th grade I pretty much lived with my friend Kim because our apt. was really scary and my mom was never home. Kim was goth and slowly, I became goth as well. I cut off almost all my hair and died it black. I started listening to rock and wearing tripp pants.

When my mom was home, she usually had Kevin over. This man was beyond ugly inside and out. He was tall and chubby with tan skin and medium-length brown hair. I nicknamed him “googley eyes” because he had a lazy eye and his eyes were huge in general. He was foul and vulgar and constantly drinking or drunk. He had stupid tattoos and never seemed to take showers. I hated him.

I was disconnected from all family because of my mom and up until this point, had no normal social interaction or sense of what was “socially acceptable”. I had a unemployed druggy dad, his family all had extreme mental conditions. And a mother who made her living by selling her body while being addicted to drugs, isolating herself from her family, and being physically, and mentally unstable.  For me, this was normal life and I grew to accept the hand I had been dealt.

Why should I trust anyone? No one was reliable. I learned not to expect my parents to do what they promised. And this followed me the rest of my life. I, to this day, have a very hard time believing people and trusting that they will keep their word. I always expect the worst so that I’m not disappointed or let down. I have a few close friends that I have had for the last couple years who have remained faithful. They are the people who have helped me realize that there are trustworthy people out there. You just have to search them out.

Insecurities can ruin anyone. We all care what people think about us, regardless of the strong front we put up. It’s something that we can definitely work on, but I’m not sure that the problem will ever be fully gone. Because I grew up with such a lack of social skills, I got made fun of a lot. I was confused about so much. And my best friend at the time -after a little while of her becoming friends with the “popular kids”- realized just how weird I was, and wasn’t my friend anymore. So I made friends with the other “weird” kids. Who actually turned out to be a riot. But, if I’m being honest, they were all socially awkward which didn’t really help my case.

As I moved into Jr. High I felt really misunderstood and still very confused. I was also very depressed because of my life situation. My two closest girl cousins were “lesbians” and so -because any guy who had shown any interest in me before had made it out to be a joke after- I felt like I was a lesbian too. I did some things with a girl in 7th grade and felt really dirty after. I found that I wasn’t really attracted to girls, I just felt unwanted. But to me, men were disgusting. I had seen all of the vile, vulgar trash that my mom brought around and then men in general just sickened me. Literally repulsed me. Besides that, the experiences I had with boys my age that “liked” me were just more of a reason not to like them.

I couldn’t understand why some girls were so pretty, why God blessed them with friends and looks. I knew that even if I tried to change my appearance to be more approachable they would still see me as a freak. I didn’t belong anywhere. I was a stranger in my own freaking body. I didn’t like what I’d become, If nothing else I just wanted to become average. That way I could at least be left alone. I had no self-esteem. I didn’t feel wanted, precious, beautiful, or special in any way. I wasn’t super girly, or talented, or smart. I was just there.

Many kids are stubborn, because they’ve got that little rebellious streak in them. And let’s face it, no one wants to feel out of control. It’s uncomfortable and seems very unfair. You can’t see the good in discipline or hurt while it’s happening, but you see the results afterward. It was near the end of 7th grade when my mom and I were kicked out of my aunt’s home. I was slowly started to get better by this point, but little did I know, my whole world was about to be flipped upside down. After a few days of living in a car I was bounced around from my dad’s to my grandparents. My grandparents house was supposed to be temporary, and let me just tell you, their life was very, very different than that which I was used to.

Moving into their home I was like a wild stallion who was about to be broken. It was one of the hardest things I’d ever had to go through. I had no idea why I was yelled at for things I was doing, I had no responsibilities or expectations before this. And my parents had trusted me a whole lot more. I went from practically raising myself and taking care of myself, to being taken care of, but mainly, being in control of my life, to submitting to someone else’s authority. Someone who felt and thought COMPLETELY different than the way I did. I can’t even put into words this time during my life.

Near the end of that year I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior. I very quickly learned that I didn’t have to live up to anyone’s expectations. I didn’t have to be like other kids. I didn’t have to try and fit in. I learned that God would mold me into the person HE wanted me to be. And that being normal, wasn’t enough. I had to be willing to do whatever it takes to glorify him. And sure I didn’t (and still don’t) think the same as most “Christians”, but I have my own story, and God has made me who I am, thoughts included. For the first time in my life I felt important and loved. I felt beautiful just the way I was.

God not only changed my heart, he changed my life. He took a broken, confused, scared little girl, and delicately formed me into a beautiful creation, both “fearfully and wonderfully made”.  Psalm 139:15-18 “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts,God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.”

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