Excuse me? Who, me? Seriously!?!

In April of 2016 I took an Aromatherapy Certification course with my girlfriend, Trisha. It was a weekend spent in the home of the people teaching the course. It was an amazing experience and the food? WHOA!! The wife of the gentleman teaching the course could cook like there’s no tomorrow. If you left the table hungry, that was your fault, but I digress.

We met wonderful women during this weekend from different walks of life. One of these women was from Russia. Her name is Nikita and she had a wonderful accent. She was so knowledgeable already on essential oils and helped to explain some things I may not have understood. During our breaks and after the days teachings were over, Trisha and I started talking to Nikita about different things. Nikita was very into the metaphysical side of life which was something I knew very little about.

We were talking about Astrology, numerology, past lives, etc. It was very interesting to me, but nothing I had ever considered myself to be interested in prior to this conversation. I mean sure I’d read my horoscope growing up, but didn’t everyone? I also messed around with energy once as a kid, which I totally forgot about until writing this post. I was a sleepover in probably 5th grade. We played the game “Light as a Feather, Thick as a Board.” Five little girls were able to actually lift another 5th grader off the floor with just our finger tips. That scared the bejeesuz out of me. We also played Bloody Mary that same night. (BTW, not for nothing, but I didn’t sleep that night.) As if I hadn’t learned my lesson enough, one night we played around with a Ouija board. NOT a very smart thing to do when you have no idea how to protect yourself metaphysically. The damn white thing moved on it’s own and told us it was a 6 yr old child who had been murdered. I was done. Threw the board out and never looked back.

To me, this were all just games. Stuff which wasn’t real and kids just played around with because we were the only ones dumb enough to believe it. Adults told us we were silly and just left us to our devices. My mom did read Tarot cards when I was younger. She had a very bad experience with them when I was about 15 and she never touched them again.

Nikita continues on talking to Trisha and I’m just sitting there listening. I had a look of disbelief on my face and plain as day Nikita said “You have the gift. I don’t know why you’re shocked at the conversation.” Excuse me? Who, me? Seriously!?! You have got to be kidding. And that’s exactly what I said. I shook my head no way and Trisha looked at me and said “Yeah, you do.” My jaw dropped open. We had been friends for about 9 years up until that point and NOW is when she’s telling me this? My head was spinning in disbelief. Trisha repeated what she had said previously. I hadn’t been open to hearing about many things she believed in and she was afraid to talk about them to me for fear of being judged. So.. here we were. She got all into oils and the great beyond was staring me in the face whether I liked it or not. Crap.

This one fairly innocuous conversation was a snowflake which turned into a snowball. One I never expected to snow again much less grow into a snowball. My life was about to change in a very big way. I had no idea.

Blessed Be – Peace be with you
Shelley

**Nikita’s name was changed to protect her true identity.

Creek comes to town!

In December of 2015 I was having hot flashes so bad, I thought my husband was going to kick me out of bed. Covers on, covers off. I ain’t Daniel and this sure as hell ain’t Karate Kid. It was horrible! I didn’t want more medication because I was already taking so many. I had bi-polar II disorder, thyroid issues, migraines blah blah blah. I considered myself pretty healthy even though I was overweight (still am!). But this getting old shit was for the birds. I’d had a hysterectomy when I was in my late 30’s. I was left with one ovary and I was guessing it was time for that ovary to start failing.

Our oldest daughter Creek came to visit with our grandson for Christmas. She saw me going through the hot flashes and started talking to me about essential oils. I laughed at her and told her I didn’t need her Granola/Hippie Mom crap. I’d suffer through it and be just fine thank-you-very-much. She got pretty frustrated with me. I just rolled my eyes at her and asked her how much she liked it when someone rolled their eyes at her? HA! No fun right? She was pretty much like “whatever old woman, just suffer.” I smiled and went on about my business. A few days later she’d had enough of listening to me bitch about sweating and getting irritated as the hot flashes hit me. She sat me down and told me I had absolutely nothing to lose if I allowed her to make something for me to try. I told her it wouldn’t work, but to go for it. I took her to the store and bought some cheap over the counter essential oils. She cringed at the idea, but you work with what you’ve got.

We bought some Clary Sage, Lavender and something else, I can’t remember. (I make my own now and sell it.) I bought a diffuser to put the oil mix in and sat it next to me on my end table in the living room. I wasn’t really pleased with the smell of Clary Sage (not a personal favorite), but she told me to suck it up and just deal with it. I diffused every night after work and every night while I was sleeping. I noticed a difference in the recurrence of the hot flashes after the first couple of days. Then they slowed down much more noticeably and after three weeks, they were gone. That’s about the same time length a pharmaceutical medicine would have taken, but this was all natural. I was shocked!

Now I had to call my daughter and tell her she was right, oh the horror! Her response was “SEE I TOLD YOU!” After she was done with her rightful boasting session, she told me that essential oils do so much more and she really wished I would just listen to her. <insert rolling of my eyes> I responded with telling her I would have loved it if she had listened to me growing up or even now, but does she? No. Not only no, but hell no. We both laughed, but it stuck with me there had to be something about this aromatherapy thing.

The next month I had called my girlfriend Trisha to catch up with her and see how she was doing. Life hadn’t been easy for her and I just wanted to check on her. I mentioned the essential oil thing to her and she started prattling on about how many oils she uses on a daily basis. What the hell?? Was I the only one not aware of this? Trisha was honest and said she didn’t think I’d be open to it so she just never told me. That made me take a step back. Was I really that closed off to new things? The answer was yes. I had become one of the things I never wanted to be: Closed-minded.

I asked Trisha to explain more to me so we decided to get together for a dinner. She lived in Indiana and I lived in Ohio. We were only about 2 hours away from each other so we met in the middle. She spent the whole time talking to me about oils and other things she liked. I thought she was crazy for most of it, but I was willing to listen about the oils. Baby steps man. You can’t expect me to believe in the great beyond when I’m just learning about essential oils LOL. There was only so much my mind could handle.

I started doing research and discovered so much more than I ever thought possible. I signed up to be a Young Living rep and quickly discovered it wasn’t really the right path for me. Yes I loved oils at this point, but not the business model. Through more research and diligence, I discovered you can actually take a class to become a Certified Aromatherapist. I signed Trisha and I up for the class and let Trisha know. It was her birthday weekend and she was all for it!

In April of 2016, Trisha and I became certified through the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, level 1 Certified Aromatherapists.

What happened during that weekend is a whole different blog post.

Peace and Blessed Be.

**Creek’s name was changed to protect her true identity.

From Bitch to Witch in just 48 short years!

You too can change in just 48 years, seriously it shouldn’t have taken that long, but I’m a wee bit stubborn and I don’t really listen well.

I grew up going to the First Baptist Church of Fairborn where my Granny went for many, many years. My brothers and I were put on a church bus every Sunday morning for a long time. We would sing songs on the bus and I’d get to go to Sunday School. No parents were on the bus, but they did have some chaperones. (This was the 70’s afterall.) Every now and then I’d get lucky and actually see my Granny at church and that’s really why I was happy to go. I was baptized on January 15th, 1980 and I remember this day like it was yesterday. I wanted my Granny to beam with pride from the congregation. However, my beloved Papaw was too sick for her to leave the house so she stayed with him. I was 10 years old at the time and didn’t really understand what the commitment meant, but a whole lot of people kept saying they were proud of me. Getting positive attention at the age of 10 was something I really desired so I was happy these people were proud of me.

Shortly thereafter, my mom started dating a man who went to a church near Miamisburg. Now, I have tried like the dickens to remember the name of this church, but I cannot and it’s probably for the better to be honest with you. My mom and I started going to this church with him and his younger children who lived at home. My mom eventually got engaged to this man who was very active in his church at the time. We went every weekend, much to my chagrin. My mom would make me wear a dress (oh the horror LOL), but I agreed on one condition. I had to be able to wear my ball cap too. She gave in and allowed me to do this so I looked presentable. I never did understand why jeans and a t-shirt weren’t ok for Church. Did God love me less because I wasn’t wearing a dress? I was told not to ask such silly questions. I really did like this church because it was much smaller than the last one and the people were much friendlier to us. Everyone remembered my name and I enjoyed class. I even got to help carry candles for service and light them. Man I was special!

Things happen in relationships and my mom and this gentlemen broke off the engagement. The following week my mom and I showed up at the church. I was happy to be able to go, but a little sad because if he was there I wouldn’t be able to sit with him and his children. I loved him. My dad lived in Florida and I never got to see him. He stepped in as my dad and spent time with me. He also had children I loved very much just like my own siblings. Anyway, my mom and I showed up at church and I will never, ever forget this moment for as long as I live. The Reverend came outside with his pasty white skin and thinning dark hair with his robes on and met my mother and I on the church steps. He explained very politely to us it would be much appreciated if we would find another place of worship. It wasn’t appropriate for us to show up there after the break-up of the engagement as it would be too painful for the gentlemen and his family. My mom said she had no desire to find someplace else. The Reverend immediately changed his tone and was very clear. “You are no longer welcome here. Please leave now.” I was devastated.

I had lost another father figure, siblings and now a church. If this is what religion is about, you can have it. I was done. I was forever tainted about Christianity from the moment on. As I got older, I tried different churches. I felt like my skin crawled every time I walked into one. I didn’t mesh with their ideology. One thing became very clear to me, I was not comfortable with being called a Christian.

In my early 30’s, I started researching and found out about Judaism. I took classes with our oldest daughter to convert to Judaism. My husband was raised Jewish so he wasn’t required to take the class with us and the other children weren’t over 13 so they didn’t have to either. When class was done and we graduated, it was time to become official. My husband and I along with all 4 children made our appointments for the mikvah and took our vow to the Jewish culture. Girls went first, then the boys (you never do this together, ever.) We celebrated Jewish holidays, shabbat every Friday, my kids went to hebrew school, all of it. It felt better than Christianity did, but still not right. Eventually I gave all of that up too. It didn’t fit.

Lost. I felt lost. Something was missing. I was tired of religion. I figured I was just different and alone and I’d never find my place.

On and off over the years I’d heard about Pagans and I distinctly remember the Christian view on it. I was so pre-programmed about all of the bad things about being a Pagan, that I never got to learn what it means TO BE a Pagan. The meaning of paganism is very simple and absolutely nothing I was taught: Paganism is term first used in the fourth century by early Christianity for populations of the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism, either because they were increasingly rural and provincial relative to the Christian population or because they were not militates Christi (soldiers of Christ). It has evolved over the years to now mean simply this: polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religion. Pagans pray to and respect different deities of many different pantheons (including Jesus, Mary, Buddha, Ganesha, etc) and they worship nature. Pagans see the absolute beauty in nature. Everything has a spirit: trees, rocks, blades of grass, animals. If it’s in nature, it has a spirit.

I am a Pagan, specifically a shamanistic witch. There are so very many different types of paganism too. The list goes on and on so I was amazed at this! I had to figure out what type of pagan I was (however, I had a little extra help from a friend who clued me in).

I believe nature has many lessons it can teach us about life. There is a balance to everything. The hawk eats a mouse as a way of survival. The mouse has then learned it needs to become much more calculated in its way of thinking so it doesn’t get easily eaten. It finds ways to search for food so it doesn’t become prey. Hawk teaches us that by flying above and looking down we need to be able to see the whole picture before we make a decision. Just because that chicken looks good enough to eat, is it too heavy to carry? Are there predators nearby to watch out for? If you just sit peacefully in nature and watch, there’s so much more to learn. So many lessons which could benefit people on how to treat each other.

This is a religion which makes sense to me. It is absolutely not how I was raised, in fact I was raised to believe anyone who don’t worship Jesus Christ will go to hell. I do not believe that. I believe there is a place in the world for every religion. Everyone serves a purpose to keep the balance in life. You cannot have too much light or too much dark. Yin and Yang. This is the true balance of life.

We each carry light and dark in our hearts. It’s how you harness that energy which will separate you between good and evil.

This is a very short synapses of how I became pagan. I’m actually looking forward to writing about how I’ve healed my heart and moved on to some amazing things in my life.

Thank you for joining me.

Peace and Blessed Be.

 

It Takes a Village People… like it or not.

There is a saying that goes “It takes a village to raise a child.” There is a reason this saying exists. When life was much more simple and humans were more interested in other people rather than a damn phone, tablet or a TV, people looked out for each other. When a woman bore a child, the village women would help her. They would cook for her, help clean her home and help teach her how to raise that child. The entire village was invested in the well-being of the young which had been brought into the world. As the babe grew, neighbors would continue to help. Families helped to raise each others children. Families were large and often required more than just two people to handle it all.

Children were put to work fairly early even with school duties because farms needed tending to, logs needed split, animals needed fed. There wasn’t an enormous amount of free time for a child to sit around and dawdle. Now I’m not saying no one got in trouble, I’m just saying it gave them less time to get into trouble. Men worked outside the home and the females took care of the home. This came with its own set of issues because women weren’t always valued for the true blessings they were to a family. However, if a female was mistreated, often times other men of the village would step in and handle business. Just be patient with me, I’m getting to the point.

As a society, humans eventually started to not like other people butting into their business so they moved to other cities where no one would know who they were. Technology came along like electricity, phones and other modern conveniences. Women learned they could have less children. It became easier to move away from your support group.

If the village has dissipated, who helps the single mom of 3 children care for those children, work a full-time job outside the home, feed those children and make sure they have clothes and all of their necessities? You are now left with a stressed out mother who just wants a moments peace. Rather than her finding that moments peace, it exasperates her situation and she becomes more mentally agitated than she needs to be. Who suffers? EVERYONE SUFFERS. The mom suffers, the children suffer… it’s a no win situation, unless you can afford a Nanny and trust me, that ain’t the norm.

When does society finally decide to actually start caring about other people and helping out those families who are in distress? No one is saying you need to hand over thousands of dollars to someone, but if you see a person struggling, give them a hand. If you see a stressed out child, ask the parent is there anything you can do to lend a hand. BE THE CHANGE WE NEED TO SEE IN THE WORLD. Don’t be a fucking ostrich and bury your head and pretend it’ll all go away.

Hunger is here in the United States. We keep sending money to other countries. FEED US. FEED YOUR LOCAL CHILDREN. Do you not think the parents of hungry children are stressed out? It leads to physical abuse, mental abuse and so much more. If my mom’s parents hadn’t owned a farm, I truly don’t know how I would have eaten as a child. The majority of our food came from that farm and we worked for it. Snapped beans, shucked corn, dug potatoes. I swear that root cellar with the potatoes used to make me puke it stunk so bad. However, I am grateful it existed because it fed me.

I keep money in my car so when I see someone on the street with a sign asking for money, I have money to give. I used to be so judgmental and think “Oh you just want it for drugs.” As a recovering addict, I fight with my inner self on this. What did I decide? I decided, who the hell am I? Who am I to judge someone else? I am no one. Maybe that $5 I hand over is going to go for drugs, but maybe, just maybe they’re hungry and that $5 just bought them some warm food. Give it FREELY with NO EXPECTATIONS.

America expects. I call bullshit. Learn to love openly and unconditionally. If you are donating, it’s called a donation for reason. You gave it willingly. Your end of the deal is now complete. Walk away proud of yourself and pray that the receiver will do the right thing. You don’t get to decide what their karma should be. Mind your own karma.

I have debated many times if I want to continue to write this blog. I haven’t written anything in about 6 weeks. Sorting through how I feel about my childhood and my early adult life has been difficult for me. I have biological family members who have accused me of being selfish, pointing the finger at everyone but me, being egotistical and the list goes on. I let it deter me for a while because I felt I needed to examine my motive for writing this blog. Was it really to just point fingers at someone else and say “Look at what you did!” Or, did I start writing this blog because I was tired of putting my dirty laundry under the carpet which had become so lumpy, I couldn’t walk on the carpet anymore?

It’s none of those things. I started writing it because I give a shit about other people. I want other women and men to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE. That’s my message, that’s my reason. If my reasoning pisses you off and you want to yell at me, have at it. Perhaps you need to examine your own damn life and figure out why you’re getting so pissed off about what I wrote. Perhaps you have your own behavior to look at.

And so, here I am writing again. And it feels damn good.

The Truly Bad 4-Letter F-word

FEAR! This word to me is far worse than saying, reading or hearing the word fuck. I mean, seriously. Fear can stop you in your tracks. It can alter the course of your path for a minute, a day or a lifetime. Fear can stop you from taking chances which could propel you forward in life. Fear of the unknown can you keep in a stalemate. Fear of a spider? Can make you stop your car in traffic and jump out yelling like a crazy person. (Yes, I do know people who have done this.) Fear of the dark? You refuse to go into a dark basement until every light is on and even then you wonder what’s lurking in the shadows. Why do we do these things ourselves? Humans have a need to feel safe.

When we walk in safety, we are comfortable with life. We may not be happy, but we are comfortable because it’s what we know. We have a routine which we become accustomed to and we know what to expect. The flip side to this is, we also stunt ourselves emotionally within the confines of safety by not allowing ourselves to grow.

I thought I had a fear of writing about my life and the experiences I’ve had. I’ve met so many other women who’ve had similar experiences and when we share stories, I’ve shared with them I’ve always wanted to write about it so others like us would know they were not alone. They’ve all said to me “You should write about it. I’m too afraid to do it.” It’s always easier to be on the sidelines than on the field in your gear ready to take a hit. And to be honest, it wasn’t really the fear of writing we were worried about at all, but the fear of how our biological families would react to WHAT we were going write about. Yes most of the family members already knew the stories, but confronting them with it in black and white is a different story. How well was that going to go over? Not very well. I knew that going in. I am tired of standing on the sidelines. I’m geared up and ready.

I’m making a different choice now to confront my fear and with that choice comes a consequence. I am losing relationships with biological family members. I have exposed the things which we do not speak of. Did I expect this? Yes.  Is it a surprise? Nope, not in the least. Here’s the biggest question: Have these people loved and supported me no matter what my decisions have been my entire life? The biggest answer: No, they loved me as long as I did what they wanted me to do.

This is a huge epiphany for me. So huge it didn’t even occur to me until I was writing this and figured it out. I’ve said and done things my entire life that I didn’t agree with to make others happy so I would feel loved. This is an admission of guilt. I’ve said horrible things about people I truly loved because it made a biological family member happy. That was MY choice. No one forced me to do this. I allowed others opinions to become my own. I was the weak one. I now choose to stand in my truth and it takes strength, but it can also be physically very lonely. However, as I walk down this road I know I am not emotionally alone. I have spirit guides, guardian angels and family I’ve chosen who do love me for exactly who I am. I am no longer responsible for carrying someone else’s shitty pickles. I am standing with my head held high knowing that I made a different choice. I chose peace and happiness. I chose to claim in my responsibility and forgive myself so I can move forward and grow.

Here is my truth. I have been married four times to four different men. I have 4 children with 3 different men. One of those 3 men I wasn’t even married to. How’s that for airing some dirty laundry? I was very embarrassed about this for years. I’m not any longer. I have remorse for the trail of pain I left behind.

First marriage: 4 months beginning to end. I knew I shouldn’t have gotten married. I apologize to you husband #1. I knew it wasn’t right when we got married and I did it anyway. I accept my responsibility for not putting any effort whatsoever into the relationship and for being willing to walk away so easily.

Father of child #1 – I am sorry I lead you on after she was first born and allowed you to believe there would be a relationship because there was a child involved. I really and truly wanted her to be raised with biological father because I hadn’t been raised with mine. I know I hurt you and I apologize.

Second marriage: 8 months living together, 2+ years total on paper in marriage. There will never be enough words in the English language to tell you how deeply sorry I am for hurting you. I loved you the only way I knew how at the age of 20 & 21. It was far less than you deserved.

Third marriage and father of child #2 and #3 – I am sorry for the part my behavior played in our divorce. I could have been a much better wife and that wasn’t fair to you. I gave all of my love and attention to our children instead. I could have made more time to nurture our relationship.

Fourth marriage and father of child #4 – You’re my favorite asshat in the world. I’ve apologized to you for many things over the years. Marrying you, I will never be sorry for that. We have worked extremely hard at keeping our marriage together including living in two different states for 3 years and stage 4 throat cancer. I will be damned if I’m going to allow my human ego or my pride to wreck this one. I love you with a depth in which mere words could never express it appropriately.

To anyone reading this post if you made it this far:

When you feel alone in this world, please know you are not. With each blog post I write, I lose another friend or family member, but I also gain 2 friends who choose to become family. Family is everything to me. I will hold on tight and love you all til my dying breath.

Peace be with you as it is with me.

What now?

I’ve started writing a few different posts and then never finish them. I don’t feel like any of them have been the correct thing to write about. I’m really not sure where to go from here. So many things have happened in my life to lead me right to where I am. I keep feeling like I have to go in order, but then I wonder if that’s just a remnant of the OCD kicking in. MUST GO 1, 2, 3…

Here is something I know I need to talk about, my son Abram.

In 1987, I found out I was pregnant for the very first time. I was a senior in high school and no clue what I was going to do. I had broken up with the baby’s father, Devon, a month prior. I had been cruel in the way I handled the break-up and I was afraid that if I told him I was pregnant he was going to think I had made it up to get back together with him. 30 years later I look at back at the situation and am so sad at how it played out.  I have had to forgive myself because asking Devon for forgiveness at this point in life would not be ok. Old wounds, you know. I lost the baby about 14-16 weeks into the pregnancy. I don’t know for sure because I never went to the doctor to get checked for an official pregnancy until it was at the end. The loss was horrendous both physically and emotionally. All I ever wanted in my life was to be a mother. I wanted one person in this life to love me unconditionally for exactly who I was. I wanted the opportunity to be different to my child than my parents were to me.

In writing this down, it makes it even more real. I’ve carried this story in my heart for 30 years. Abram would have been 30 this fall. In 1999 the only other person who I told about the loss of Abram came to visit me. She was my best friend in high school and her name is Delilah. Delilah and I got matching tattoos which represented all of my children as of that point in life. My children are my sunshine by day and my stars by night and when I am lost, they lead the way. The tattoo is of a sun and 4 stars. Each child has their own color and meaning behind the tattoo. Abram is my yellow star. I chose yellow because he shines bright up in the heavens. Losing that pregnancy hurt me so deeply. I thought it was my penance for the way I had treated the males I came across in my path.

In 1989, I found out I was pregnant again. I was shocked. I had been on the pill and didn’t even know I was pregnant until about 8 weeks in. I had kept taking the birth control pills and I was doing drugs. I was addicted to cocaine. It was the only thing I could do to control the shit flowing through my brain. When I couldn’t sleep at night, I’d smoke pot to calm my nerves. I didn’t really like doing illegal drugs because I do not like to break the rules (OCD again). However, the constant noise in my head was more than I could handle. I was having conversations with myself and the memories were awful. Memories of the sexual abuse, memories of losing a baby, memories of a childhood gone awry. I just wanted it all to stop. When I did cocaine, my brain was set straight. I could actually function and perform. The voices were gone and I felt more normal. Back in 1989, those pregnancy tests were supposed to take 15 minutes to turn blue. I went and stood in the living room while my girlfriend stayed in the kitchen with the glass of pee and the stick with three little balls on it. I remember hearing her laughing about 3 minutes and saying really loud “BITCH YOU ARE REALLY, REALLY PREGNANT. LOOK AT THIS!” Um what? It was too soon for it to turn! I thought she was joking so I went running in and telling her to stop with the joking, it wasn’t funny. My gut dropped. Apparently not…  All I could think about was what I had been doing with my body. I immediately went cold turkey on everything. Not enjoyable, but it was what had to be done.

To this day, I tell my daughter and I mean it with every fiber of my being that getting pregnant with her truly saved my life. I was going down a path that was not safe for me and certainly not safe for a baby. God had given me the one thing I truly wanted which was one tiny human to love me no matter how screwed up I was. I was going to do this right. When I decided to keep the pregnancy, I made a solemn vow to God that if he let my child be physically and mentally normal, I would never, ever touch an illegal drug ever again.

I am proud to say, I have been clean for 27 years and 4 months. It has NOT always been easy. However, for me, wanting my child to live a decent life was more powerful to me than the pull to the drug.

I guess I finally figured out what to write.

Peace be with you.

Shelley

The Fork in the Road

You know how you’re just tooling along on the road for the trip you planned and it’s all good. You get lost in the music and you’re just driving. Then you realize you may have missed your exit and now you have to figure out what to do. Before the days of the GPS you had three options:

  1. Get out a map and see where you were.
  2. Go to a gas station and ask for help.
  3. Be brave and use your sense of direction to figure it out on your own.

All of these options end with you making a decision. A decision you hadn’t intended on making when you got in the car, but alas here it is in front of you. Freaking out doesn’t help anything. It just makes you anxious and then decisions aren’t clear-headed.

I am at a fork in the road, one I didn’t think would happen. I’ve been tooling along knowing I had to write this blog bringing awareness about incest and helping to validate other survivors in knowing they are not alone. It’s real. We can survive. We can become healthy and move forward in life. While we will never forget what’s happened to us, we can forgive and go on to be truly happy. I thought it was going to be important to tell the stories of my childhood in chronological order, then discuss the evolution of my path. It’s becoming more clear to me that the stories will come out as I start to explain my path and how I got to where I am today.

Where am I today?

Today I am at peace. True inner peace. This is something I never thought I would find. I just thought I would forever be in turmoil in my heart and I just thought everyone lived that way. I had no idea it wasn’t normal to obsess over routines, the pattern of the hair on my arms, keeping my arms and legs from hanging off the side of the bed, being afraid of what exists under the bed as an adult, being afraid of the dark and a myriad of other things. The older I became, the more I began to realize I wasn’t a typical person. I refrain from using the word normal because seriously… what is normal? Normal is average and I am far from average. I am fucking amazing.

So after today… I will start writing about my journey to change. It’s been long and really hard. I’ve survived it all and the universe has been amazing in the gifts I have been given.

Please join me as I change my path once again.

Peace be with you.

Shelley