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Letter to a Stalker, Abuser, Illegitimately Legalized Resident, Unregistered Sex Offender, Textbook Sociopath…and My Ex

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(Photo Credit: Jeremy Thomas)

 

This was not a part of my life that I wanted to share so openly or soon. However, my ex, as accurately characterized in the title, recently came into my radar by interacting w/one of my posts on FB. Before I get to the letter to him, a little background:

I met Adalberto Jose H. (aka “Alex”- the name he stole from his brother who was stuck in El Salvador when Adalberto snuck into the States) when I was 17 – just short a year of my brother’s death anniversary. The death catalyzed the journey of hell each person in my family would embark upon for the following 20 years, so at that point, it was still a raw wound, a perfect portal for infection.

I was sheltered, religious, and had to make sense of why our loving, happy family “deserved” such a thing. When Adalberto showed his first signs of stalking, which I didn’t understand at the time, I thought that his persistence meant that I should give him a chance. Maybe we were too close as a family – we never needed anyone else. Maybe we were stuck-up and didn’t even know it. Maybe this guy wouldn’t take no for an answer because he was my test to allow someone outside of my family in. That was the fatally flawed reasoning of a broken, confused, grieving, adolescent girl.

This then-illegal immigrant found out that I was an American citizen from our first conversation, and did not only start digging his claws into me to gain “papers” into this country, but he tried to “destroy my life” (his words, once he got legalized permanent residency through me) and threatened harm to my children whom he used as “anchor babies.”

I would not be his only victim
. He started having an affair with a Filipino high schooler, “Dee,” who had a pregnancy scare because of him at one point. She was 16; he was around 30 by that time. When I found out, I asked her sister to set up a meeting for me with Dee.

Dee was a small, young girl who was in love with this man who’d told her he was separated, and was married to a horrible, abusive person. When she found out I was nothing like what he’d said, she was confused. She told me he had instructed her to let me, essentially, unleash my fury on her when we met, to let me beat her, do whatever I wanted to her because I’d be mad. He was a coward who shielded himself with the innocent.  Because she was in love with him, she’d unhesitatingly agreed.

Of course, I never had any intention of harming her. She was a victim like I was, and I wanted her to think of her life and future, to not fall into the trap that I had.

Now, nearly 20 years after having left him, he shows up w/a week-old FB profile using a pic of himself and my kids when they were little as his profile picture, which he posted just a day before reaching out to me.

As much as I hate to admit something that I know would give him great pleasure, I freaked out. Part of it was trauma-memory, part was an understanding that this guy has not changed, in the worst ways.

When I’d escaped that relationship nearly 20 years ago—and it was an escape effort, carefully coordinated very much in the way Katie Holmes “escaped” Tom Cruise (whom, coincidentally, Adalberto had a man-crush on and wanted to be just like)—I’d discover that I’d entered a new chapter of fear. He could now hit-and-run. Worse, he’d use his legal paternal rights to harm me “in ways no one can see,” as he’d promised after the first time he got arrested for domestic violence towards me. (He’d kicked me because I wanted to leave. Before that, he’d given me a black eye – just in time for my final exam, for which I had to wear dark sunglasses, indoors, on a cloudy day. But he got a freebie with that one.)

The man had zero relationship with nor interest in the kids – he didn’t know their birthdays, nor favorite colors, nor anything anyone resembling a parent would care about. He never shopped for gifts for them, didn’t show up for holidays, never spent time with them unless his family/friends invited him to do something w/their kids. Even the small things were telling, such as how he’d use their displayed artwork as scrap paper, or how he’d give them the worst parts of food he was eating (i.e. inedible fat of meat that he was going to throw away). And these were while we were together.

Even still, after I’d escaped him, I tried to encourage a relationship with him and the kids—initially. He never wanted visitation, nor to pay child support. He would only call a week or two before each court date (which was months apart) to ask for them, for show. Everything he did that looked decent was for show – he was even capable of making real tears come out to persuade people of something he would be completely lying about.

The kids were never stupid – they knew who he was, and didn’t think of him as a father. They knew what love looked like, because they had me to see the extreme contrast.

At some point, a mother cannot continue to tell her children that what they see with their own eyes was unreliable, that their intuition on good or bad people cannot be trusted, that their mother is unable or unwilling to see the truth, as well. They knew Adalberto never cared about them. They were simply used as pawns to stay in America, and then to trap me through the system, abusing his legal paternity rights.

So I acknowledged their concerns, and we lived in fear. I knew that it brought him joy to see me afraid and suffering, so I appeased him with it more, to protect my children best I could.

20 years later, he’d seek out the woman he’d used, abused, and terrorized, flourishing pics of these innocent kids in his usual preposterously false narrative.

I could ignore him, sure. But he has not had enough, apparently, and I will not become small again, nor run away to allow him full rein in a country and world I helped open up for him.

I also hate bullies. It’s time.

I’M WRITING THIS for anyone who has been or is still in an abusive—physical, emotional, and/or psychological—relationship, and for their loved ones who understand—or don’t understand—and suffer and fear for them.

I’m writing this for my beautiful children, who are so good, courageous, and stronger than many—including themselves—may know.

I’m writing this for my friends, that they may get to know me better, and that I may get to know who they are better.

I’m writing this for those who have been hateful to me out of jealously from their own issues – not to feel sorry for me, but to hopefully give them insight into what has made them struggle with having an open, gracious heart.

I’m writing this for “Dee,” in hopes that she may finally see the value of women being there for one another, bearing witness, standing up and speaking up for each other.

I’m writing this for the Good in the world
, to help set it free and unbind it from shame, to place the spotlight onto the darkness and force it to be known, not only to bring awareness to others, but for its own sake.

Now, where were we, “’Berto”?

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

DEAR ADALBERTO/JOSE/”ALEX,”

STOP RIGHT THERE.

First, the girl you are looking for, the teenager who was lost and confused by her brother’s death,

– the one to whom you told you were 18 when you were 22 after she told  you she was 17,

– the one to whom you showed pictures of your ex and her mom and said were of your sister and your own mom,

– the one to whom you did not reveal that you were already married for “papers” in exchange for money with another woman, until you got this naïve girl pregnant and told her she needed to help you stay in this country through legalized marriage,

– the one whom you said caused her own brother’s death because she “was a bad person,”

– the one to whom you started openly being abusive and cheating on once she answered, “yes,” to your repeat question, “So no matter what, now, they can’t deport me?”

– the one to whom you said you could freely kill if she were in your country,

– the one to whom you admitted years later you kept trying to get her pregnant to “ruin” her body and make her life “very difficult” if she tried to escape,

– the one to whom you promised to harm without leaving marks anymore, because you were “smarter now,” and so started threatening to harm her through her children instead,

– the one whom you enjoyed scaring by jumping out from behind bushes after she’d left you,

– the one whose family and friends you’d try to move in on to slander her, when you never had a relationship with any of them prior,

– the one whose 14-year old brother you’d gotten to start smoking, and whose little high school girl friends you’d start proposing to give rides home,

– the one whose mother gave you a bird as a gift, which you later killed by snapping its neck with your bare hands and telling her later, laughing,

– the one who was so scared of you because she knew you were sick and evil, and knew you would hurt her in any way you felt you could get away with,

THAT girl is no longer here.

I am speaking on her behalf; let me introduce myself.

I AM THE ONE

who survived a family tragedy, a family’s destruction, betrayals of all kinds, and over a decade of physical and emotional abuse and threats to my children’s safety by a jackal of a man (that would be you);

who learned to recognize women who are going through abuse, men who are sociopaths and abusers,

who learned to distinguish between anger and grumpiness from beautiful hearts, and fake smiles and crocodile tears from ugly ones;

who learned to trust her instincts, speak up for others, fight for light in darkness, to beat darkness;

who has been guided, by a higher power, out of your clutches, and been protected by guardians of humanity on earth,

who walks in the company of many intelligent and strong individuals who would see through you as easily as she did and does, and who have no fear of you like she once did but doesn’t anymore,

who believes in the power of love, but will go to war for justice;

who will lead every unwitting victim, that dark souls like you seek to trick and trap, devour and devastate, to become a force of strength for good that will bring you your greatest fear: Justice & your day of reckoning.

YOU WERE A MAN WHO MANIPULATED A TEENAGE GIRL lost in mourning, statutorily raped her, and groomed her into being your baby-making, English-speaking scuttle-mouse slave.

IT DOESN’T MATTER that you grew up in a culture where beating and raping underaged girls was acceptable. You’ve told me the stories with pride. My ESL Salvadoran students have told me the stories with disgust. I’ve read blogs by Salvadoran women who have escaped, sharing the same stories, with anger and determination to bring awareness.

IT DOESN’T MATTER that you were always hungry to take from innocent, beautiful things, because you were an empty black hole which could not create its own light.

YOU WERE NOT INNOCENT. YOU KNEW IT WAS WRONG. You knew that here, in America, it is unacceptable, and quite illegal. In fact, much of what you’ve done while in this country, to me and others, have been illegal. You knew very well what you were doing, so you’ve always been careful about hiding it, lying frequently and effortlessly to everyone, including me (until you got your papers finalized).

You’ve only gotten arrested for 1 thing (while with me). And apparently, you’re still not locked up. You’ve been lucky, far, far beyond your worth.

But by reaching out to put “feelers” on me recently, you were basically STALKING a person who has had a protective order against you, whom you knew, under no uncertain terms, would have every reason to repel any form of contact by you, dangerously PUSHING YOUR LUCK.

You see, all those years I was imprisoned by you, I was weak and confused, not stupid. Back then, I thought if I showed you great kindness and love as I grew up knowing, you would become like me.

And you understood my efforts. You exploited them, because you had a different agenda.

Instead of appreciating me, you used my naïve goodness against me, trapping me with it, draining me of it. THAT’S WHAT SOCIOPATHS, PSYCHOPATHS, NARCISSISTS, PIMPS AND PEDOPHILES DO.

People have seen you around and reported to me in the past years. At almost 50, you are still creeping through the malls, hunting down young girls. You have a few kids with another woman now.

Yet, a week and a half ago, you tagged me on FB using a nearly 2 decade-old pic with my kids as your profile picture, which you posted THE DAY BEFORE reaching out to me, in an account you created just a week prior. No pics of you with your new kids.

This is very easy math, kiddo.

YOU ARE LIKE A PEDOPHILE who’s tracked down the little lost girl he’s molested before, and is trying to offer a lollipop on a string to entice her again. Except, she is a strong, grown woman now, she will never forget you molested her, and she knows you are still a pedophile.

WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN in such a situation, do you think? I can tell you: It will likely end badly for the pedophile. That naïve girl is gone. The woman in her stead has zero patience for bullshit and zero tolerance for bullies.

So, trying to pick up where you left off is a very, very bad idea.

You don’t deserve the opportunities and sanctuary of this country. You deserve to be put away in prison for a long time. DO NOT KEEP PUSHING YOUR LUCK.  Your days are numbered.

You need serious, long-term, professional psychological help and painful soul-searching (yes, you need to feel pain for the pain you’ve caused many, for any chance to heal and grow).

Finally, a bit of advice to heed forever, to help change the course of your life and who you are for the better:

CAUSE NO HARM:

DON’T IMPOSE,
DON’T DECEIVE,
DON’T VIOLATE.

Simply: Don’t do to others what they don’t want you to do to them.

(Hint:  If you want to hide it from your victims, the court, the law, or the public, it’s probably wrong to do. DON’T DO IT.)

You can begin practicing this with me:

RULE: ANYTHING PERSONALLY CONNECTED WITH ME IS OFF LIMITS TO YOU.

Yes, that includes MY children. They have a wonderful father—the only man they consider their father – the one who, since the beginning, loved them and treated them like a loving father would. And IT IS NOT YOU, for overwhelming reasons YOU caused.

So whatever you think you want from us, the answer is, “NO.”

NO. You cannot win them back.
NO. You cannot impose into their lives.
NO. You cannot trick or try or pretend you’re “just saying hi.”
NO. We owe you nothing.
NO. We do not want an apology, or any other excuse for contact.

YES. Any efforts to seek us out, get info about us, connect with us, are UNWANTED and will be considered stalking and harassment.
YES. I will fight back.
YES. My kids will fight back.
YES. I will have an army of capable people who will help us fight back.
YES. You will pay, with interest, this time.

Be very clear: The part of your life involving any part of me is OVER.

TURN AROUND, WALK AWAY.

This is not a negotiation.

YOU WERE MY TEST to help me become a stronger, more aware, more compassionate, more justice-driven human being.

If I’d failed my test, if I’d stayed with you, I would have probably died. I would not have been able to save my children, nor help many other people. Failing was not an option for me.

But also, if I’d failed, you would not have the chance to take YOUR test now:

I AM YOUR TEST to give you a chance to try to become a human being.

If you fail, YOUR LUCK WILL RUN OUT. I will not be shy, or soft, or scared, or alone: I will unzip the skies to unleash the countless bolts of karma tagged with your name. (You don’t want to fail this one.)

I PASSED MY TEST by WALKING AWAY.

YOU PASS YOUR TEST by DOING THE EXACT SAME THING: WALK AWAY.

THERE IS NO OTHER WAY.

The key to make this successful: Once you start walking, don’t look back.

GOOD LUCK. God help you, because if He doesn’t, He’ll be helping me.

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State of Affairs: Does Cheating Affect Friendships?

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(Photo Credit: Awottawa)

“My affair should NOT affect you!”

That was my former friend’s words of “conviction” (she was convinced in their validity, and I felt convicted by them) when we spoke recently. I confronted her about rumors that she was slandering me to squash inquiries on our +25-year friendship’s mysterious end. The meeting turned out to be the moot point I foresaw when I ended the relationship 6 months ago, with that statement perfectly representing why.

Such a statement sterilizes “facts” in a realm that is not sterile. It misleads the believer into self-righteousness as a way to dismiss accountability and feelings of guilt. Worse, it is brutal, burying any rights to emotions that the speaker/believer deems unacceptable, a right that they do not actually have.

For those who feel that their involvement in an affair is a private matter between themselves and their lovers, they are partially correct. Their spouses also have the right to know, but the nature of affairs, ironically, takes away this right. But if cheaters think that knowledge of their affairs should not affect those around them, they are sorely wrong. And if they think that witnesses who have survived one of their affairs are responsible for being unaffected for subsequent ones, they are delusional.

*          *          *

We were in our twenties when my former BFF had her first affair. I was alongside her as a good friend should be, supporting her emotionally, and without judgment, for the several years it took place.

Decades later, as she slipped into another one, I again took my dutiful place to help her through it. The first affair didn’t affect me. This one did, for both obvious and unexpected reasons:
– It was not her first time.
– We were no longer fresh out of undergrad.
– We were in our forties, with children, life experience, and firmer footing in our values and beliefs.
– I knew her husband 20 years longer than I did when she had her first affair – he was basically family.

This time, I felt a terrible guilt. I felt like an accomplice, because I knew better. And I knew that she knew better. This was a very painful place for me to be in.

If you cannot walk away from cheating on your spouse, and you have a friend that you trust to speak to about this, a few things to consider before you do:

CHEATER’S CONFIDANT CHECKLIST

1. Get to know your potential Confidant Friend. That is, take inventory of their values and life experiences, and know them in relation to your own. Regardless of what you both may be feeling at the moment, these factors can predict how your affair may affect them.

(DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Your dependable friend will most likely step up to whatever you ask of them; it is up to you to minimize damage from the get-go by gauging how much of your affair that they may be able to handle. Remember: They can not un-know anything.)

2. If you’re going to dish the dirt, be prepared to take the soap. If you trust this person with your affair, it must be because they’ve proven to be a true friend. Chances are, they are in this dismal place because they don’t want you to go through it alone; they truly care and want the best for you. Take their advice when they give it.

DO NOT TELL THEM ABOUT YOUR AFFAIR if you are going to continue to do the exact same thing for an indefinite length of time. They are human, also. They want to be there to help you, but if you are not taking any opportunities to get out of the affair, getting counseling to save your marriage, or taking steps to get separated or divorced (if you insist on continuing the affair), chances are, they will feel like an enabler and eventually disengage.

3. Be kind to your Confidant Friend. Maintaining your dark secret is a heavy burden on them. The stronger their moral code (see #1), the heavier this burden will be. They are going to get stressed over your affair, particularly if they are also close to your spouse and children. They may feel immense guilt for your spouse for sticking around and immense guilt for you if they walked away. They may suffer sleepless nights, loss of appetite, sudden crying and depression. Be prepared to find reserve of patience for your friend: Being your confidant, they will have no one to turn to about their distress, and is most likely overturning their own principles to be there for you.

4. DO NOT, on any level, judge, dismiss, or otherwise be condescending towards your Confidant Friend. They are not judging you on your huge issue, and they take this life crisis seriously, so they may feel obliged to be there at your beck and call (and you will exercise this exhaustively). Meanwhile, they may also have to deal with their own life issues, and will feel unable to commiserate with you while you’re going through your crisis. They are essentially handling both the burden of your secret as well as their own burdens, alone.

If they have the courage to share something with you (and overcoming the guilt of asking from you takes a bit of courage for them), listen and offer support. If you cannot be there for them, let them know you are overwhelmed. Don’t be quick to change the subject and get back to talking about your affair with them or tell them all possible flaws in their hopes or dreams, should any come up. They have stretched themselves too thin for you to receive such little effort from you in return.

IF YOUR FRIENDSHIP ENDS, it is highly likely due to your affair, in which case–

1. DO NOT throw your ex-friend (and ex-confidant) under the bus to save your life. It can have quite the opposite effect. Your former friend and confidant may have had to walk away to salvage whatever is left of your relationship, and they may have had to end it in a way that may not be suitable to you. Remember, they stood by you through things that were highly unsuitable for them, and for an extended amount of time. It is unlikely that you will be put in a position to return the favor quid pro quo, so dig deep and offer compassion in its stead.

People will most likely be shocked that your friendship with this person ended so suddenly, and they will ask you why. You can be assured that it was, in great part, due to your affair, but you may give inquirers a benign, neutralizing reason, or simply say you don’t know, end of story. Do not perpetuate ugly rumors against your former friend to conveniently explain away the ending. If and when they find out, your ex-friend may understandably assume that you were diverting the affair (the one they endured for as long as they could out of love for you) at their expense. That is beyond betrayal, and grounds for open season on clarification by your ex-confidant; this is not the person to whom you want to do dirty.

2. DO NOT, under any circumstances, tell them that your affair should not affect them. This will add grievous insult to injury as described above.

FINAL CHEATER NOTES

Although the consequences can be very bad, having an affair does not make one a horrible person (depending on the circumstances). Good people make terrible mistakes sometimes. But one cannot involve another person into one’s own wayward path without getting them dirty. It is the cheater’s choice to get dirty; their confidant friend is merely alongside them in this unsavory journey as an act of love and sacrifice, to keep their lost friend safe while trying to lead them home.

If you bring a Confidant Friend along, be very, very kind. Unlike you, they are not getting any pleasure out of this journey to offset the grit. If they must exit the friendship, also be very kind – there is a good chance that they are already grieving.

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“To Be Or Not To Be” (On Contemplating Suicide)

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(Photo Credit: BlueGum)

Suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain.” – David Conroy

This for those who feel isolated, hopeless, in despair.  This is also for all the survivors of a loved one lost to suicide, and for all the survivors of the personal fight won against it. If you are here, you are meant to receive this message. Please read it all the way through.

There were 2 more suicides last week by students from the same high school from where my kids graduated a few years ago. This brings the total to 8 in the past 4 years. Although I don’t know the children or their stories, I feel the heartbreak as a mother, and as a person who has contemplated it many times in her past.

I was not really prepared to write about this yet. I have focused on the lessons from my life experiences, but not the experiences themselves, as untangling a wad of barbed wire is not only messy and painful, but difficult to know where to even begin. But I’m more unprepared to do nothing for those still contemplating whether or not they should continue to be. So let me tell you my story, just enough for you to understand that you are not alone in your suffering. And that it will get better.

*     *     *

MY JOURNEY OF CONTEMPLATION

I was always sensitive. Since I had such a loving, happy upbringing, I mostly felt the positive side of that sensitivity. I didn’t understand the other side of it in time to intercept the kind of excruciation that begged for mercy. When mercy didn’t come (and it often didn’t), the only consolation I perceived to have, with a head bloated with agony, was the choice to end it all.

After my little brother, Dedrick, got killed walking home from school, I lost all ability to cope. I was 16, a particularly unfortunate age for dark emotions, and I made the first attempt to end my life with a bottle of pills one morning before school. The plan was to die at school so that my parents wouldn’t have to find my body; I couldn’t bear to further traumatize them with the image of their dead daughter’s body after the loss of their son.

That day, I was calm for the first time since my brother’s death. There was a sense of relief, of finality, of resolve that all the darkness and pain would soon end. I gave a friend a farewell note, with instructions on the front to not open it until the end of the day. But at the beginning of the next class, a teacher came to get me, and an ambulance was called to rushed me to the hospital.

I was saved, and remorseful for the quiet pain that I saw in my parents as they tried to be extra gentle and loving with me.

But the pain hadn’t left; in fact, it got worse. A year later, I would get into an abusive relationship with a man who could not stand me being happy. He knew how to hurt me, and I didn’t know how to ignore him when he said things like, “Your brother died because you’re a bad person.”

The things that I went through in the 10 years trapped in that relationship had me feeling suicidal every single day. It got so bad that at one point, I remember fearing that even my extreme love for my beautiful, innocent children would not be enough to save me.  I resorted to whatever I needed to do to keep myself from taking my own life, in the event that being with that man didn’t kill me after all. One tactic was closing myself in the closet, sitting and rocking on the floor with my arms hugging my knees tightly, pretending that I was in a straitjacket, so that I could not move or get out until the fragile moment passed.

I would finally escape the relationship, but my sorrows were not done. It would be another decade of fears for my children’s safety, and heartaches from betrayals and judgments by other people.

So even though I was completely out of the relationship, the familiar feelings of overwhelm, of what did I do to deserve this, and of things will never get better, allowed the thoughts of suicide to barge back in. Then my precious children, the most loving, kind, sweet children a mother could ever dream to have, manifested the pains of their childhood years as the storm of adolescence rolled in.

This in itself almost killed me. I felt like a horrible mother, and blamed myself for the mistakes I made in my life that planted the seeds of despair in my children. And throughout all this, I was surrounded by toxic people.

And so, I lost my way, this time, from the inside-out. I stopped believing in myself. And I had nothing to give to my children to assure them that everything was going to be alright. The thought of suicide revisited me. It is very difficult to feel the point of living when you feel like an utter failure, and this can not be more deeply felt than as a parent who cannot help her children in dire need.

I sat one day, head in my hands, reviewing my life, my shortcomings, my terrible choices. I then realized that even if my children had shortcomings, made terrible mistakes, I would love them and know that they are worthy. I had to give this to myself, as well; how could they understand or believe it otherwise?

THE TRANSFORMATION

I forgave myself, as I would want my children to forgive themselves, to release self-blame, self-hatred, feelings of unworthiness. Then, I cleaned house.

  1. I cut out anything and anyone who did not honor or respect me. This was my defining act of self-respect, of placing boundaries, of breaking free from the chains of guilt and helplessness: my family, my in-laws, and more recently, my long-time BFF – all were fair game.
  2. I focused on love, not fear, specifically, love of myself and love of my children, the people I knew were unquestioningly deserving of it. This gave me direction and helped me disengage with drama mamas and downers.
  3. I gave to givers, not takers. This taught me to say “No” to users, so that I could preserve my generous, open heart for those who deserved it. It also gave me a sense of control of justice, which was lacking in my life throughout those trying years.
  4. I fed myself all things positive, from what I read and watched, which in turn transformed my thoughts and emotions and raised my overall well-being.
  5. I surrounded myself with only positive and genuine people. This changed my world from the outside-in, and rounded off the cycle to where I am today.

Oftentimes, we don’t understand the difficult things we go through. It seems so senseless, sometimes unnecessarily horrible. Why did my brother have to die? Why did I ever meet that cruel person? Why did my kids have to still struggle, when they were the most innocent?

Before my brother’s death, my father said someone who had strong intuitions had told him that when his daughter died, there would be a long line of people to pay respects, as far as the eye could see. In the nearly 20 years of hell that ensued, alone and hopeless, I had moments when I remembered that prediction, and I could not understand why she would say something so grossly wrong. I “knew” was going to die in that relationship. There was no hope for me, no way out; my life was over.

Had I followed through with that agenda, I would not be here now, writing to you to let you know that I made it. I wouldn’t be able to understand what you’re going through. I am writing from a positive place, but not disconnected from understanding that very dark, heavy, draining, hopeless place. I remember out of love for those who are going through it now. Yes, that includes you. I could not do this or feel this way had I not experienced it first.

Today, I am happy and stronger than ever, and have so much love in my life. If I had successfully ended my life back then, my children’s lives would have been destroyed. My little one, 6 today, would not have been born. All the people I have touched and eventually will come in contact with will have one less person to help and love them. It keeps growing, the goodness. Whether or not I have that long line of mourners after I move on, I live my life now with the joy of overflow in my heart, and it is a life well-lived.

I know you may not see this for yourself at this moment, and it’s understandable – you have valid reasons for feeling stuck. Keep in mind: you are just in a place right now where your pain exceeds your resources. You may also be in the wrong company. And your spirit is starving for positive nourishment and connection, which you may not be able to find within your circle. In fact, it is highly unlikely, because in the great big world, your circle is tiny. Venture for change.

YOUR FIRST STEPS INTO THE LIGHT

If I have one thing to recommend that you do, to start, it would be to surround yourself with GENUINE, positive, forward-moving people. Cut out all negative and otherwise unsupportive ones. It’s not being stuck-up, as I once used to think, to not allow such people in your life, even if they say they’re your friends, even if they are your family. You will heal and grow exponentially if you seriously change this part of your life, because the genuine, positive people will expose you to a lot of the other things that you need, and in your transformation, you will fill in the rest.

“Well if that’s the rule, why would these people want to hang out with me?” The genuine ones will not judge you. They will see that you want to be better, and they will want to increase the goodness in the world, and so help you. When you get to that stage in life, and you will if you keep going, you will also know who to help and who to let be.

“Where do I find them? I don’t feel like going out and meeting people.” I totally get it. I started by searching for answers through books and the internet. I found online groups of positive-minded people who were passionate, and realized the impact of being with the right people. They can’t just be “nice” – that can be a misleading 4-letter word. They have to be open, authentic, willing to be vulnerable, want to go places in life, and seek to help others.

The friends I’ve made online, I consider some of my best friends now – even though I haven’t met them because they are across the world. Now I have a compelling reason to travel!

LIFE CARDS

Life may deal you some seriously shitty hands—I know it did to me. But here are some “magic cards” for you to memorize and slap on the table anytime the hand gets particularly full of it:

Magic Ace: You are worthy, completely and unconditionally. Anything else that anyone tells you is a lie that you’ve been subscribing to. Surround yourself with positive, kind people who do not believe nor sell this distorted program. And get out of your own way – be a loyal fan of your highest self: Cheer loudly.

Magic Jack: You are a good person. You are simply at a stage where you feel lost and confused. Bad people never want to commit suicide; they lack a conscience required to have the kind of guilt and pain that comes with a suicidal mindset. You care so much that it hurts. That’s because, even through your mistakes, you are good person.

Magic Queen: You are loved. Even if it seems like your parents don’t care, or that your teachers don’t understand, or that you don’t have a single real friend, the truth is, you are loved. Sometimes, the people whom you wish to show you love are also at a place of struggle, where they don’t have the resource or ability to give you what you need. And sometimes they do, but when you are in such emotional pain, it is hard to see anything but a version of your pain, which reflects off of everything and everyone.

I don’t even know you, but when I thought about you in writing this post, I broke down and cried for you several times. It is because I understand your pain, and the thought of you going through what I went through hurts my heart deeply. So I write this from a place of immense love. Imagine how much love the people in your actual life have for you.

Magic King: Your pain is not your destiny; it is your preparation to help others. Your story is not over. You are just getting prepared for something greater than you can see. You are in boot camp, so keep going; when you get to the other side, you will find yourself stronger and more resourceful than you ever imagined. And then, pay it forward.

*     *     *

It was a long process for me to get to where I am today – it didn’t happen overnight. And it was grueling. Lots of loneliness, lots of fear, lots of doubt. But it was worth the fight. IT IS WORTH THE FIGHT.

Much Love,
Yazminh

Recommended: “Out of the Nightmare: Recovery from Depression and Suicidal Pain” – David L. Conroy, Ph.D.

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