Today, I’m going to tell you a story. My intention is to show you anything is possible.
It’s to show you that every adversity has a silver lining, and that any challenge can be overcome if you decide to do so. I want you to read this and feel empowered, much as I feel writing it for you.
Everyone has a story, with ups and downs, but the story is not what decides your future, it just gives you the lessons you need to shape your future. That’s what I did. I experienced trials, tribulations, hardship, and pain, and then use it to build my life worth living. Maybe after you read my story, you will be inspired to do the same.
Survivor story in 5 years or less
Let’s start with a quick and dirty rundown of the last 5 years in a nutshell.
2013 was a good year. I was finishing my last year in Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, as well as completing some intense social integration therapy so that I could learn to better function in society. I was really starting to get a handle on things and I was darn proud of it. That last year was probably one of the more intense, but also the most fruitful.
By January of 2014 I had graduated the program and felt like I had a new lease on life. While all my pre-existing issues weren’t gone, I now had the ability to manage them and had moved out of the darkness into the light. Having not dated much during it all, I felt inspired to finally start to get to know someone, knowing I could give my best self.
It happened, I met someone who blew me away. He made me feel like I was special, amazing, brilliant, beautiful… at first. Long enough for me to form an emotional attachment.
Then, it was like someone let Pandora’s chaos out of the box
There was a major accident at the warehouse I was working at. My co-worker and I were caught in an avalanche of snow that slid from the roof of our building. We were buried under loads and loads of snow, ice, and bits of metal that had been torn from the roof. I took a few hits, but forgot all about it when my co-worker, who is also a very good friend of mine, started to scream that she couldn’t feel her legs. I spent what felt like an eternity caring for her while the ambulance arrived.
They took her to the hospital – she’d broken her back. The doctors told me that if I had not been on site providing the necessary first aid, she may never have walked again. Thankfully I’ve always been a firm believer in first aid certification and could provide what she needed. (She did eventually recover nearly back to original, minus the addition of some pins and occasional discomfort. I mean, she can walk, how awesome is that?!)
I wish I could say that I came out 100%. I was in pain, and had some minor injuries, but most of all, it was a scary and wholly unsettling experience. My head wasn’t in the right place.
Somehow it affected my new relationship
The guy I was seeing wasn’t involved in the accident, but he did come and pick me up when It happened. He was uncomfortable but otherwise generally supportive… until it no longer suited him. I think what it came down to is that he like playing the knight in shinning armor, and when I didn’t immediately ply him with love, adoration, and sex for his efforts, he finally gave me a taste of what had been hiding the whole time.
His true self.
Within a day of the accident I was back in hospital with a broken foot. Now, not because of the accident, though I told them it was to avoid suspicion. Is was broken because he stomped on my foot to emphasize a point. To this day, I don’t know whether it was anger or accident, but my heart tells me it was the former.
The night it happened will forever be etched in my head. I won’t break it all down, but it ended in my fleeing his house, on foot (yup, the broken one) in the middle of the night, walking 5 blocks to an intersection to get a cab, and then making my way home.
I crawled in to my rental, down flights of stairs (rather without grace I might add) and into bed. I was in denial. I wanted to believe it was injured, but not broken. I went to sleep crying.
The next day happened…
I couldn’t deny what my eyes were telling me, or the pain receptors where shouting, my foot was broken. When I had awakened and looked at my foot, it was nearly twice the size.
My mother and I have spent many more years being on bad terms than good, but this was a period when we were again trying to reconnect, and I did what any kid would do, I called my mom. She picked me up and drove me to the hospital.
Not only was it broken, but straight up separated. As my luck usually dictates, I got a young, but jaded, doctor who felt confident the bone would set on its own. I was wrapped up in a cast and sent on my way.
There were many mistakes I made during that period, whether excusable or not, but the biggest was answering the phone when he called. And then it was allowing him to see me. Finally, it was giving up on his demands to move in with him so he could care for me.
This sparked an extremely dark and challenging year of my life
My right foot was broken. I was at his whim. He took full advantage.
I won’t get into all the details of the horrors I experienced. He segregated me, cut off my friends and family, tortured and abused me mentally, physically and emotionally. My foot was supposed to recover within 8 weeks; I was in the cast nearly a year.
While I was in the thick of it, I was in victim mode. It took finally having him arrested and tearing down the shambles of a life I had built that finally freed me. At least, freed my body. My mind was another story. I wasn’t okay. In fact, even as I write this, I’m still dealing with many lasting effects.
I won’t say much more on this, but if you are a victim who is looking to become a survivor, connect with us. We have the means to assist you in more ways than one.
Recovery and re-invention went hand in hand
Remember how I said that sometimes these things can be a blessing? Well, after he had been removed from my life, I was left with most of nothing, an apartment I couldn’t afford and I was full of sickness and fear.
I kept working, maybe even a bit harder to make up for my internal pain, so that I could make money to dig myself out of my hole. I had a friend stay with me, and help me sort things out until I could do so myself.
After spending my fair share wallowing, and avoiding connecting with others, I decided to join an online dating site. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting much more than a few silly conversations and some unsolicited dick pics, but I needed a means to talk to others of the opposite sex without them seeing the overwhelming terror that was apparent in everything I did.
That’s where I met my husband.
Survival kicked in – hard
My husband would kill me if went into too much detail, but our romance was something I’ll remember my whole life. I met someone who was perfect for me, but not perfect. Someone who could handle my constant skittish reactions and help transition me back into trusting another individual. I was very lucky to have him, and I wanted to do my best to keep him around.
More than that though, being with someone else helped me turn my attention back to myself and my progress. I had to seriously decide if being in a relationship was something I could handle. As things got more serious, I begin thinking about what I would bring to a long-term relationship.
Suddenly my previous job had become completely unfulfilling
I mean, it was always awful working for them, but now I noticed how often I was asked to lie, how discouraging and limiting the culture was, and how much back stabbing and undercutting there was. Having worked so hard on my recovery, the environment because poisonous to me.
Trying to balance the job I was starting to despise with the life I was trying to build put my body into a downswing of epic proportions. I got sick. Really sick. I had to go on leave from work.
I started my business while working at my full-time job. While I was on sick leave, I kept working on it here and there, very lightly, because my own employer wouldn’t make the accommodations for me to return to work. And then… they fired me! Can you imagine?
No job… now what?
So suddenly I was jobless and afraid. I could go out and search for a new job and hope the environment would be conducive to my recovery or I could go full force on my business.
Can you guess what I chose?
Hence Sassy Lasses became a full fledged full-time endeavor. This was the best decision of my life. One that I may never had made without going through what I did. I may have been able to work there forever, happy as a clam. My experiences opened my eyes in a big way.
Moral of the story
I channeled everything I had into building my business. I committed fully because I didn’t leave myself any other choices. I fought, struggled, pushed, clawed, failed and succeeded, to get here. Along the way I found my voice, my self, my passions, untapped strength, and resolve.
My experiences changed my perceptions enough to allow me to see the path to a better future. Please ask me all the time if I would go back and change my past. My answer is, and always will be, no. My experiences have made me who I am today, and I rather like who I am.
Life isn’t always easy. Things don’t always go exactly as you expect them too. All I ask is that you keep your eyes open, you watch for the signs, and you embrace changes that come from adversity. It might not be clear to you yet as to the benefits, but they are there.