This Gratitude Friday, I'm grateful to be a survivor.
In my life I have been subject to mental, emotional, spiritual and physical abuse. Today I stand so strong because of what I have endured. Every morning I wake up in a bed that I was nearly strangled to death next to on New Years Day 2017 and I thank the Universe for giving me today. When I go downstairs in the morning, I cook myself breakfast. Usually flashbacks of my abuser come to me, telling me I don't deserve to eat and throwing away the food I prepared right in front of me. I take a deep breath...I thank the Universe for allowing me to nourish my body with food and finally be in a situation where I am not being shamed for eating. When I get ready for my day and I look in the mirror, I make sure to tell myself I'm beautiful and deserve happiness because I know what it's like to be told day in and day out otherwise. I'm grateful that I found the strength to leave someone I loved more than anything because I was allowing my self worth to be defined by someone who didn't love me back.
When I finally left my abuser, it wasn't that easy. He wasn't going to leave my life without a fight...literally. Defending myself got me thrown into my bedroom wall, tossed to the ground and strangled. Nothing will ever compare to thrashing my body on the ground in sheer panic of what seemed like imminent death....nothing will compare to the months I spent waking up every morning and crying uncontrollably for hours on end. Nothing will compare to going to court and telling the most intimate and tragic story of my life to a jury, a judge and his court appointed lawyer who wanted to prove me a liar. (She failed.)
Ultimately....I'm grateful for all of these experiences because they turned me into the badass, resilient, unstoppable woman I am today. With perspective comes gratitude for the journey. Every day is such a blessing! I am grateful for my life. I am grateful for my experience. I am grateful for the struggles that made me strong.