As I look back, I remember thinking, "I wish I was normal." Many of my childhood friends and most of my family had both parents together in their lives; under the same roof eating at the same dinner table.
I would sit even back then, and watch people; watch my childhood friends who could laugh, love and be happy to be a part of this crazy world (at least that's the world I felt I was living in, crazy!)
I've looked back many times asking God if I was placed on this earth to be abused, used and broken? For years I think that's all I experienced. I felt I was going from one trauma to the next, and when things were going good I actually expected bad things to happen because that was part of who I had become!
Abuse had forced me to become so insecure in who I was as a young girl that I then became an insecure woman. I woke up angry, went to bed feeling many more emotions; hurt, rejected, unloved, undeserving, jealous, envious and so many other negative emotions.
Around me, I saw so many happy people but then daily I witnessed the hate from another first hand.
The desire I had, was to be "normal." How was this insecure woman supposed to see the light when darkness surrounded her? How was I to love others when I hated myself? How was I to find peace when chaos was one step ahead?
I felt dirty and worthless because of the abuse, no matter how many times I showered or how many hours in a day I would sleep, I would still feel dirty. I would wake up still not liking the person I saw in the mirror. The way I felt about myself affected my every day life. I knew that if something didn't change within myself then I was going to die a very unhappy person.
Struggle after struggle, heartache after heartache, day after day I would repeat, "I am better than the way I am treated. I am worthy of love and peace. I am going to escape this madness that I was placed in by no choice of my own."
Thinking of the puppets that are moved by the strings attached to a couple of sticks controlled by someone else, I pictured myself as that puppet. The strings were the emotions and thoughts that held me captive. The ones holding the sticks and controlling the puppet (me) were the ones that had hurt me. I decided I needed to cut the strings and take control of my life instead of letting everyone else control me.
First, I needed to confront and forgive the one that took my childhood. Second, I needed to realize and believe that what happened to me wasn't my fault. And third, I needed to learn to love myself.
When I started to take control of my life, I became more open to the well being of others. I began to embrace the needs others might have. I came to the conclusion that I was the only one with the struggles but I learned that so many others were in the same situation. They too felt the same as I did. They too were against saying anything to anyone because of the ridicule they would get and the self esteem that they had been stripped of. The process of taking back and learning who I was intended to be, and becoming a better woman took years.
I've let go of the past hurts, I've learned many things about myself and continue to grow stronger each day. I see the wisdom that I have gained radiate from the inside out as beauty, because now I am able to share, encourage and believe in myself.
The normalcy that I desired to have as a child and young girl, I have finally achieved as an adult. My healing started when I forgave myself as well as those who had hurt me. I continue to heal as I tell my story.
I use what I have accomplished, and share the road that I have traveled to help, listen, love, and console others who have been hurt and lost. I pray that they can put the broken pieces of their lives together so that they can find their "normalcy."
Dawn Allen is an author, mentor, and motivational speaker. Dawn can be contacted through her website: www.dawnberryallen.com and her email listed below firstname.lastname@example.org.