Stories of Sister Women. Pain and Restoration. Darkness and Light. Let YOUR story help bring light to a Sister's heart.
(Note: please change names to aid anonymity. Thank you)
Each of us has our own story. My story begins in early childhood.
Born the second of five children, I grew up in a small town in rural Illinois. Raised in a liberal Mennonite house hold and homeschooled, I didn't know many children my own age. I never got the chance to make a best childhood friend. I never got the chance to know what a 'normal' childhood was.
Until my paternal grandparents bought me my first pair of ballet shoes. They paid for my first set of lessons. And brought this one small joy into my life. That summer I learned to be happy for the very first time. Maria was my very first teacher. I remember trying so hard to please her, and being sooo proud of myself when she praised my efforts. That fall, Lydia, her daughter, became my teacher. Little did I know how much more Lydia was to mean to me.
Those ballet lesson became my only joy. As my birth mother became sicker and sicker, my biological father became more and more angry and abusive. Though I was to block these memories for a long time, he became sexually abusive as well as physically and mentally. I learned to be lonely. I never told anyone. He told me if I did, he wouldn't let me go back to ballet. So I was silent.
The years passed, and things didn't get any better. High school brought my first boyfriend, and the experience of rape. I never said a word, afraid of how my father would react. I had learned not to say anything to anyone. I had learned how to be lonely. The pain took itself deep inside, a writhing misery, a boil I couldn't loose. I learned to paint a mask on my face as I faced each day. I pretended like everything was fine, like I was the rosebud everyone thought I was.
Soon I started cutting. I don't even remember what made me make that first slice in my skin. I can tell you to this day which scar was my first.
The days wore on, and my pain grew worse. It never left, never lessened. I tried to write it out, to pour out my life in the phrases I contrived. And still I was in agony.
One of these pathetic attempts to ask for help were left entirely on accident at the dance studio. When I discovered that they were not in my bag where I though I'd left them, I panicked. I knew that they must be at the studio, and I knew that nothing good would come of someone else finding them. Lydia found them.
She sat me down and asked me what was going on. At first I tried to blow it off, tell her that it was all good. But I knew that I couldn't lie to her. I just couldn't. So I told her. I told her what had happened. I told her how miserable I was. Slowly, she helped me live day by day.
After graduation, I hit a brick wall. One night, I tried to commit suicide. Lydia was there to help me through that dark, dark night. Maria let me move in with her, and my Lydia became my adopted mother.
Things aren't always easy. Just the other day, I screwed up again. I made Maria and Lydia very, very angry with me. I cannot describe with words how miserable that makes me feel. But I know that they love me, and no matter how angry they may be with me, that will never ever change. I live day to day, and I have to remind myself daily that I love them dearly, and that they love me. That no matter what I do, they will always love me.
They are my light.
Will you share yours?