I took a lot of personal risks in Living For Today there were chapters I wanted to hold back from sharing but I realized it would show so many out there that I am human. While so many have poured their souls out to me over the past 5 years telling me I am their hero, thanking me for being public, and giving them the courage to heal their life, I still had my own secrets I was carrying. I told myself over the past 5 years that I had the right to keep some secrets to myself, but this secret was going against everything I was speaking out on and soon I realized I was taking a stand to bring others out of the darkness and find their voice yet here I was still withholding a dark chapter of my own life. A chapter I share in Living For Today that sparked a whole set of other chapters in my life to develop. I guess I want people to learn from the choices I made and realize we have a voice for a reason and staying silent does you no good.
My biggest hope when someone reads Living For Today is that they will make the changes in their life to Live For Today or the steps in order to change the path your going down towards today and not the past. There is so much right now in my life I could be dwelling on, wrapped up in, consumed with that involves my past. If I allow myself to get caught up in that I am allowing to continue to stay stuck somewhere in the past and not the present. Allowing the past to have control over my happiness, joy, and peace. Who would want that kind of lifestyle? I could be consumed with questions I know deep down I might never get an answer to. So I stopped dwelling on those unanswered questions, stopped allowing the past flood my memory, and began taking the steps that led me to this place called: Today.
In order to get to that place of Living For Today I had to quit avoiding what I did not want to address and put my baggage on the table and deal with it. I had to let go and grieve the loss of many people I loved and realize incest not only stole my innocence but also took away the people I thought were family. I had to quit thinking I could bring people out of denial. I had to let go of that hope that these people that were once my family would change. Instead I learned to accept God put them in my life for 21 years for a reason and took them out of my life for a reason also.
These people that I once called family are not bad people they just choose to handle an awful position for any family to be in very different then the way I had hoped. I could question the rest of my life how can you support a family member that admitted while in police custody he sexual abused not one but two of his family members over a year and a half period and then disowned the two family members he abused.
Then I take a step back and realize he needs their support the two family members he abused do not. My sister and I (whose voice you will hear in the Prologue of Living For Today) have become so strong because of the circumstances we have experienced as children and adults. We are not the ones who have to carry any guilt, shame, or blame. Our cousin is the one who has to carry that the rest of his life. So in the big picture as I look at it I am glad he has them showering
him with support and love because he needs it…we don’t. And I hope they continue to show him love and support because I think that is what keeps him going and I also think it’s what just may keep him from ever making the same mistakes he showed my sister and I. The side of him I hope no one ever has to see.
It’s getting late and I am a working woman now so I will end this post on two quotes that hold meaning to me.
“We need never be ashamed of our tears.” -Charles Dickens
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I lived through this horror I can take the next thing that comes along.” You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”- Eleanor Roosevelt