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‘My new wife is younger and we have a daughter.’ He smashed photos of my sons. I am worth more.’: Woman escapes abuse, alcoholism, creates her own recovery program to give back, ‘I survived for a reason’

“I was living with a very dangerous individual. With him gone, the nightmare became more real. I felt unsafe in the house. You can’t change locks on a shared ownership home. One day, I came home to find my bed had disappeared, along with all the mirrors. He would not stop until he had destroyed everything. The house was repossessed and I received a Christmas card from him. ‘Hope you and your sons are cold on the streets this Christmas. Here’s hoping you prosper.’”

‘I woke up in a hotel room and rolled over to multiple guys I didn’t know. ‘Where am I? What the heck happened?’ Silence. I quickly ran out the door.’: Woman 1,000 days sober after long battle with alcoholism

“I slowly opened my eyes when I heard my name being called. ‘Yvette, you’re next!’ I was lying on a cold, stone bench in a room with a bunch of other girls. My head was pounding. I quickly realized I was still intoxicated from the night before. A guard opened the door and escorted me down a hall. It was then I caught a glimpse of my reflection…in an orange jumpsuit. Who was this person staring back at me? I did not recognize her.”

‘I was attracted to you before you put on weight.’ It broke me. Now he’s dating a woman half my size and 15 years his junior.’: Woman works to be body positive after being fat-shamed, urges ‘You matter and you are enough’

“My doctor told me, ‘Your weight is why you lost your baby.’ I was destroyed. My weight was the reason my marriage ended and it was also the reason I miscarried. My ex-husband even went as far to accuse me of making up the entire pregnancy. I lost my love, my child, and myself that year.”

‘My beautiful, newborn girl looked me dead in the eye and smiled. Minutes later, I was in the parking lot getting high.’: Man overcomes life-long addiction, ‘My recovery is nothing short of miraculous’

“I grew up in the heart of America’s opioid epidemic. By age 12, I was incarcerated for the first time. I was so violent, I’d attack my dad, punch holes in the walls. Soon, my daughter had to come visit me in a prison visitation room. Even the most beautiful of situations couldn’t fix how broken I was. One day, I posted about how desperate I was. A couple named Adam and Valerie reached out. These 2 people, and their 6 children, decided to give me a chance.”

‘Why don’t you adopt? Take a break and see what happens.’ I gave birth to my baby, who never took a breath.’: Mom loses first child, finally gives birth to rainbow baby after long battle with infertility

“I spent my second pregnancy in unrelenting fear. I held my breath during every ultrasound. The first question I’d ask the technician was, ‘Is she breathing?’ I mourned a little bit when I found out we were having another girl, as if I were cheating on our first baby by bringing a different girl into the world. But the one thing I’d always find, even on my very worst days, was hope.”

‘What if they can’t find me?’ I was pressed into a deep ditch, the toes of my boots barely touching the driver’s seat.’: Woman vows to ‘pay it forward’ after strangers’ acts of kindness during car accident

“‘Which road are you on?’ My voice broke. ‘I don’t know.’ Crying, I couldn’t remember. Then, I heard a voice from the outside. ‘Are you okay?’ I expected him to leave. I didn’t think he’d stick around. He leaned in. ‘Can you get out of the car?’ he asked. I shook my head, still crying. He hugged me tightly and I hugged him back, sobbing against his chest. I hadn’t asked for a hug. It never occured to me how much I needed one.”

‘Can I give the a tree a hug?’ She tells me her brain is stuck. ‘Why is the sun shining?’: Caretaker of an autistic child insists ‘I am a better person because of her. I see the world in a changed way.’

“I said, ‘Break a leg!’ She got furious and started yelling at me, ‘Why do you want me to break a leg?? She takes things exactly the way they are, what you say is what she hears, and she processes the language just as it’s spoken. Katy has her own unique way of thinking, which I adore.”

‘Donald, will you wash my hair?’ I sunk into the tub, defeated. He heard my desperate plea through the bathroom door.’: Woman urges ‘ask your spouses for help’ after husband’s act of kindness

“You know those kinds of days where everything that can go wrong does? Yesterday was that day. I’d gotten no sleep before the littles began stirring. The rest of the day was a blur of school lessons, cleaning, runs to multiple stores for ONE thing. Supper was a complete FAIL. I needed to wash my hair because, let’s face it, one can only use dry shampoo for so long, but I hadn’t any energy to muster for that daunting task. Then a thought silently crept across my mind: ‘Ask Donald.’ I had to lay my pride aside.”

‘It’s okay, Chris,’ my mother said to him. ‘I’m here.’ My father was groaning in immense pain. Tears fell onto my jeans.’: Woman finds true meaning of marriage during father’s battle with cancer

“As I leaned toward the mirror, slipping mascara onto my lashes, I heard more grumbling. I froze. I was stuck in their moment with no place to go. ‘I’m so sorry,’ my father said. I sat on my bed, the door cracked open. I was a self-absorbed, twenty-something at the time, bouncing back and forth between two men like a rubber ball. But this moment struck me. Tears fell onto my jeans because I finally realized something—THIS is marriage.”

‘They weren’t just born to rock the boat, they were born to build a new one. Strong-willed kids are a lot, but the world needs them.’: Mom to ‘tiny torpedo’ says strong-willed kids ‘will always be worth the struggle’

“Their voice ricochets off walls and it’s surprising glass doesn’t shatter. If you take out their batteries, they STILL RUN WILDLY. They were born with an opinion—about everything. We question. We doubt. We feel guilty. The stress-filled knots in our shoulders grow tighter each day. And worse, WE THINK WE’RE FAILING.”

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