healing

‘I could’ve killed myself, or my precious son. I’m riddled with guilt. I’m so ashamed of things I’ve done in front of my child.’: Mother in the throes of addiction, ‘I don’t want to do it anymore. I want my son to have a sober mom’

“I have a toddler at home who I will not be able to take to get his picture with Santa. I will not be able to take him to see all the pretty Christmas lights. I sat in the shower and let the water run down my body as I cried. Then demons creep in. ‘It was boring getting high at home, taking care of a toddler all day. It would be fun to stay at a motel and just get high. I just want to do it ONE MORE TIME.’ I’m riddled with guilt. I’m so ashamed.”

‘Please don’t cry,’ I mumbled. ‘It’s a tree. It’s just a tree.’ And then it happened, full blown tears.’: Mom realizes teenage daughter’s meltdown was triggered by loss of father, ‘No matter how many presents I buy, nothing can heal her pain’

“My teenage daughter was standing in the tree lot, her face scrunched up, drawing in a deep breath. Oh for the love of all that’s Holy, she’s going to cry again. ‘It’s a Charlie Brown tree!,’ she shrieked. I rolled my eyes, wishing I’d indulged in a second glass of vino. I thought the worst had passed. Then she blurted out the words I didn’t expect. ‘My dad would’ve NEVER bought this tree!’ There it was. Her dad, who always made everything perfect, died. In front of her. While she held his hand.”

‘His hands were like the devil. They dragged me down to hell to become his mistress. I wasn’t ready to die.’: Woman declares her abuser ‘no longer has power over me, I am a survivor’

“The moment I saw him, I instantly fell for his trap. My eyes met his, and I was immediately hooked. My friend leaned over and told me his name. ‘He’s a cop. He’s well known around here.’ He said they called him the ‘King.’ All hail the King. Our hands met, then our lips, we were inseparable from that night on. His neighbors warned me. They told me to run.”

‘I see you,’ he’d text me. We rode the same bus. The stop was in front of my house, so he knew where I lived.’: Woman recalls 3 stalking encounters that still leave her in fear, ‘I constantly look for the closest object I could use to hit them if they were to attack me’

“Growing up, I always heard, ‘it’s the quiet ones you have to look out for,’ when it comes to people stalking you or committing gruesome crimes. While I’m sure this isn’t always the case, it was the case for me. My mom always told me to be nice to everyone, even if other people are being mean, so that’s what I did. I felt bad no one ever talked to him, so I made an effort to be nice to him.”

‘Having sex with you is like a chore,’ he said to my face. ‘I saw the messages. You can’t lie to me about it. I even took a picture.’: Young woman escapes gaslighting abusive ex, ‘I got my light back. I have nothing to hide’

“It was like fate he left his phone there or else I never would’ve found out he cheated on me with his ‘lesbian’ best friend. She was younger than me, blonde like me, had the ‘spark’ of energy I used to have. She was shiny, new, full of life. As I laid there contemplating what to do, the first thought that ran through my head was, ‘He’s going to be mad I went through his phone,’ not, ‘I need to leave him. Now.’ I later learned he was still contacting her. I was done.”

‘6 weeks pregnant with our surprise third baby, my husband of 7 years packed his bags and left me.’: Woman empowered to embrace single parenting after husband leaves her during pregnancy, ‘You are worthy. I finally believed it.’

“My face was red and my eyes were swollen from sobbing. When we were good, we were great. When we were bad, we were absolutely volatile. She dropped the inevitable bombshell. ‘Where do you think this is coming from?’ ‘What he put me through,’ I replied. ‘Deeper, Amber.’ It hit me. There was no miracle. Our marriage was over.”

‘I met a guy. He was unlike any person I’d ever met. We fell in love hard and fast. Slowly, he earned my trust.’: Woman credits husband for helping her overcome childhood abuse

“When we got married, I had no idea how to relax my body. How to communicate without completely shutting down for days. I struggled to show emotion, to be vulnerable. It took 5 years of marriage for me to believe he wasn’t going to hit me when he got mad. The simple act of raising his arms triggered me and made me flinch.”

‘If you don’t get help, I’m moving out.’ I had a seizure. My mouth felt wired shut. I couldn’t speak.’: Young woman suffers alcohol-induced seizure, finally gets sober, ‘I can look people in the eyes again’

“I was terrified of being locked away if I was honest. When I turned 27, I was convinced that would be the year my body wouldn’t be able to handle the alcohol I was consuming. I became okay with dying. Then, one morning, drinking before work, I had a seizure. I didn’t drop to the ground or convulse. Instead, my hands cramped up. I couldn’t speak. I went to the hospital, but didn’t dare tell doctors.”

‘You get the first puff.’ 3 men stood there, staring at me. I smoked something I hadn’t paid for, and now payment was due.’: Woman overcomes ‘nightmare’ crack cocaine addiction, ‘We can overcome the most tragic lives’

“Within weeks, my antique jewelry was gone. The horror was so awful, the things that went on. I remember begging her not to make me go into the room with them. She said, ‘It’s about to get real,’ and then she was gone. I found a single, unused stamp. I used an old envelope from an overdue bill and a scrap of paper to write the only family who would still listen. They lived 3,000 miles away. I wrote 5 words: ‘GET ME OUT OF HERE.’ That was 13 years ago.”

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