We all have something in our past that causes us some distress. Whether it be a horrible relationship, an abusive past, being bullied relentlessly, or not having a chance at success, we all have something that we had to overcome.
In my instance, aside from being bullied, I had a pretty scary childhood. In my early years, I lived with my mother. We moved around the same town before settling into an apartment next to a bar. When I was about 6 or 7, my mother started dating a horrible man. He was abusive to, not only my mother, but to me as well. He was a drunk, a drug addict, and he had no capacity for compassion. When my mother became pregnant with my younger half-brother, the abuse became more severe. There was one night where my mom was resting on the couch (she was nearing her due date), and I was in the dining room getting ready to eat dinner. Her boyfriend made fried chicken and he was a terrible cook. I politely refused to eat and he threw the food at me. My mom yelled at him from the living room, and he charged toward her. I remember getting off of the dining room chair and backing up into the kitchen. I watched from the doorway as her boyfriend pounded her in her pregnant stomach. I was 7 years old and I was frozen in fear. The only thing I could do is cry (my younger half-brother was okay, but he has a lot of problems to this day, most of which I attribute to that night and other moments of abuse).
I'm 35 years old and that night still haunts me. I used to have night terrors about my childhood, and it lasted for years.
Well today, I needed to fill my tank with gas and the only gas station I could stop at and use my Mobil speedpass (most Mobils are getting rid of the speedpass in my area) on my way to physical therapy, was the Mobil down the road from that apartment. I had avoided that area for decades because I didn't want to see that apartment building.
I decided, instead of running out of fuel and avoiding the area, I would confront my past demons once and for all. I drove past the apartment and pulled into the Mobil station. When I got out, I turned and I could see the apartment building from where I was standing. As I was filling the car with gas, I took some deep breaths and made peace with my past. I felt free.
Becoming a mom myself has made me want to be a better person. I don't want to be weighed down by an abusive childhood. I want to teach my child that true strength lies in facing what scares you and saying "I'm no longer scared. You have no power here."
I still have a lot of work to do before I've made full peace with my past, but dealing with the scariest night of my childhood and making peace with it, is a good start.
Readers, if you want to be free from what scares you, you have to face it. You can't sweep it under the rug, you can't walk around it. You have to walk through it. It's scary, it's hard, and it will cause you anxiety. I promise you, you will feel better once you make peace.
Therapy has been my saving grace. My therapist has been teaching me mindfulness meditation since 2015 and it helps me tremendously. She has helped me learn how to let go of what has haunted me for so long.
If you also have a troubled past, I strongly encourage you to find a trusted therapist and embrace what she/he can teach you. You deserve to be free from your past demons.
If you are unable to seek therapy, please research mindfulness meditation online. Bookstores also are chock full of mindfulness books. Also, check out Amazon by clicking the banner below. Type in mindfulness and you will be directed to several pages of mindfulness items that can help you. Remember, there is no overnight quick fix. You have to put work into your treatment. I've been in therapy most of my life, but I've only just started to take it seriously in the last 4 years.
You can overcome anything. Remember that.