Release day came and went. The book is out and website is launched. People have actually been visiting this website regularly and purchasing the book. Yay! I am one step closer to fulfilling my goal of helping others…thanks to all of you readers, subscribers, and friends. Yet, why haven’t I been as elated as I thought I would be? I guess I imagined release parties and tons of hoopla like in the movies. But in reality, it was pretty anticlimactic in comparison. In fact, I spent the few days leading up to the launch and the few days following, mostly in bed and depressed. Only getting out to go to work or to attend events for my kids. Couldn’t shake it, no matter what I did. I think leading up to it, it was mostly just nerves and angst about how it would all be received by everyone. Then the following days’ emotion was mostly fueled by all the anxiety from everyone now knowing all there is to know about me and my past. Wondering what everyone will think of me now. Especially people I work with, customers, and neighbors that know me personally. I also worried about what readers would take from my story. Did I properly relay my message? Some of my anxiety in the days and even week that followed, was also due to not feeling support from my family. I expected that my parents and siblings in particular, maybe wouldn’t be overjoyed for me. Especially since I am airing out a lot of our family’s dirty laundry in my book. But at the same time, I hoped that they would at least read the book and see that although I talk about some of the bad times, I also talk about how my parents have always been there for me and how we are closer now. What I did not expect, is that none of my extended family would reach out to congratulate me, or even do something as simple as “like” my Facebook post that announced the new book and website. All of my childhood, I heard family chatter about how my parents did this or that to us kids, and I even witnessed falling outs between my mom and her siblings over it. Now, here I am talking about things in order to heal myself and try to help others through my story, and suddenly everyone is silent. That is, until today. Out of the blue, my mom text and asked me to autograph her book. Mind you, I haven’t spoken to my mom since Mother’s Day and assumed that she would be the number one person to take offense to my book. But I was pleasantly wrong. She let me know that she had read it, and apparently was proud enough to ask me to sign it. I text her back and asked her why she ordered it when I could have given her a copy, and her response was that she wanted to support me. That made me feel great!
As I mentioned in my post “The Be Word”, not everyone is for you. Sometimes you have to be your own biggest fan. But also keep in mind, that just because they’re not at the sideline cheering you on, doesn’t automatically mean that they are against you either. Because of all the hurt in my life, my mind automatically goes to the worst scenarios. I immediately feel that everyone is against me, and/or that I did something wrong. However, this pessimist has decided to be a bit optimistic for once, and give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Could it be that the entire family has just not been on Facebook the last ten days? Maybe all their posts I’ve been seeing are being generated by bots. Whatever the reality of it is, it is my hope that my family will join in supporting me and my cause.
For those that don’t know, I am not only working towards healing myself and moving past the past, but also…trying to build a foundation based on faith, hope, and love. A foundation that will assist women (and men) that have been in marriages and relationships that broke them. Ones where they were abused in any form, where they were made to feel that they couldn’t survive without the other, and therefore never broke free and tried to survive. Possibly they couldn’t leave due to the hold the other had on them, or out of fear. I’ve been in those situations and can relate. I couldn’t leave my first marriage because I didn’t think I could make it on my own with my kids. I didn’t think I had the support to do so either. My ex-husband turned my family against me at one time, and it wasn’t until I finally found an out and actually made it on my own, that my family saw what the true story was. During those nine or so years of marriage, I searched for resources, but there were none that made a real difference for my situation. On two occasions, I was referred to local women’s shelters after physical abuse, and they literally told me I could stay a couple nights with my kids, but then would have to figure something else out. That is not okay and I want to change that. No one should be left to figure something else out after a traumatic experience. Through my foundation, I want to offer people a place to stay with their children and the ability to start over. Provide them with resources for finding jobs if they need one. Partner with other charities and consignments to provide them with clothes, furniture and food. Many that escape these situations, only get away with what they are wearing or a small bag if they are lucky.
The biggest turning point for me, was seeing that I could stand on my own two feet and that I needed no one to survive on my own with my kids. But it took a lot to get me there, and took me swallowing my pride and asking for help when I needed it. My mom helped me with the kids when she could, my dad loaned me a car when I had nothing. He even helped me with my student loans so I wouldn’t drown in debt while waiting for support from my ex…that rarely came. I want to show others that they too will not only survive, but persevere. Even if it is with a little help in the beginning. I also want to help others that may not have been in abusive relationships, but suffer from depression and anxiety from other forms of trauma or stressors. I’d like everyone to have resources and affordable therapy available to them, so they can get through whatever it is they are going through and not put it off due to inability to pay. Like I did for a very long time. Proceeds from this book will go towards the creation of that foundation and provide the support that these people need.
My childhood was a basis for who I became, but it is not the main part of, or even the ending to my story. I did not air the dirty laundry to shame anyone in my family, or even my exes for that matter. I wrote about it in order to frame my story and who I had become, and who I still stand to become. People’s mistakes do not depict who they truly are inside or out. What we do after the mistake is what represents who we truly are. Those that never take responsibility for their actions or make a change in themselves, are the ones that continue to cause harm to others (in any form). We can never change someone that does not want to truly change. But we can work on ourselves, and I truly feel that there is so much to be done to help others that want or need the help. So, a huge THANK YOU to all those that have come to me already and told me how much you’ve enjoyed the book/blogs, and how you are relating to my story in some way. I’ve even been contacted and told that my story has already helped a couple people to begin talking about their own past. Yes! Let it out! Be the hero in your own story. Your feedback and kind words have validated me doing all of this. If you haven’t read the book….go do it! Lets change some lives together!