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Late at night is the worst for me mentally.

I have a tendency to rehash the past in my mind (as in the past few decades!) and I want to talk about it all, NEED to talk about it all on some level.

I just don’t know where to start. I just hope some of this makes sense!

How honest I should be. How much I should expose of myself, of my life, of how I became the person I am today.

I suppose the common thread of my life is abuse. Physical, emotional, verbal, mental, to a degree even sexual.

I spent my first 19 years of life feeling as if I was put on this earth to make my parents suffer. That I was worthless and evil. Not to mention being a little girl with bruises up and down my legs, or being told I was a bitch. Of course now at the “ripe” age of 28 yrs old I can see that being TOLD almost daily that I was a burden, that I was evil, how my mother would tell me she wished often she had an abortion with me, would completely destroy any trust I had for other people and any trust I had for myself.

I HATED myself.

I would put myself in dangerous situations, hoping to some degree that someone would WANT to get me on the “right track”. I got involved in highly abusive relationships.

I would identify myself as stupid, pathetic, worthless, trash, and disgusting.

I then got pregnant at 19yrs old after living with (and being engaged to) Matt for 2 1/2 yrs. We had a BAD relationship. He was very abusive verbally, emotionally, and physically. However I KNEW I was bound and determined to be a good mother to my baby.

I took on the role of “momma” HARDCORE. I was no longer weak or pathetic. I was this little boy’s MOTHER.

I am going to skip over the gritty details of my relationship with Daniel’s biological father, of the abuse there (to both me and to Dan), skip over my nervous breakdown and alcoholism while Daniel LIVED with his bio-father for 5 months, and talk about the here and now.

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I went from a victim, a weak worthless nothing to a MOTHER. I went from being a punching bag to a protector and then lost myself yet again.

I met Keith who not only took my sorry drunk self into his life but my oldest son as well. He made Daniel HIS SON. Not “step” not “Sarah’s kid” but HIS SON. I won’t get into how he wants to do serious damage to Daniel’s bio-father for what he put Danny through right now anyway. How he dove headfirst into the awesome and fantastic world of attachment parenting. How he fought with me, FOR me when I was fighting to have a VBAC with Tristan (which sadly did not occur thanks to placenta abruption).

Only problem is I lost myself along all this way. During the five months that Daniel lived with the abusive bio-father, I learned I didn’t know who I was anymore. Was I this awful bitch that my twin sister says I am? Am I this worthless person that should have died while in utero like my mother wished so many times? Maybe I was existing to make everyone feel better about THEMSELVES or THEIR life because my life was in ruins.

When I fought to have a VBAC with Tristan only to have EVERY SINGLE doctor and nurse tell me to forget it, I was too stupid, too fat, that everything was WRONG with me, that my body couldn’t birth normally, only to end up with a second c-section because my placenta decided to detach early. I figured they were right. Why did I even bother to try to end up with THEIR desired result.

I gained 60lbs AFTER the birth of my baby after gaining pretty much NOTHING during the pregnancy itself.

I developed insomnia.

Only now am I slowly getting better. I get out of the house more thanks to Keith getting a membership to the Chicago Botanic Garden. I talk on twitter with people who understand how I’m feeling.

I feel more secure in myself. I don’t have to be the party girl to have people notice me or care about me. Yes I am fat but I’m working on that. I still have my doubts and fears but no longer feel alone with them. I no longer want to censor myself out of fear that someone may leave a not so nice comment or that my estranged mother will send me yet another letter expressing what a disappointing daughter I am, or that my siblings will criticize me or lie about me.

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I am secure in MYSELF. In my life. In MY FAMILY (which to me consists of my boyfriend and our two sons). In my DECISIONS.

I am a mother (a hardcore passionate one at that!), a photographer, I am CREATIVE, I am scary smart sometimes, I can be overly emotional at other times, I am an awesome cook, loving, funny, and sometimes I am even a joy to be around!

I only wish it didn’t take 28yrs to figure that (to steal from L’Oreal) I AM worth it!

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LindsayDianne
posted on May 6th 2010 at 2:26AM CST

This is a beautiful post.

Because it is up to us how we live our lives. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m feeling very inspired by you right now. You have done amazing things already. Don’t doubt the amazing things yet to come!

posted on May 7th 2010 at 12:20AM CST

Thank you so much, it was a super hard post to write and I am still feeling a bit raw from it!

Lisa Marie
posted on May 6th 2010 at 2:29AM CST

hey, i totally understand where you are coming from. i was not wanted when i was born, my mother put me up for an adoption and i got adopted by a family who abused me in any way (not sexually) and always put me down. my hubby rescued me from them, but to be added on to be put down by his family. i am suffering a lot too and have to take meds to live everyday, so i know!! *hugs*

posted on May 7th 2010 at 12:21AM CST

It’s so hard isn’t it! How does a person hear how they are “bad” daily and not start to BELIEVE it? Do you live with your husband’s family?

Jena
posted on May 6th 2010 at 2:39AM CST

Late nights are bad for me, too.

We’re the same age but our backgrounds are very different. I was raised with a loving family who treated me kindly and exhibited traits I (mostly) plan to emulate someday when I have my own children, with attachment emphasis.

But I’m fat too, and I’ve had esteem issues since childhood. Sometimes I know I’m awesome, just like you. Sometimes I wonder how anyone could ever think of loving me and since I haven’t found anyone who really does (and my last relationship was six years ago and mentally, emotionally, and psychologically abusive as well)… maybe no one can. And then I go back to thinking I’m awesome.

Hang in there. And thank you for your honesty. :)

posted on May 7th 2010 at 12:25AM CST

Oh yes. It’s amazing how weight can play a big part in self-perception. I would have my twin sister tell me that because I’m fat that NO ONE would EVER want me. That I was disgusting.

It didn’t occur to me until years later that perhaps that was HER perception of HERSELF you know?

Life can be so hard sometimes.

posted on May 6th 2010 at 2:52AM CST

I’m a single mom of a gorgeous 9 month old daughter. I was also in a verbally/mentally/emotionally abusive relationship when I became pregnant, and I left the bastard in order to give my child a fighting chance in life. Since my daughter’s birth, I have also struggled with the loss of identity. I feel like I’m in between lives right now. Your post makes me realize I’m not alone (althought I know this, it doesn’t seem to sink in until I read someone else’s words). I enjoy your blog, and feel a connection to much of what you write. Thank you.

posted on May 7th 2010 at 12:29AM CST

Oh yes. You go from a somewhat strong person, to being abused, to LOSING yourself to being a mother… you don’t really get much of a chance to find yourself again, to FIX yourself again after being “broken”.

It can be so surreal.

Jeanette
posted on May 6th 2010 at 3:07AM CST

Hugs, Sarah! I can relate to so much in that post. Good for you for speaking out about it! We CAN overcome past abuse and dysfunction and make a better life for our kids. We can’t change the past or the people who hurt us, but we can be good mothers! Hugs to you, mama!

posted on May 7th 2010 at 12:33AM CST

Exactly! It really has gotten to a point where I don’t want my children to have ANY interaction with the majority of my family. It’s just SO negative ALL the time and I don’t want my kids exposed to that negativity you know?

Sian
posted on May 6th 2010 at 4:19AM CST

What a powerful post, thank you for sharing. I have had similar experiences but for different reasons. Like another commenter said, we can’t change the past but we can be good mothers. Some people say it’s not possible but it is, you and others are proof of that. Well done for getting to where you are now, hugs.

posted on May 7th 2010 at 12:34AM CST

Thank you so much for your comment! It’s so hard for me to come to terms with my past that when I am faced with a traumatic period in my life, like the failed VBAC, it sort of brings everything to the surface, so to speak, emotionally.

posted on May 6th 2010 at 5:31AM CST

hi, I’ve only been reading your blog for a little while, but this was such a powerful post. i commend you for having the courage to write what must have been a difficult post. I just wanted to say that you sound like a beautiful person. In my experience the people that shine the brightest are those whos eyes are blind to their own brilliance. Keep loving yourself because you sound like you really deserve it.
Brightest blessings x

posted on May 7th 2010 at 12:36AM CST

Thank you so much! You don’t know how much your words mean to me!

Samantha
posted on May 6th 2010 at 5:56AM CST

Thank you for sharing all of that Sarah. Even your decision to post it demonstrates what a powerful woman you are. I am so inspired by your strength as a mother, and your humanity in general. I didn’t always have the best childhood either, but I am also proud of who I am becoming in spite of what I grew up around.

It’s a wonderful feeling when we can say that we are worth it, and know that it’s true! You are amazing.

posted on May 7th 2010 at 12:39AM CST

I had to have Keith read the post before I published it, I still feel really exposed!

I still have days, weeks even where I am depressed and I notice I tend to feel that way MORE often when I’ve had recent contact with any of my family. It can be SO toxic mentally.

Embee
posted on May 6th 2010 at 6:37AM CST

What an amazing post. That took alot of courage for you to put in words all of your emotions.

I’m sorry that you were given the too fat line during your second pregnancy. I was given that one too, and when they couldn’t get me to back off with that, they found other ways to try to get around allowing me a TOL. And I’ve been wondering, how they possibly think that accusing someone of being fat is really good for our mental health. I’ve always felt that I was overweight but never so much than when they discussed my weight. It’s horrible.

I feel for you. You said that you’re working on it—remember that you have to recover from disparaging talk like that, too.

posted on May 7th 2010 at 12:45AM CST

OH yes, they told me WITHOUT testing me that because of my weight I WOULD FOR SURE have high blood pressure even though I always ran low. Or that I WOULD have gestational diabetes. I was told I needed to stop eating so much even though I was consistently LOSING weight every week from the hyperemesis.

I am still dealing with my issues obviously heh.

It really screws with your head doesn’t it? When during one of the most important times in your life you are made to feel AWFUL by the medical profession. Ugh it’s just unforgivable!

Joni Rae
posted on May 6th 2010 at 6:38AM CST

Such a thought-provoking, powerful post! You should be proud of yourself. It is so difficult to hold a mirror up to, and be honest with, yourself.

Hugs mama!

<3

posted on May 7th 2010 at 12:50AM CST

Oh gosh don’t I know it! It’s so easy to deceive YOURSELF isn’t it?

liz
posted on May 6th 2010 at 7:57AM CST

Wow. I had no idea! I’m so, so sorry about your upbringing and earlier relationship. But you have prevailed regardless, and have found a wonderful man in Keith.

posted on May 7th 2010 at 12:52AM CST

Thank you! Oh yes, I’ve not even scratched the surface really heh. I NEVER could have imagined THIS would be my life a mere two years ago! It’s amazing really!

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama
posted on May 6th 2010 at 10:06AM CST

I agree with Samantha – the fact that you are strong enough to post such an intimate picture of your past, your fears, your secrets – that is a testament to what an amazing woman you are! You are definitely an inspirations.

posted on May 7th 2010 at 12:59AM CST

Thank you so much for your comment! Knowing that I have support, that it was a GOOD thing to open myself up a bit, it helps!

posted on May 6th 2010 at 11:18AM CST

You are fantastic. This is such a strong post with so much emotion behind it. Bravo to you for not only going through all you’ve been through, but having the resilience and strength to be the best mom you can be and the best -you- you can be.

I’d give you a hug if I could; rock on, girl!

posted on May 7th 2010 at 1:04AM CST

Thank you SO MUCH! I wish I knew back THEN that I would be able to survive it all and come out on the other end semi-sane lol.

Lynda
posted on May 6th 2010 at 1:06PM CST

You’re an amazing person. I’m so sorry you’ve had to endure such awful crap in your life. I’m thankful you finally found some support and a voice of reason who loves you dearly. You deserve to love yourself!

posted on May 7th 2010 at 1:19AM CST

Thank you! It’s so easy for me to love everyone BUT myself. Years and years of “conditioning” making me feel unworthy I suppose heh.

Lynda
posted on May 7th 2010 at 6:55AM CST

They say life begins at 30, so hopefully you can take some comfort in the fact that you are building a new, loving family who love you for the wonderful person you are.

I have to admit, I’ve worried about you over the years. Your boyfriend now really seems to be a keeper. :)

Keeshia
posted on May 6th 2010 at 1:31PM CST

More than anything this post just makes me wish you weren’t halfway ‘cross the country! Like I said on Twitter, don’t ever be afraid of being honest. I’ll definitely be here to support and cheer you on (as will several others, from what I’ve read).

You’re smart, you’re beautiful, you’re a wonderful mother, and you deserve every good thing life can throw your way – more especially because of the pain you have endured to get to where you are today.

Big bad bear hugs! <3

posted on May 7th 2010 at 1:25AM CST

Aww thank you SO SO SO much! It makes me feel not so alone when I have people like you supporting me!

dysfunctional mom
posted on May 7th 2010 at 12:45AM CST

What a great and honest, raw post.
I can identify with some of it. I can only be semi-open on my blog because my abusive ex’s wife reads (uninvited), and it sucks.
I wish you the best in your journey.

PS Every time I come here I am in awe of your amazing and unique layout! LOVE IT!

posted on May 7th 2010 at 1:34AM CST

Thank you! Oh it’s so hard to censor yourself isn’t it! It drives me INSANE when I see that not only is Matt (Daniel’s bio-father) is visiting numerous times daily, but that his abusive girlfriend, my estranged mother, etc visit daily as well! I haven’t spoken to these people in months/over a YEAR yet they are so caught up in my boring life. Go figure!

Aww thank you!! I need to think of a summer design soon enough lol.

Erin
posted on May 7th 2010 at 7:28AM CST

While I can’t relate to the abuse (so sorry you had to go through that; your mother said some awful things to you), I have battled with depression for much of my life. Writing it all out help a lot. It gets it outside of your brain, where you can see it and read it with your own two eyes. It can be a real wake up call. It can make you see that you need to make a change or that, like you said, you are worth it. It seems you have an amazing significant other and two wonderful boys. I’m so glad they make you happy.

I think as humans, we all have those moments where we ask, “Who am I? How did I get here?” (I know I have.) It’s all a part of the human experience. It will make you stronger–it already has. And what I love about blogging is the connection. So many others have gone through struggles and we can all relate and connect to that on some level.

posted on May 11th 2010 at 6:51AM CST

YES exactly, it gets out of my BRAIN! Makes it more concrete instead of whirling thoughts all the time.

The past decade has had so much major change for me that I am hoping the next 10 years is just calm or at the very least filled with POSITIVE changes lol.

Alissa
posted on May 7th 2010 at 9:46AM CST

You are an amazing woman and mother. I am in awe of your strength.

posted on May 11th 2010 at 7:17AM CST

Thank you a million times over!

posted on May 7th 2010 at 10:23AM CST

Thanks for being vunerable and sharing. Life is a process and I am glad you are growing! God bless! Stopping by from SITS, by the way.

posted on May 11th 2010 at 7:18AM CST

Thank you so much! I can only hope that I can continue to grow and be positive in the future as well!

Rachel
posted on May 8th 2010 at 3:00AM CST

I wish you strength, happiness, and peace.
Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest.

posted on May 11th 2010 at 7:26AM CST

Thank you so much Rachel!

posted on May 8th 2010 at 2:55PM CST

K – I love this blog, and I’ll be subscribing. I went through an abusive childhood and I thought with all of the counseling that I was Over it – that is until I got married. I was so closed off, and continue to be, that he guessed correctly about my past. He puts up with my issues. He’s a good man. I totally understand your demons coming up at night – it tends to strike me when it’s quiet and I start reflecting. I don’t know if you are a Christian or not, but there is a great book called Revitalizing Your Spiritual Life by Sheila Walsh that just speaks to me. The stories are me, and it gives me hope. Thanks so much for sharing!

posted on May 12th 2010 at 3:06AM CST

It sounds like you have an awesome husband! Oh yes. I was in counseling as well especially during my teen years and it helped me cope during that time.

I’m currently in a spiritual crisis heh.

Lisa
posted on May 10th 2010 at 6:35AM CST

*hugs* thank you so much for sharing this, so many people battle with feelings like these and we’re not’supposed’ to talk about, to show weakness. The more people who can speak about it, the more awareness we can bring to this, and the more we can all really know each other.

You are an amazing person and have come through so much!

posted on May 12th 2010 at 3:10AM CST

Thank you!!! It’s hard to put it out there, be exposed like this sometimes. I figure though I couldn’t be the only one that grew up in an abusive home or had an abusive partner.

C...
posted on May 10th 2010 at 6:51AM CST

Wow. that must have been really hard to write but that was very brave to say that and be open and honest about it. You sound like you have taken your life back and are going to be okay.

posted on May 12th 2010 at 3:32AM CST

Oh yes, it took me forever to post it actually because I don’t like exposing myself, makes me uncomfortable.

Every day life improves. In fact, within the next week we will be painting the kitchen (a really soft yellow), going to the local area massive garage sales (the whole town gets involved), and going to the botanic garden some more!

posted on May 10th 2010 at 9:48AM CST

Thank you for sharing this with all of us. I’m glad that you’re finally able to see yourself for what you are…beautiful, strong, powerful, a loving mother & couragious. We all have our weak moments but dont let those moments tear you down & remember that you deserve to be happy :)

Stopping by from SITS.

posted on May 12th 2010 at 3:33AM CST

Thank you SO SO much!

The Drama Mama
posted on May 10th 2010 at 11:27AM CST

I can relate. Your life sounds a lot like mine did, except it took me a lot longer to “snap out of it”. Like you though, I realize that everything I went through prepared me for the life I have today. I really don’t think I would have appreciated all that I have otherwise. Does that make any sense?

I also know how empowering it is to discover that everyone is wrong and you ARE worthy, you ARE special. It’s something I still struggle with from time to time when I am down in the dumps, but I’m a long way from that girl now.

Thanks for sharing your story. It’s a blessing to see others who are willing to share their story. Hopefully, one day I will be willing to share mine too.

posted on May 12th 2010 at 3:36AM CST

That makes COMPLETE sense. I appreciate my life, my partner, EVERYTHING more because I went through so much negative crap.

I still struggle too, sucks doesn’t it! Over all I try to remember how far I’ve come.

Thank you so much for your comment!

posted on May 10th 2010 at 11:29AM CST

What a wonderful post! I love your frankness about your life and what has led you to where you are today. Our youngest son (my step-son) went through much the same with his bio-mom, and unfortunately did not come through as well as you have. Currently he’s in long-term residential treatment for PTSD. I can certainly identify with Keith and his desires toward your Danny’s Bio-Dad… I feel that way about MY Danny’s bio-mom!
Hang in there – you are loved, you are worth it – and you are ENOUGH!
Stopping by from SITS – Happy Monday!

posted on May 12th 2010 at 5:05AM CST

I feel for your boy! It’s AWFUL isn’t it, to see a little child be torn apart by their biological parent?

Oh yes. Keith saw first hand the living environment DS1 was living in for those 5 months, saw the emotional/mental aftermath, the night terrors, etc.

Thank you so much for your comment!

The Drama Mama
posted on May 10th 2010 at 11:41AM CST

BTW, I had to go back and reread your post as I had mega distractions while I was reading through it the first time. I still have some issues worrying over whether someone will leave a not so nice comment on one of my posts, or worse yet, one of my old cyber stalkers will find me and make my life a living hell again, but I am getting bolder…

I stopped in from SITS today. I’m glad I did.

posted on May 12th 2010 at 5:06AM CST

Yeah I can completely understand that, I’ve been in contact with our local authorities about internet based harassment. Sad that people can do stuff like that!

How did you deal with it?

Melodie
posted on May 11th 2010 at 11:33PM CST

I wish you lived down the street so i could take you out for tea and we could have a nice long chat. I’m actually a very good listener and do a lot better relating to people in real life than on line sometimes just because readers get full up and sometimes I’m crossed eyed catching up. Sometimes I wish I could be more present for my blog friends and wish wish wish we could all live in the same town – Bloggertown! – and hang out in real life.
Anyway, if you were a real life friend I would make you soup and give you a homemade card telling you how awesome you are and then if you’d want to we could go eat cake. Cake makes everything better in my world anyway. Okay, I know you’re trying to lose weight. Smoothies maybe?
Hugs to you Sarah! :)

posted on May 12th 2010 at 5:08AM CST

You are so awesome!! Omg “Bloggertown” would be amazing wouldn’t it!

Thank you so SO much!!

posted on July 31st 2010 at 10:55AM CST

Thank you for sharing who you are. I am glad that you know you ARE worth it.

I just wanted to share that even though you didn’t get your VBAC and I am so sorry you didn’t. That I think it is AWESOME that you fought to have one. That you stood up for your rights and that Keith fought for you too.

You did what was right for your baby, it was just a sad irony that your placenta did that. Intuitively you knew something was up. I wish that you had been treated with more respect. That is what I wish for all pregnant moms, you deserve respect!!!!!

Hugs to you, great job being a great mom!

posted on July 31st 2010 at 6:00PM CST

Thank you! It’s really hard still to think about it all. I still can’t get over just how AWFUL people can be to a pregnant woman!

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