Fun fact about Alex before we get into the heavier things: I met her at our first permanent station. One night, quite pregnant, I was craving Fruity Pebbles and the commissary was cleaned out. I half-jokingly posted to Facebook about the tragedy of it all. This girl ran three blocks over from her house to my door, rang my bell, and fled. I waddled out to the porch to find a beautiful, family-sized ceral box. True story.
Only Fred Flintstone knew the identity of my breakfast food angel, and he wasn’t telling. Eventually, Alex came clean. Hilarious. Just a glimpse into her enormous heart and fantastic sense of humor, despite all she has been through.
Now, about those heavier things: again, possible trigger involving abuse in this post, and a reminder that all comments will be moderated.
1. Hi there! Nice shoes. Let’s just jump right in: how does your walk differ from mine? I have always been a black sheep. Never accepted nor rejected. I have always been unique as I call it. I’ve always heard that God would never give you anything that he didn’t think you could handle, yet he seems to think I can handle much more than I ever seem to believe I could imagine.
I had a rough childhood, grew up one of 5 with a half brother. My father never lived with us and only 3 of the 5 of us had same mother and father. I like to think my mom did the best she could raising us all on her own. We never had heat, warm water, enough food, or clean clothes. We wore hand me downs (even if 2 sizes too big, they were new to us). No matter what though we always had each other. My mom would go to night school and leave us with endless boyfriends and male babysitters. Most interested because they needed the money. I really do believe my mom felt these men were safe. They always abused me. Sexually, phyically and mentally. From the age of 4 until I was 6.5 I was sexually abused over and over. I didn’t even realize I was being abused. I thought that’s what someone loving you was. My mom was always busy and there were so many of us kids. I always searched for attention, any attention I could. It was never the right attention. I learned in junior high through a school incident that this was not normal. This was not ok. But it was too late, too much time had passed. This made me different. I felt different, I felt scared. Many times I was afraid of my father in fear he may “love me”. My dad did love me. He loved me the right way. I am his only daughter. He would and would have done anything for me. I don’t know how or why I was so afraid and so ashamed to speak out. As I got older I started to get into a lot of trouble. I didn’t want to live at home because a relative a year older than me would try to molest me in my sleep. I would tell my mom and locks would be put on my bed room door. The locks always became unlocked….from the inside. How did this happen? Why couldn’t I sleep? Why would he bother me? I couldn’t take it anymore. I asked to move in with my dad. He was thrilled! My mom was hurt, saddened and crush. She thought I didn’t love her. She thought I was out to hurt her and my siblings. I only wanted it all to stop. I wanted to not be scared. To not be “loved”. Months went by and my stepmother grew very jealous of my dad being there for me. For him sharing any kind of attention with me. She felt she was competing with me. (Mind you she had been with my dad my entire life, She was my best friend, I loved her. I called her mom. She wasn’t my only mom but on the weekends she was my mom when I couldn’t have my mom.) I was now in high school. I was falling head over heels for this boy. This boy was the sweetest and best thing that ever happened to me. He got me to open up, to talk. To feel comfortable and truly loved. HE never tried to hurt me or pressure me. We spent hours on the phone at night until we’d fall asleep. He was my soul mate….I could feel it. Four months into dating he asked if I wanted to have sex with him. I did. I truly did. I wanted to be with him forever. I wanted to be there with and for him. (Now this was no where near my first boyfriend just to inform, but it’s the first time I ever felt the way I did. There were many boys who asked to have sex and I never okay-ed it). We planned this event and everything was great. My parents were all of a sudden arguing back and forth and telling me I couldn’t have sex. I was honest with my parents. They knew I loved this boy. I asked for birth control and I was denied. I was moving back and forth from my mom’s and my dad’s. Everyone was upset I was having sex. Isn’t this something that had been pushed on me my whole life, and now that I am consenting it’s a big deal? Well three months later I became pregnant. I didn’t know I was for another 4 months. My life changed forever. I hurt my mom, my dad, my siblings. I hurt his family. Our friends were worried. I eventually lost him, too. I kept moving forward and had this baby. My first son. I started to raise him with my family and then he came back. His family followed. It all turned into a crazy story with a happy ever after and continuing! We are married 9.5 yrs, 3 children! The road getting here though was tough. The looks and glares. The talk of being a teen mom. What was I to do? Go to the hospital and have this baby and leave him? What If no one had wanted him? What if he grew up in an abusive, non accepting house? This was my mess and I had to be responsible for him. I was always trying to fit in. To have what others have, even if it means putting myself in debt, stress, or strain to feel equal. I have learned…It’s okay to be different. To be unique. These faults have only made me stronger. The saying is right, God knew I could handle it. I just wish sometimes he wasn’t so trusting.
2. What do you think people would be surprised to know about you?
I am 29 with three children, I graduated with a 21 month old son and went on to trade school to be an aesthetician. I graduated and earned my license! I married my high school sweetheart! I nearly untied my tubes three years ago and continued to have my family grow. I stopped and thought: I have three healthy, beautiful children, I should leave it be. If I untied the tubes who KNEW how many more we may have had….
And it was for a reason. We later found out our youngest, newly five, wasn’t as healthy as we thought. He has a few chronic illnesses with no cure. He was perfect and sick at the same time. He under went brain surgery in September 2014. This only brought my family closer.
3. What breaks your heart? What breaks my heart? Those that have have children and neglect them. Those that take for granted the things that others may not have. Those that are not kind even in the toughest of times. Those that may not consider the feeling of others. Those that can not be true and be honest.
4. What heals it? My babies! They may not be little babies anymore but they heal me. My husband heals me. He can be neglectful sometimes, but he is the best. He loves me, he loves us. Relationships heal me. Great, true and honest friendships. Those that are like blood or non-blood related family. Prayer, knowing there is someone always watching over. Knowing that somehow and someway I got this.
5. Jesus’ commands were to love God with all of your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. I’m on a journey to see what that looks like. In your opinion, what could the Christian community do to better reach out and love their neighbors, maybe others walking in shoes similar to yours? Stop judgment. Get to know each other. I don’t mean “Let’s talk about the new exciting toy I bought my child last week while they were screaming they wanted it in the store” and you did it to shush them up. I mean let’s get to you. Let’s boo each others’ doors and have silly flash light tag. Let’s have each others backs. This world is so ugly. There is so much hate and so much anger. If there were more friends, more relationships, maybe that one mass shooter wouldn’t have gone out and killed a ton of innocent children? Could we have been that friend that they could count on, the one keeping them straight and not feeling like they were in the other shoes? They were handed the short end of the stick. They weren’t invited because we said wear blue shoes and they had red.
6. How positive or negative has your experience been with Christians, and what has contributed to that? It has been very positive. They are very forgiving. They are hopeful. The faith in god is uplifting and it just makes them amazing people to be around. They are grateful. I am grateful!
7. What, if anything, makes you hopeful that things are changing in a positive way for those on the same path as you? Faith in God has me hopeful for things to get better. To see something so bad happen over and over and just know….there’s only up. With the right attitude, love, and people in your life, anything is hopeful!
8. Anything else you’d like readers to know?
I do not regret anything that has happened. I wish things may have been different of course. Without these things, they wouldn’t make me. They make me cautious and understanding. It helps me talk to my children or others. I am more confident now than I was yesterday. Just remember…things could ALWAYS be worse.
**If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual abuse, here are some resources for reaching out and seeking help: