My name is Brittney. I’m 23 years young. I have a full-time job and I am a full-time student studying Child Psychology. Recently married 11 months ago. It is amazing what you can learn about yourself in a 11 months period of time I tell ya. My husband is an incredible man. I wish that I could tell you that my life is full of daisies and rainbows and when I got married that I found that pot of gold at the end of it but I can’t. However, I don’t regret saying that either. I heard someone once say that life builds character. That person was right! Life does build character and I am learning that no matter what cards we are dealt it is our choice how we choose to allow it to mold us . My husband and I have had a rough start, but I realize that we are simply two different people with two different pasts, issues, strengths and weakness… both learning and doing the best we knew how to cope with life and the “lemons” it handed us. A lot of people gasp at the fact I would even share such a thing (or some roll there eyes thinking yeah that’s everyone). My husband and I have had the opportunity to face some tough things, not your typical first year of marriage tiff’s. For most people these days it is very difficult for them to face their reality. I was one of them. Despite the very difficult facts of our reality (mine specifically) I know I speak for my husband when I say that our marriage and what it has brought us to has been the best thing that could have happened for us. Too many people get the impression that life should look “that” way and you should be “this” way. In doing so they tend to catch themselves setting all of these false standards and then judging themselves against the which ever of those standards they can’t seem to meet. Not only does that impair your outlook on self but it also impairs your outlook on others. It is a vicious cycle. Although this may be true, some of us learn to live day-to-day life ignoring what is really going on, putting on a smile and facade so that no one see’s who we really are. Living out of fear is not the way anyone wants to truly live. Fear of judgment “what will they think if__”, fear of failure, fear of rejection and so on. I have lived in and out of fear for to much of my life. I am officially done with this dance.
Since birth I had pretty much always grown up in a very unhealthy environment. Addictions of all kinds, abuse and neglect were all a huge part of my life. Child development teaches us that a child develops its “self-concept” attributes, abilities, attitudes and values that they believe define them between ages 3-5. Let’s just say during that time and beyond I had written many false things on my heart about myself and my life. For the majority of my growing up I lived with my grandmother. In the early years of my life I learned a lot of what people call “survival skills”. This does not mean I learned to live homeless. This meant I learned to look for warning signs, lies and unsafe situations before they happened. I learned to make plans and ways of escape if I were in a place or situation that was unsafe. Learning to read people to the best of my ability, this became second nature to me. I learned to push myself to get things done in order for things to be taken care of. I learned how to keep distant the people I deemed unsafe or untrustworthy. Because I was held responsible at a young age to make grown decisions I always had to “make” sure things were always under control. Although these are just some of the things I picked up along my journey I found that I am able to use as a few of these as a benefit in some areas of my life. However they have also been the very thing that has caused me the most problems.
With all that my grandmother had on her plate she did the best that she could up until she was no longer able to be dependent upon. Soon as I became of age to work and drive (around 15) I became the primary go-to for help, support, rides, money, advise, protection in many cases etc… Because I had already developed this “make” sure things were under control and “make” it happen skill the best I could, I assumed the responsibility to make sure everyone was taken care of. These are all the same common obstacles any other child would have grown up with in a similar situation. Insecurities (which just about all of us have to some degree or had), very low self-worth, at times even depression and a lot of grief. These also cause secondary issues such as anger, and unhealthy self-defense mechanisms, loads of self-doubt which later in life caused me to make some poor choices. Through the eyes of pain, misunderstandings and a bunch of lies I had a horrible misconception of what God “had done to me” (After all I did not choose to be born into the family I was in ). *Now let me take a brief moment to say this is not a way for me to throw Jesus down your throat and make you a believer. I do not believe in doing things that way. This is my story and God is a huge part of my life (Not as a religious accessory.) I have come to find that He is real in my life and He is the focus where my life is sustained. period. Now that you know I am not trying to convert you…keep reading:) I was openly very angry with God. During the time I was living with my mom it Texas after the hurricane and “serving” Him for a little over two years by then, I was still so hurt and depressed. My mom would leave me all the time, overdose, sometimes stay in bed for days. I started to withdraw in public a lot and keep to myself in that time of my life. I just felt as if I didn’t fit anywhere. I would go home everyday from school and cry and pray in my room for hours. I did not take care of myself at all. Slept horribly (or didn’t sleep at all) ate very poorly etc.. I came to a breaking point and pretty much told God “Screw You” (No worries He is actually big enough to handle that sort of thing believe it or not haha). I started to live life with NO care or limits really at all. I remember about a year into that life style a very good friend of mine had to sit me down and explain to me what was not acceptable behavior and had a few other friends tell me that I should hold back on the drinking a little because I was being to black out more often. Now yes, there were other people doing the same things as me and most people go through a “phase” might be how you choose to look at it but my motive was completely different in what I was doing.
Because of what kind of things I was exposed to or the lack there-of, I have dealt with things in life that I would think for a moment I made progress on and one way or another find myself right back in that same place. Like a road block, really!
This past year or so has been one of the hardest of my life. What is worse than all those childhood experiences?? Facing them all over again, that’s what. Now grant it I have grown some in healthy ways since those childhood days. Along with that growth I have also formed stronger barriers and tougher walls and also validated those wrong beliefs and defense mechanisms.
Now look, everyone has a story and has faced tough things in life. I believe that mine is no tougher than what it is was you have had to face and vice versa. Everyone faces different pains and what not. All are still painful. I know people who have faced worse and come out so strong and have made something so beautiful with what they have. I believe that is what grace is, that is what is does. Grace takes something like dysfunction and makes a way for something good to come out of it. Those are the things in life that last forever. I have made that decision in my life, to use every “lemon” life hands to me and squeeze every bit of bitter out and then makes something sweet of it …allow it to become sweet.. not to keep it bitter… no matter what…
Even though this past year or so has been as tough as it has been, I am at a breaking point… a place of no return. I finally have the opportunity to make the absolute best out of everything in my life up until this point in time, right now! Simply because I see it. It is tough and painful and takes more time than I would like to allow it but it is worth the reward. I have a choice and I am finally willing to give up what I thought was true for all those years. That crazy part of me that has no fear believes in myself. I never again have to be the way I once was. No matter what :) No more excuses!