I recently was at a jazz brunch with my boyfriend discussing The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck. You know, the book! Thanks to his and The Skinny Confidential’s recommendation I finally picked it up.
At the time of our breakfast I, quite literally, just finished reading the chapter “You Are Not Special” and told him how much this resonated with me. Specifically this: the truth is that there’s no such thing as personal problem. If you’ve got a problem, chances are millions of other people have had it in the past, have it now, and are going to have it in the future[..] It just means that you’re not special.
While talking to him about this I realized that is exactly why I am here. I’m not the first child to be abused and it pains me to say,
probably not the last. I’m here to share my experiences and everyday life with others so they don’t feel alone. Hopefully, they too can learn life is worth living.
I am not special.
At times I feel very different from others, though never superior or inferior for that matter. (Side note: I had an ex who told me his parents didn’t like the fact I was a foster child. I did not allow myself to feel lesser than them.) Not every day is easy, but it’s those rough days that make the good ones even brighter. I never compare my abuse to anyone else. I never think “I had it worse.” Shitty situations are shitty situations. Abuse is abuse. These have lasting effects, some terrible and crippling, while sometimes also motivating. You know when you realize life is too short to be anything but happy? So you finally do all those things you’ve wanted to do for years? That’s what I’m talking about.
This leads me to another favorite chapter “You Are Always Choosing.” I seriously could not agree more with this: We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond.
This is so, so true! As a survivor of abuse I could easy wallow in the “it’s not my fault” or “I can’t change what was done to me” which are both absolutely true. However, I am responsible for how I let it affect my life now. It took nearly four years of my life, not including the mental health issues following. Why would I let it take even more? Life is too short. I have a little dog that needs cuddles, a boyfriend to grow with, friends to support, and a family to love. This goes for the everyday stuff too. If someone cuts you off while driving or someone says something rude to you or you picked the stall with no toilet paper, YOU are in charge of how that will affect the rest of your day. #byefelicia
I strive every day to live a happy and fulfilling life. Like most people, I post my happy and fun moments, but as my girlfriend over at Champagne at Shannon’s discussed, vulnerability is key. Not only do I want to be transparent, I always want to be vulnerable in sharing my life with you. Thanks for that reminder Shannon!
I would be in complete denial if I told you everything is peaches ‘n cream in my life. Trust me, there are days that I get super depressed and ball my eyes out with no real apparent reason. I’ll question everything. I won’t move or do anything productive. These days are absolutely okay. We try hard in society to have everything perfect and pain free, but this is not real life. People usually make changes to their life because of this pain or discomfort. Pain is needed.
And for the survivor stories I do come across kicking ass after abuse, I always do a little dance (here and here are a couple). We have such a negative stigma attached to us. We come from troubled homes and trouble backgrounds so we must be trouble ourselves. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Honestly, we need a little time, love, and support. Things most of us never grew up with. I mentioned my bad times here, but because I found wonderful parents I can confidentially say I’m happy and I know how to handle the tough days.
If you haven’t read The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, do yourself a favor and order it off Amazon right now. There are many good “ah ha” and “duh” moments. I don’t want to spill anymore so I’ll end with this:
What do you want out of life? But rather, What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?”