When I think of “My story”, I think of the past 22 years I have been alive and I try to piece together all the good and bad and ugly moments that have been and I wonder what in common I have with someone else, because at times I think no single person understands. But that is where I notice my fault and realize SOMEONE ELSE knows, because that is what I have in common with you…with you and your friend and your friend’s friend and their friend. We ALL have gone through something at one point in our lives, something that hurt us, something that changed the way we are from that moment on.
At the age of 9 while in the middle of some trial my family was going through, I was sent to stay with my aunt for a week or two and I was sexually assaulted by a family friend. I didn’t know one moment could change me but it has. Fast forward to the age of 15 and me dating my first boyfriend, he took me in his car to a back road where he allowed me to drive it; it was a dirt road and my first real time ever learning how to drive. I remember the number 73 and he yells to slow down and I jerk the wheel and it rolls….4 times, the sound of crushing glass, the smell of dirt and dust and my eyes squeezed so tight and I gripped the wheel and my body tensed up. I opened my eyes to an upside down squished car and I became paralyzed with fear. He kept screaming my name and I couldn’t move and the next thing I remember, was him kicking the rest of the glass out of the window and yanking me out of the car.
The following April of 2009 I met my mother’s side of the family in Utah. My dad was out of a job and they offered him a temporary job so we packed up my 15 years of life and moved in with my mother’s cousin. I worked my first job and every penny, every hour, every bad day, it all went into my mother’s pocket. I worked to support 3 grown adults. My mother’s cousin and I began an inappropriate relationship. I see it as rape but numerous family members see it as me initiating it all by my choice of clothing and personality…it too has changed me. I began some very heavy drug and alcohol usage at the age of 16…I felt dirty, I felt filthy, I felt like trash. I soon made it to Provo, Utah, at 18 where I moved in with my other aunt to attend meetings for sobriety and to become healthy in mind and spirit. This is where my story turns for the better. While I ended up moving out of my aunt’s house, I moved onto the BYU campus and befriended some amazing girls. One of them invited me out dancing; I ended up losing my wallet which contained my ID and we ended up going and meeting her brothers for dinner…here is where fate comes in; it’s so silly how our minds work. Every little moment that ever makes me smile and feel joy, I never miss a detail. I was engaged at the time and we ended up breaking up the day after my dinner with my friend. One of her brothers asked me on a date. Fast forward 4 years, I am married with 2 children and this is the greatest time of my life. My friend from Provo, Utah, is now my sister-in-law.
I do not have contact with much of my family but it’s okay, I have my own amazing family to build happiness around. Growing up isn’t about age. I see it as experiences that teach us how to handle other forthcoming obstacles. If you asked me at 9, 15, 16 and 18 years old, how I would be at 22 years old…I would have seen myself shattered, destroyed, lost and probably homeless. But no way is that me now, I am pure, I am happy and I know what real love is. Our Father in Heaven has shown me my worth and has shown me what I am capable of. He has shown me that I am more than what I have been made to feel like in the past. I choose to stand for more. I choose to be better. I choose to carry myself weightless and with pride. Just like me, YOU ARE MORE. I know the plan of salvation is why I have gone through my own personal trial. I choose to live without limits and do all I can to prevent my children from losing what I lost too soon.
Story written by: Liz Flammer
You can follow Liz on her blog here: A New Outlook!
This story appeared first on Real Imprints.