Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Breaking Cycles

I have had a couple experiences recently that have caused me to sit back and reflect. I think the incidents will stay personal (more for family member's privacy then anything) but I feel my thoughts need to find clarity, so I journal/blog. My family is one with happiness and joy, but it was not always that way, and even now at times it is work to keep joy and happiness in family relationships. My father was abusive and this has caused a lot of heart ache for my family. I've been so proud of my mom as I've watched her grow and find strength over the past 10 years since leaving him. She made a decision to break the cycle 10 years ago and has been working hard on doing so. I'm so glad she had the strength to do that. I had an Aunt who was not as lucky. I lost my Aunt Misty 12 years ago to domestic violence. I have an Aunt who is currently in a very unhealthy marriage. I've seen a brother and male cousins treat women in the same way they have seen women treated their whole lives. Some have realized the mistake this is and try to improve. As I look at the lives of my family members, both siblings, as well as extended family, I gain even more love and appreciation for Brent. Not only are we just so in love but we have a happy healthy marriage. There is nothing in our relationship that even closely resembles abuse. Croix is nurtured and loved, he is in no way abused. My heart overflows with gratitude for the events in my life that prompted me to go talk to a counselor, to seek council from priesthood leaders, to pour over the scriptures in search for answers, to pour my heart out in prayer, to allow the atonement to heal my heart and my spirit, to search my soul and find who I was, who I wanted to be, and make goals to better my life. To make the decision that, I wanted a better life for myself and my future family, a better life then where I was headed at that point. Make no mistake that the events that lead to these life changing, and bettering decisions were not pleasant, easy, joyful, or enjoyable in any way. They were painful, hard, heart and spirit breaking. There were dark moments of anguish where it felt I was fated to a life as miserable as all the examples I'd seen growing up. But as I drew upon the powers of the atonement and gained an understanding of myself worth and the love of my Heavenly parents for me I realized I was not fated to misery but joy! It became my very conscious goal to break the cycle of abuse that had been in my family for generations. I would not be another link in an oppressive chain of wrongs. I was determined that not only would I do whatever it took to "fix myself", but I would find and marry a man who would be tender, and loving. Who would treat me and our children with the love, and respect that is deserved. Well I'm so humbled to look at my life and see all the pain and hard work of "fixing myself" paying off. I'm happier then I even knew was possible. Really! After seeing so many bad examples of marriage and family I honestly did not even realize that it was truly possible to be this happy. I always cynically thought that people were just putting on a act when they appeared this happy. But above my own happiness I'm so grateful to know that even though I won't be the perfect parent I have dreams of being, Croix will have a childhood that is infinitely better than I had! That makes every moment of pain and struggle worth it. As I look back I believe it's true, whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I would say not only stronger, but more spiritually in tune, more compassionate and understanding, more appreciative, and a better person. Looking back I can say I'm truly grateful for abusive youth and childhood I was blessed to have, because of it I am the person I am today. A person who needs improvement just like everyone else but I'm happy with who I am. I just hope and pray the rest of my family is able to find the peace I've worked so hard to find.

6 comments:

Mike & Hilary said...

I just caught up on your blog vomit! sheesh! that's a lot of information to take in!

It's always fun to catch up. I don't have time to blog much lately, but I still enjoy reading others'.

Glad to see things are going so well! Croix is getting so BIG! and he's so SERIOUS! I had a nephew like that...too funny

Marilyn said...

Wow Terina, what a wonderful post. So hard sometimes to realize things that have happened in our life really helped us be who we are and that we became stronger. You are truly a wonderful young woman!

KJ said...

I love you. I miss you! Thank you for this post.

Kalena and Justin said...

This is why even after all these years you are one of my dearest friends. I love your strong spirit.And the wonderful way you have at looking at life. And I am also greatful that you found Brent. You so diserved a wonderful man and thankfully the lord put you both in the right place at the right time to find eachother. You two are the kind of couple that you can almost see standing on a cloud singing about finding eachother on earth. Thank you for being you!!

Artsy Aut said...

What a touching post. I admire your strength! You have a beautiful little family, and its wonderful!

Amanda said...

Thats what I love about you. You see the sunshine through the rain. You are a beautiful soul.