Guest Post by Tricia
Bad things happen to good people all the time. Don’t let things that happen in your past influence who you are today.
I am a Registered Nurse and currently work per diem in a wonderful hospital. In my position I have the pleasure of meeting people from all walks of life. I love talking to people and hearing their stories. Among the rich and famous, I often hear tales of triumph and overcoming obstacles. Their stories are riveting and pleasant to hear. In contrast, when I hear stories from the poor or homeless I usually get the same feeble excuse, “You can’t possibly understand all the bad things that have happened in my life.” Because I am a successful nurse, a wife of 20 years, and the proud mother of two intelligent children, people often assume that I don’t understand hardship.
When I was approached about writing this article I didn’t quite understand what I was to write. After contemplating the Artemis Project, and reading what Lisa is trying to provide for many other women, I was able to comprehend the scope of what Being Artemis is really all about. It is for this reason that I would like to share with you my response to the never-ending statement of, “You can’t possibly understand all the bad things that have happened in my life”.
There is a lot of history preceding my story that would take far too long to completely explain, but let’s just say that I wasn’t born into your typical suburban family home. My father was abusive, my mother was emotionally unstable, and my family was dysfunctional, to say the very least. When my parents finally got a divorce it was a happy day. I hoped my life would finally gain some resemblance of ‘normal’. This hope faded at the beginning of my junior year in high school. Two weeks into my junior year, I went home from school to find my house completely empty. There was no furniture, no clothes, and all my belongings were gone, along with everything else. I would have thought we had been robbed had it not been for a note on the kitchen counter. The note was from my mom. It simply stated that she had left and wished me a good life. I was devastated. My entire life had unraveled in seconds.
I won’t go into the details of the disaster that followed, but let me assure you that I understand heartbreak and hardship. I was homeless and alone. Through the course of the next four years of my life almost every bad thing that could happen to a person happened to me. I was abused, used, mistreated, and rejected. There were days and weeks that I had no food to eat. I have been knocked out, had guns held to my head, shot at, and left for dead in the desert. There were often times and circumstances that I didn’t know whether or not I would be alive in the morning. Through all this, I had just one thing I could count on…Me. I had a strong will to survive, morals, and a belief that, in the end, things would get better.
I had to start somewhere. I set simple attainable goals. I remember my first goal was set the second I found the note: I needed a place to live. When I reached each goal, I would set another that was slightly higher than the last. Yes, there were bumps in the road. Yes, I often got trampled by people who were stronger than I was at that time. But, in my heart, I always felt that I could, and would, succeed. I felt that I deserved a chance to be happy and loved. Each year got a little easier. By holding true to who I was, eventually people who weren’t of the same caliber stopped frequenting my doorway.
In the end, it didn’t matter what “the world” did to me. In the end, all that mattered was that I believed in me. I know that everyone has their trials. I know that each of us deals with stress in our own way. But did you know that it is up to you to let someone else tear you down? One of my very favorite quotes comes from Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Don’t give people your consent, and don’t let your past dictate your future.
© 2012-2014 by Being Artemis All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Being Artemis
Have a personal story to share? Want to guest blog for Being Artemis? We look forward to your ideas. Drop us a line. Look forward to hearing from you.