6 Years Ago Today
I decided I was worth something. I was worth boundaries and respect. It was the day I had to tell my abusive parents that I would no longer have anything to do with them. It wasn’t punishment for them, but the only way I could reclaim my life and create space to pick up the pieces of my soul.
5 Years Ago Today
I was living in a tiny house with my boyfriend, but I was still trying to make things work with my sisters. I tried not to look over my shoulder too much, but it was hard. My parents still didn’t respect my boundaries and there were many reasons to feel they still influenced my life. Luckily, I had connected with other survivors online. They got it when no one else did. I spend so much time reading, learning, and trying to overcome.
4 Years Ago Today
I was just settling into my new life in Glasgow. An international move gave me more peace of mind and space to heal. It also allowed me to break contact with my sisters which resulted in the same thing. My fellow survivors and I created a platform (SwanWaters, if that wasn’t obvious lol) to help others like us deal with the pain of their past. I had/have the absolute honor to be its director.
3 Years Ago Today
I was recovering from a week-long visit from a “friend” (one of my family’s flying monkeys). I spent a week defending myself from her and feeling constantly on edge as she scrutinised my life. Yet another tie I had to cut in order to protect myself.
2 Years Ago Today
I was so triggered and insecure. I thought about packing up my whole life and just leaving. I couldn’t do it anymore: I was bound to fail at my business, lose all my friends, stay a horribly ugly and incompetent excuse for a human being, and I wanted it to stop. This was the week my lovely boyfriend decided I needed a companion so then we adopted the lovely Bella (that wasn’t 2 years ago today exactly, but it’s close).
1 Year Ago Today
I went out for fancy gin and tapas with my fiance. We celebrated how much our lives had improved in the 5 years since deciding to break away from my abusive family. We now lived in a lovely flat, with our lovely cat, both enjoyed our work, and I was experiencing fewer PTSD episodes, I was more stable; happier and lighter. I could see where I was heading and how much the journey was worth it.
I went out for lunch with my husband. As we talked, I realized something. Our conversation was no longer about my family. It wasn’t about PTSD. It wasn’t about some random memory or an echo of my mother’s voice in my head. Then I realized something else, our conversations are rarely about these things now. Life is good. It is light and full of love and compassion.
This day is no longer about my family. My choice 6 years ago doesn’t signify breaking away from the past, but a dedication to my future. A future that is more than I could have imagined. So rather than calling today my ‘no-contactiversary’ or even ‘freedom day’, I will start referring to this date as my rebirthday. This, the day I decided that I was WORTH something, was the day I started my life. I started on a journey that was complicated, sometimes very hard, but ALWAYS worth it.
Why am I telling you this? Because you need to know that you too are worth something.
You are worth getting away from abuse.
You are worth investing time, energy and resources in healing from those experiences.
You are worth to be loved and celebrated by people who cannot get enough of your idiosyncrasies.