I normally don’t do this too often but when I seen this picture I cried. So here’s the realist throwback Thursday you’ll ever witness from me.
Most people would describe me as carefree and generally positive with my outlook on day to day life. It’s definitely a learned behavior. I have seen and experienced some of the worst shit, and one could say I didn’t deserve most of it. However I’m not a victim. Here’s a little story…..This photo is from four weeks after my 22nd birthday and also from getting out of the hospital from 3rd and 4th degree burns all over my body. Victim of circumstance from dealing with a man with demons infested in his soul. Most importantly though, this is also the moment that taught me to follow my gut with anyone and anything, as well as myself.
I laid in that hospital for one week after having surgery, family and friends visited. I honestly can say that anyone that stepped in that hospital room to visit me or even my nurses, they all had a purpose and played a major part in my recovery mentally.
One person in particular, that made me understand my fight….that was my granny. My grandmother dealt with a lot of physical ailments, and at this particular time she had an oxygen tank she had to carry around with her. And the last time I talked to her, she told me she wanted to come but probably wouldn’t due to this. I’m not selfish by far but the one person I knew that would come and comfort me during a moment in my life that’s filed in the horrible shit folder, it was always her. So I was sad at the thought of her not being there, but I understood so I didn’t push.
Well she came anyway knowing she shouldn’t have. She sat in the chair next to my bed and just stared at me for a moment, and then looked away. She was quiet. And then she spoke life into me. I remember her telling me that I have a testimony and I couldn’t keep running from that purpose. She told me to fight. She told me to love myself. I felt her energy.
Because of the positioning of said burns I had to go through therapy and train my leg to walk again. With my mom by my side I walked, I cried and was in so much pain but I walked.
The pain didn’t stop there.
I remember the day I left that hospital and having to try and walk in the house, I’ve never cried out of pain so much in my life. I couldn’t get up on my own. There was a friend of my brother that was there and she had experienced a situation like mine but worst, she hugged me and prayed with me. I felt comfort in her arms because regardless of so many saying how sorry they were to hear my experience, she KNEW the physical and mental pain I was going through. She knew the battle that would continue to come.
I’ve always been headstrong and determined for what I want. So….every day after that I fought. I fought to be at peace. I fought to stay sane. I fought to not be bitter. I fought to just come out of that and just be still…..to just be me, completely.
I have scars on my arms, my entire stomach is completely scarred and the back of my entire left leg is scarred from the skin grafts. Everyday looking at that was like hell for me, I was so self conscious. I was ashamed.
Well fast forward a month and on this day of that picture above, it was my first outing with some family/friends. I had owned that yellow dress for a year and never wore it. I made up in my mind right at that moment, I was going to that day. It showed a piece of my stomach, my arms and my legs. EVERY place a scar existed was exposed.
My mom cried when she saw me in that dress; I wasn’t a mother then so I didn’t quite get it. Then she quickly stopped and smiled, she said I looked cute. I just laughed a little and I walked out the door and got in the car with my brother.
I felt so scared. I felt so helpless. I felt ugly. I felt hurt. I felt like everybody that seen me would stare. I was uncomfortable. I second guessed my decision. On the way to our destination, my brother stopped and picked up a family friend. I had about five minutes to sit in the car by myself, and all these feelings and thoughts swirled in my head.
I asked, God why?
Then I looked out the window and seen the sun setting and the sky was so serene. One of the most beautiful times in my mind, I can still see it so vividly. I looked in the mirror and smiled back at my reflection.
- I chose to love me that day.
I chose to not care what anyone thought of me or my scars. I knew my heart and I knew my intent in dealing with anyone in my life, I would no longer go out of my way to prove that. I became me!! I accepted me, the imperfectly perfect and flawed creature that the heavens created.
A few years later after I had my first son, who had some complications at birth. I had just left the hospital from being with him and headed to my moms house. On this particular day, my mom finally told me why she cried when she seen me in that dress. She said when she saw me in that dress she knew I was a fighter and strong willed. She knew that I had chose to love me and in that moment she was proud of me for being so boldly myself! She knew that I was being molded to fight for a purpose.
Sitting here today and coming across this picture today, I cried. And cried even harder in saying all of this. As a mother of two young men, I can only imagine how my parents felt watching me go through that. But I’m not crying out of sadness or hurt right now!! I’m crying out of joy and the grace that has kept me to become the woman I am today. Gaining the knowledge and wisdom of loving myself first! Loving myself was the key for me to love on others so genuinely.
Acknowledging the favor I’ve had and continue to receive, I spend most of my days speaking life into others because I know what it feels like to feel lost and empty. I know what it feels like to be alone in a room full of people. I give away my path as a token of wisdom to those who come across me. Woman, man, boy or girl……I give. I give not to show off or to think I know more, but to inspire and exchange energy.
The biggest thing that I’ve ever been thankful for in life is growth, the good…the bad and the uglier. I’m thankful for it all.
But I’m especially thankful for the FREEDOM of not letting any interaction, circumstance or pain dictate my vantage point! I’ve survived too much to let evil and negativity manifest my destiny!
Be positive. Be happy.
Happy living 🙌🏾