Growing up Broken..

There has just been a few times in my life I’ve opened up publicly about all I’ve been through. All I’ve walked away from and all I’ve turned my back on. I never look back or use the past as a crutch. I always keep moving forward. I don’t dwell on all I’ve been though even though at times I have to push it back down when the pain from the past starts to creep out of my inner soul.

Sometimes there seems to be no reason for the memories that cause the anxiety to shows it’s painful way to the surface and other times people whom chose to not put the abusive and violent ways behind them try to come at you and in some ways as if to try to guilt me into their failures or lack of strength to walk away like I did. They treat me like I was given a “break” to make it out of the viscous cycle I was born into.

The only break I got was a broken back.. literally.. No one handed me anything, not even a reached out hand.. I made the choice to find the path that took me out of that past I have worked so hard to put behind me.When I think about it though I have to give credit to one event. A event that shaped the beginning of the process of me changing and choosing a different path. It was the Day I saw Jesus. I know. You think I’m crazy. It was a day Like so many others.. fighting, yelling, beating in a trailer we lived in that was 10 ft wide maybe. The bedrooms very small. A twin bed along one wall that took up almost the entire width of the room, but there was just enough for my little body at 11 years old to fit between the wall and the end of the bed. I hid there repeating to myself ” I don’t want this life. God please help me” I remember saying it over and over and then I heard a mans voice speaking softly but firmly “This is not the life you have to have” I heard him say “I will always be by your side if you always hear me I will Lead you out” looking up from the corner of the floor where I was hiding, towards the door, I saw a light in the shape of a man.. I remember sitting there and a peaceful calm came over me. It was from that moment I knew to listen intently and I will find my way out. And that has been what I have done. For nearly 42 years now that’s been my roadmap. I talk to him daily and many times I get caught. People say, are you talking to yourself and I just say yes. But I know I’m talking to him. And I know he listens.

Years can go by and all is good and then something comes up that brings it all back.

Then I’m trapped in this spiral of feelings .. yes it’s family, but it’s family that if I stayed anywhere near them, their addictions, abusive behaviors and unlawful activities would have drug me down with them. Multiple prison terms for many of them, years and years and years of drug abuse and drug trafficking, prostitution for some has caught up to them. One in the Hospital tetoring at deaths door, another one homeless but still choosing to use and abuse .. and somehow it comes back to me as “My Fault” or “My Responsibility” to make life better for them, yet never, not once did they ever set out to make a better life for themselves.

What I needed today as I woke up to this was the day God provided for me. A day with what I know is most important. A day that is hard to make happen as my kids are adults. But today out of know where it came together and it was so needed. A reminder to me why I took the path I took. The path that led me to a loving husband and two beautiful kids that love their family. Kids that unlike me never saw the ugliness I saw as a child.

I stopped the cycle of abuse. I broke the odds. Today was a reminder to me that I did the right thing. And I’m not done. God put me on this path of strong and virtuous life to change this World where I can and I know I’m not done.

Tonight I’ll go to bed thankful for today and prayful for tomorrow. To know what direction or path to take as one life could be coming to a end. I pray that somehow God has been on the same path with them too.

If your out there and you think you want to break the cycle of abuse. Please trust God and find your strength to do it for you and for those you can bring into this world because you did.

A week of reflection…

Picture of Summer Fly's Daughter with her daughters best friend as they support each other.

May 22 I was another year older… No big deal as the day would begin, just another day, another year… The events of that day will forever be remembered for many as the Nation’s deadliest Tornado touches down in Joplin Mo. I went to bed that day just like any other day… I woke up at 2:45 am to find that my husband was not in bed.. A light glowed outside our bedroom door which is our loft office so I called out quietly asking him ” What are you doing” He replied, I remembered I needed to authorize a bill pay payment that he had forgot to do earlier in the day, But then he walked in the bedroom and said, A tornado has hit your brothers town of Joplin… I sat up in bed and said, What? He said it is all over the internet… Normally I am on the computer every day but that day being my birthday we were out and about and I concentrated on time with my kids and stayed off the computer and the TV was not on… so I was unaware of the happenings that day in Joplin… I immediately texted him and called him. Left messages then got up and got online. I was horrified by the devastation… A sense of helplessness was overwhelming me, but to be honest it was also a sense of guilt and fear. Fear that I could lose another immediate family member that I have never met…

You see the internet had led me to a father that I was torn away from as a very small baby.. One that I never met face to face. We talked online, spoke over the phone and always talked of the day that we would actually get together. Then without warning he died of a sudden heart attack… Time lost, and never to return. That day is still as vivid as if it was yesterday and it was actually February 5, 2006, more than 5 years ago… I have 3 half brothers, a step brother and a step sister that I have never met. All but one live in the Joplin area. I sat at the computer that night asking myself “why have I not made it back there…?” I could go on and on about work, finances, money, obligations… but really all just excuses that shouldn’t even exist…

I sit here and look at the devastation that the people of Joplin are dealing with and the loss of life that is so tragic, High school seniors whom lost their lives just leaving graduation… so much tragedy… so much pain… but feeling so blessed that my family and their friends were all spared… a miracle in itself, spared the loss but they are not spared the pain as I am sure it is so painful to be there day in and day out as people are trying to pick up the pieces and move on. I sit here and wish there was some way I could pack up the RV pay all my bills for three months and drive back there and help. My husband is a contractor and I know I could find something to do to help… but again life must go on here and there just is not enough money in the bank to just stop everything and to leave.

God has given me a second chance to take the time to meet my family face to face.. I will make it a priority to make it happen this year.. I am praying to the lord each and every day thanking him for keeping them safe. The outcome could have been so different.