Just realized it was 1 am and I was up...for a happy reason.
Emma is sleeping in her crib (for the first time) and I am stuffing wedding invites.
I'm tired, I'm a bit stressed...
But I'm happy.
I want to make sure that these days I truly say that things are happy. So unbelievably happy...that sometimes I feel silly for feeling down. I have a hard time accepting "depression" because I'm so content and glad about where my life is now.
20 years ago I had no idea what was about to hit me. I had separate parents that loved me...I thought. I hadn't learned to say "no" yet.
15 years ago I was in a terrible situation. I lived every day with a drug dealer that couldn't care for himself...let alone me. I lived in fear...I lived in anger...I lived in a situation that no child should ever face.
10 years ago I had just gotten away from that man who destroyed me. I didn't know which way was up...because I had spent most of my existence listening to how terrible I was and how I didn't get to have my own voice.
5 years ago I was married to someone that didn't care about me, and someone that didn't value what "marriage" stood for. I still didn't understand what a "healthy" relationship was.
Today... my daughter is asleep upstairs. I am about to marry a man that I want our girls to look up to. A man that treats the mother of his children with not only respect...but love. A man that works his ass of to provide for his kids and family. A man that isn't perfect...but that believes in giving the best of himself to his family.
15 years ago my life was a disaster. I remember not wanting to live on this planet because I truly couldn't imagine a life without anger and pain. At 10-11 years old I had accepted that life was always going to be hard. One person had fought for me my entire life...but even she couldn't protect me from the hell that was in my father's home.
I understood suicide. It seemed safer in a way...he couldn't hurt me if I wasn't here. He couldn't get to me...and he couldn't scare me anymore.
But guys...I'm still standing.
Just over 3 years ago my father died. People wonder why I say that I was happy when it happened. It sounds completely neurotic right? My dad died and I am happy about it. But there's a lot you don't understand.
No longer do I have to question the black Mitsubishi Galant at the stoplight.
No longer do I have to wonder if the man staring at me at the grocery store is someone ready to hurt me or follow me.
No longer do I have to wonder if the local police officer is going to pull me over because of my last name.
No longer do I have to carry a copy of a restraining order in my car visor.
No longer do I have to keep pepper spray on me 24/7.
No longer do I have to ask the local PD to watch my house on certain nights.
The name Paul Bowers doesn't have to send a chill up my spine anymore.
For so many years I was scared that I would never have the life that I longed for. I worried that I was "damaged" and that my father had screwed me up mentally. I jumped at the first chance of "love" that I had. Yet all it did was leave me in even more of a "funk." I thought I would never be worthy of a good man to love me the way I should be. I assumed I would never have children of my own...and would never have a happy household.
And then when I least expected it (and quite frankly didn't want it...) God dropped this amazing man in front of my face. I fought it...and he fought back.
So there's something to be said for heartache. There's something to be said for living in hell. There's something to be said for being completely screwed up...and fighting your way back from it.
Call it abused, call it "damaged," call it whatever the hell you want. Going through shit makes you a better person, a better friend, and a better parent.
It just means you're a badass. And it means one day you will find something that makes you happier than you realized was possible.
Plus you'll appreciate it. More than those who haven't been through all you have.