I Rose from the Ashes

As a little girl, I remember being told, “Why don’t you kill yourself—you are just taking air from someone who deserves it.” That was my mother who said that. She reminded me almost daily how stupid I was, that she hated me, and how no one wanted me.After hearing those things and being passed around on a constant basis to live with strangers along with abuse from her, I started to believe what I was told. My mother then told me that I was not her daughter. I never knew my grandmother or grandfather, aunts, uncles, cousins, or anyone who was part of my family. I cried a lot and trusted no one.As years went by, I tried to buy friendships and love—of course, it didn’t work. I became a rug mat for everyone. I was lied to, used, abused, and taken for granted. At work, I did way more than what the job required without compensation for it. I had very low self-esteem.Then something changed when I had my sons.I became the mother, father, and anything or anyone my sons needed. We had each other.As time went on, I started learning and loving myself.Through our lives, our experiences shape who we are. Whether it is something said or actions taken (or not) by you or someone else, it does affect lives. With all of the outside influences defining us, sometimes we lose sight of who we are.Just like a fingerprint that only applies to one person, you are unique! There is not even one person just like you! You have your own likes, dislikes, dreams, and gifts. The world looks at you from the outside in—the trick is for you to know yourself from the inside out!

--Carla Shafer