A reader messaged me recently and essentially said that my About page revealed little to nothing about me. Dammit! I, the private blogger, was caught. It’s ironic, isn’t it, that I would write a blog that is filled with personal information and yet reveal so little about who I am in reality? This is on purpose actually.
I have lived all at once a very unusual and rather normal life. I started this blog in 2009 in order to begin to develop my voice. I have discussed difficult topics over the years ranging from sexual abuse and mental illness to domestic violence and divorce. Human trafficking, too. Even faith and God in the face of prolonged suffering and injustice. I have discussed these things because I was trafficked. I am a survivor of prolonged and profound domestic and sexual violence which took place during my childhood and adolescence. I have been witness to extraordinary human evil of which I can’t begin to describe here, but I have also been privileged to glimpse the best of humanity.
I would like to say that these things don’t define the life I’ve lived. I won’t lie though. It’s made creating a meaningful life much more difficult.
I grew up on the Gulf of Mexico hopping back and forth between a sprawling urban environment and a small East Texas town. I left Texas two days after I graduated from high school and headed for the East Coast full of high hopes. I have lived in New York, New Jersey, France, and the Midwest. I traveled with the State Department and was privileged to spend time in many parts of Western Europe and Russia (when it was still the Soviet Union under Gorbachev). In some ways, I feel as if I’ve led a charmed life due to some wonderful opportunities I’ve had. In other ways, I’ve felt cursed due to the extraordinary struggles I’ve faced. Perspective matters.
What is my life like now? I’m a gluten-free, dairy-free vegetarian which means that people offer me plates of herb-infused ice and call it ‘dinner’. I kid. Almost. That actually happened once.
I have four daughters, and we live a big life together. For a more in-depth view into that life take a look here: Empowered Grace.
For a very brief look at my complicated faith background, take a gander at this: Origin Stories.
I am now in a graduate program(finally!) pursuing a medical Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine on track for a PhD. I feel like I’ll be joining the AARP when I’m finally finished, but when I started college way back when (not that long ago my vanity says), I was pre-med. I am now finishing what I started except now I am doing something that lines up with a more functional and integrative approach to medicine.
Who I am is woven throughout my blog–the highs and lows and ebbs and flows. My efforts to not only recover but progress and rebuild a life that I want to live. The major setbacks of domestic violence and divorce, hopes being deferred, heart sickness, coming to terms with expectations of God and the reality of faith during times of legitimate suffering and injustice, recovering and healing from extreme sexual abuse and violence… This gritty process of healing laid out. Building a life with and without the presence of a parent with an untreated personality disorder. Moving forward and making plans with an active autoimmune disease and all the uncertainty that entails. Our determination to keep going even when it seems that there is no point.
In the end, I’ll always say the same thing:
Life is hard, and, to quote the Dread Pirate Roberts of William Goldman’s classic tale The Princess Bride, anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something. It’s evidence that every one of us has a battle to fight even if we look fine on the outside. We all carry injuries and scars. We all have stories to tell. Battles won. Battles lost. Just because you look well enough doesn’t mean you are. Never judge anyone particularly based upon their affect and appearance.
Healing, however, is possible. A good life is available to you with one caveat. You must fight for it. Nothing good comes to you without a fight.
So, be tenacious. Fight for the life you want. And never give up.
Shalom to you, MJ