My survivor game is strong! I take blow after blow and I keep getting up. Sometimes I’m dazed a little longer than I want to be and my comeback is a little slow, but baby, I always bounce back!! God is good to me. I’m a walking miracle and a phenomenal woman.
As a child, my battle started and lost a lot of those fights. I was emotionally abused, overweight and turned to guys for “love”. I flaunted my body and showed my assets to guys ’cause it made me feel beautiful; I’d get attention and feel validated. Before my teen years, I became depressed and suicidal. I lost all my desire to live. The fact that I’m alive is mind-blowing! I owe all the praise to God. He’s the reason I am still here.
Here are some lessons I’ve learned along the way:
(1) I’m special because I exist. There are no more reasons required. My existence is proof enough that I’m somebody of importance and worthy of love. God doesn’t make mistakes. *snaps fingers*
(2) My opinions matter. Whether someone validates them or not, they are important. My need for external validation is practically nonexistent. I no longer have to be miserable and live my life by the standards of others. I’m FREE! I don’t need approval in order to believe that I’m smart, capable and deserving of respect.
(3) Relationships are not escape plans. Dating, courtship and marriage can be beautiful additions to one’s life but they are not designed to complete or define an individual or that individual’s life. I now know that Love and marriage is not an escape route but should promote and build a lifestyle of partnership, sacrifice, friendship, romance, and wellness. That’s just the beginning! I don’t need a relationship to make me well. In my opinion and from my experience, becoming well is good reason for singlehood — be whole with just yourself. A relationship is more about giving, team building, and loving someone fully, just the way they are (of course, this is not all-inclusive). A relationship isn’t a hospital one “joins” or becomes a part of for the sole purpose of receiving healing. It’s designed to make us better and in return give us an opportunity to improve someone else’s life experience.
(4) Pay attention to patterns. Because I am a survivor of domestic violence, I have become much more in tune with patterns of behaviors and thoughts / perspectives. I’ve learned to be more interested in what people do repeatedly. Actions and one’s frame of mind are important to me. Words have little effect when it comes to deciding who to trust and allow within my inner / intimate circle. I have fallen in love with the question WHY. I like knowing what makes me tick. I like understanding my weaknesses and celebrating my strengths. I refuse to repeat the same life and dating mistakes over and over so I am mindful of my patterns, needs and desires. I love taking time to know myself and I love my future more than I love temporarily comforting the painful parts of my past. I keep my eyes open. Period. There’s no need deceiving myself.
These four lessons were, on the surface, the most simple but have actually been the most crucial. Of course, there are many more lessons I’ve learned but I like to share just a few at a time so that they can be digested more easily by my readers. They also serve as great reminders for me!
Melissa Elise Hall (Missy) is a Life and Relationship Advocate, Author, Speaker and Mentor who has survived depression, suicide, chronic illness, and an extremely emotionally and mentally abusive relationship.
Missy is accepting new clients and speaking engagements. Feel free to contact her via email at email@example.com for more information and to schedule a free consultation.