Success is What You Choose

     A good friend of mine asked me if I could participate in a “Success of Women Around Me” blog she was creating. Of course I agreed being that she is a great friend and well anything she would have asked I probably would have done.

So I had to think of what success I have been through. 

  One does not normally always know their own success right off the back. I thought of everything I had been through in my lifetime from childhood to present, and I started to see many things I had endured. However, this is a summary of one part of my life I feel has been a success.

  As one grows up, one thinks they have things figured out and know exactly who they are. In my younger years I believed I was a loud, talkative, and definitely needed to be the center of attention. How funny to find out years later I am nothing of the sort.

  I was one of those kids who had both parents and all their siblings around, nothing could make me think it would not always be like that. Granted my parents were not right for each other and we all knew it, I could not see in the future that everything would be turned upside down.

  Somewhere around the age of 14 or 15 one by one as all teenagers do, my siblings started to rebel, and leave the house to go live “their own life”. The fights between my parents got worse, and more consistent. Soon all the siblings would be gone with me to deal with the chaos. Being as I was the youngest, and as much as I wanted to leave, I could not leave my parents alone with each other. I felt as though I needed to stay and referee.

  Just before turning 17 I saw major changes in my parents, and then like a bomb I was hit with the announcement of Divorce. The worst Divorce I have ever seen, that still leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth to this day. It was such a horrible feeling to have both parents pulling you from all directions, just for the sake of ego and money they would receive in the decree. My life felt as though it was put on hold, just to not hurt either one’s feelings.

  Though I was 17 and pretty much on my way out the door, I was still doing my best to support each parent emotionally. I was making trips to and from my mother and fathers homes. My siblings did not want to deal with their drama, so that only left me to be split between them. Every day was draining and emotional. Even to this day should there be talk of the other parent in front of the other one, it is still draining.

  As life finally slowed down, and I could grasp my own thoughts again, I noticed I had secluded myself from all friends and siblings. There was no one left to turn to when I needed them the most. I would not put blame on my parents for anything, but I definitely felt their situation changed me as well. No longer was I the loud girl, craving anyone’s attention. Nor was I dying to go to any parties, or just be social with anyone. For the last 3 or 4 years my life was not of a teenager, but as a babysitter and referee. I felt completely alone and lost and this would continue on.

  I had a few short term, non-serious relationships but my 18th birthday quickly rolled around and as soon as the coast was clear, I found myself full body deep in a relationship. I moved out soon after living with a man who was many years older than myself, and who had a child. For someone only 18, I thought I had everything figured out, and all would be okay. Unfortunately I had no idea of the road that lay in front of me.

  Living again secluded from my family and old friends, but now on the opposite side of the city. Which in Houston, it can feel like another country. I should have paid attention to signs, but once again I thought I had everything figured out. The relationship was rocky from the beginning, and I knew I did not love him, but I thought it was the change I needed.

  Soon would I figure out I was living my parents marriage all over again. The fights got worse, and being on the other side of town, I was nowhere close to anyone to give advice or help. Feeling just as I did when I lived with my parents, I stayed not knowing any better to do. I stayed with hope that the days would get better, the nights would be warmer, and I wouldn’t feel alone. This relationship definitely created a Co-dependency issue that would be hard to break. I am a tough girl on the outside, but after enough beating even the thickest walls crack. Every once in awhile, those cracks create character, and just prepare you for the fall. You just don’t know it at the time.

  A few years pass by, and I have finally fallen in love with this man. I did not fall in love because it was a great relationship, but more so I think because I had spent so much time with him. You do not know what else to feel but love for the length of time you spent. It was like having a bad puppy grow into a bad dog that no one understands why you love it so much even after he chewed up every favorite shoe you have. You just think you have been through too much to give up now.

  There were some good times but more bad ones. Even still I was constantly thinking of starting a family, but for more selfish reasons, than I think it is the next step in the relationship. I wanted something to get my mind off of the arguments, and focus my energy on something wonderful. Unfortunately nothing ever happened, and we weren’t really trying so that thought faded. Times got tougher and fights more often. Emotional and physical abuse became the norm. Like I said I may be tough on the outside, but I was dying on the inside with no idea on what to do.

  Seven years passed and nothing new, no change, and feeling like I never knew who I was or even how to find out. It is weird how you don’t even realize how 7 years can fly by so fast, you don’t even notice.

  We broke up for the last time in August of 2008, I was at my mothers and I cried and went into a depression like every other time.

  Everyone saw what we all used to see when we lived with my parents, the heartache, the crying, and the pain. I think that is when a light finally went off in my head asking questions. Like why was I so upset, why did I want to stay with this man, what made me so happy in the relationship to feel to so bad losing it. I do not remember the exact day, but everything changed for me from that day forward. It was like sitting in the corner of a dark room, and randomly the light turning on to a room full of color. I remember feeling a relief in my soul and throughout my whole body, not knowing why, but just enjoying it for the time being.

  Now with my mind and heart feeling relief, I started focusing on myself more, went back to school and started pursuing my Bachelors in Human Resource Management, however I think eventually this will change or maybe not. I moved closer to my family and moved into my own place, with all furniture I paid for and picked out. I loved it and the new found independence. Going out with friends became an excuse for feeling lonely.

  Of course, now that things were going good, the ex was more determined to win me back. Talks of change and realizing the faults of the relationship were constant. As great as it was to hear, and though I still very much loved him, I knew I couldn’t turn back on the progress I made. So, I refocused all of my energy on my new life and new view of myself, and most definitely my career.

  I have to say what you go through in life definitely builds your character, your strength, your passion, and motivation. I do not believe we have to go through things in order to become a great person, I just think some of us are taken off track and take the longer route.

  I am quite happy with my life at the moment. I love my career, my boyfriend who is my best friend, our extended family, and I am very happy to announce our new addition on the way. The sea is calm, and I am enjoying the breeze. We all have an idea of what we want out of life, and mine was never money or fame. I just always wanted a place to call home, and a great family and friends to enjoy it with. I have to say my life may not be picture perfect, but it’s pretty dang close.

  Through this journey I found I am well reserved, opinionated, and sometimes even a little out there, but I am far from what I once thought or believed I was. Maybe I would not be what I am today if I didn’t go through the journey, but I do not regret it. I had to learn my lessons on life through experience, but not everyone has to. I am successful because I chose to be, I don’t just accept what is.

Make every day better than the last, and on those days that are a little gray, remember your one second from the past. -Krystal Garcia

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Ella said…
Flor, what a wonderful post you invited to share with us all. Krystal, you are brave for sharing so much of your life and your lessons. It is wonderful to read how you took suffering and pain and chose to transform yourself because of it.

I share alot of parallels with you. Certainly being with someone (even marrying) because I thought that's what you're supposed to do when you date for 5 yrs.....if only I had had the self-esteem and the mentoring at the time to have taught me differently. But.....God uses every thing for our good.

I blogged about another unhealthy relationship I had, and welcome you to read it some time (3/21/11 "Saying Good Bye to an Unhealthy Relationship")

So happy for you that you are on a track of a healthy relationship with yourself and those around you! Continued Blessings!- Ella
I teared-up reading this, Flor. I think it's one of life's most cruel tricks, that we think we know it all during our teen years, when in reality, we haven't even started to live. Why are we always in such a hurry to grow up? Add to this ANY kind of abuse, and our judgement is further clouded. I am strengthened by your story and perspective. Thank you sharing this really personal story. And thank you to your friend for asking the question. *hug*
I teared-up reading this, Flor. I think it's one of life's most cruel tricks, that we think we know it all during our teen years, when in reality, we haven't even started to live. Why are we always in such a hurry to grow up? Add to this ANY kind of abuse, and our judgement is further clouded. I am strengthened by your story and perspective. Thank you sharing this really personal story. And thank you to your friend for asking the question. *hug*

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