Raise your hand if your life (so far) has gone exactly liked you planned when you were 13!
Or when you finished college.
Or when you had breakfast this morning.
“I try not to make plans. God always laughs at your plans. I’m going to keep the door open, and keep the page blank, and see what gets painted upon it.”
― Tom Hiddleston
Life is a series of detours.
Have you experienced a bump in the road?
Did life go a totally different way than you had planned or expected?
Has that unplanned event in your life shaped you who you are today?
Do you know the feeling of being in love? You have that lovely feeling in your tummy and throat when you feel immensely happy and can’t get that grin off your face? I have that feeling almost every day, but the thing is… I don’t have someone I have a crush on. It is my life that I have fallen in love with.
No, my life isn’t and wasn’t perfect. I was sexually abused by my uncle for more than ten years, and I was raped and mentally, financially, physically abused by an ex-partner who I met when I was only 14 and he was almost 21. Due to one assault, my children were born prematurely, and when I escaped, my ex-partner vowed to take the children away from me, which he has tried to do ever since, making use of the judicial system but never once inquiring after the well-being of our children during this same time. I lost almost my entire family, but I regained a family of the heart in return.
There are many memories of when I thought I was at the lowest point in my life only to sink into a deeper hole. But as I look back, I notice that every sinkhole was actually a detour resulting in the happy life I lead now.
My most important detour was the moment I decided to be the author and creator of my own life. It laid the foundation of how I would handle difficulties in the future.
I was 24 in 2010 and the relationship with my second boyfriend had just come to an end. As I lay in bed weeping, I realized that it wasn’t so much the end of the relationship that I was weeping about but more the feeling of despair and not feeling I was capable enough to handle things on my own.
This was the same feeling that led me to the relationship with boyfriend no.1 in the first place and while I was escaping the troubles of boyfriend no.1 I gave myself to an even older man, boyfriend no.2 who was, in essence, a copy of no.1 although no. 2 wasn’t physically abusive. However, the emotional abuse was more refined and worse than with no.1 – they even shared the same name!
As I stopped weeping, my friend asked me: “Do you want to change?” “Yes!” I cried out. “Okay,” she said. “But it is important to work on yourself first. You are capable of handling things for yourself, and I will be here to help you hold the mirror.”
At that moment, I chose to be strong and to become my own author, to love myself unconditionally. I started to heal myself, find the spots within me that needed TLCG (Tender, Love, Care, and Growth). I broke the bonds with people that were draining the life out of me; I educated myself and traveled a lot with the boys. I finally felt free.
In 2013, we hadn’t heard from my ex-partner for years, and a part of my university program was to study abroad for 6 months. My dream was to work for the United Nations, helping others so they could lead a life without abuse. Due to the controlling and abusive nature of my ex-partner, he suddenly showed up and used the judicial system to prevent us from going, and as a result, I couldn’t study in America to accomplish that dream.
But I didn’t break. I just found ways around this while still achieving the core things I wanted to do in life: helping women after trauma discover how to recover and to create a happy life for themselves. Sometimes the “how” or the “way” can change but it doesn’t mean our “what” has to change, too.
What I learned in the past 5 years is that I can always rely on myself. Always. I am incredibly strong and am resilient like a rubber band. I have learned to love my own company and to watch myself form the sculpture of my own life.
The most important part in all this was to love myself unconditionally and to discover who I am and what I need to create my ideal life, making decisions based on how I want to grow as a person. And to remember; it all starts with a decision. That’s why I #LoveMyDetour.
If you’re healing from something difficult…
If you’d like to know more about healing from abuse, I invite you to learn more about my own story of abuse as well. Also see my Mental Health Resource Directory, with plenty of places to get support, guidance and advice – be sure to write me with your own helpful links.
If you’d like to share…
A detour can be life-altering crisis or a minute-altering change of plans. The exact path doesn’t matter – it’s just the idea that we all need to cope with things we can’t don’t expect. Learn what a Detourist is here, and then learn how to share your story here.
Check out the other travelers!
Imagine the most difficult time in your life. Which way did you turn? How did you know it was the right way to go? Or did you know at all?
Did you just trust it would lead somewhere?
Why Share? Because…
Together we’re stronger.
What’s your detour?
Instagram #LoveMyDetour Challenge
There’re more than one way to share your detour. Sing it, dance it, walk it. Tweet it! Take a picture of your detour and share it with me on Instagram with #LoveMyDetour – anything goes! I’ll be featuring your pictures every week in my #LoveMyDetour Gallery.
Hold up a sign, draw a picture, snap a photo of your path. It could be the very road in front of you…you never really know where it leads, do you?
Start the conversation: Learn about Gutless & Grateful for Sexual Violence Awareness & Prevention.