The following was shared by one of my Facebook page followers, Paula F. Her story reads like a miracle! She hopes her story will help inspire others to keep moving forward despite the overwhelming urge to give up…
As we all know, escaping is a long, scary, difficult journey. But it can also be the most wonderful growth experience anyone could have.
I feel led to share this part of my recovery where ever I can. I’m sorry it’s long, but I think it’s worth the read. I’ll start with a bit of my back story, but worry not, it turns positive.
In November, for the 11th and last time, I left a 16+ year extremely abusive marriage with a man-boy I believe to be, at the very least, a sociopath.
I ran while he was imprisoned for assaulting me and left with nothing but my son, my animals and my truck and very few possessions. I was broken and terrified but determined to save us.
We moved 500 miles away to kind-hearted people we barely knew, having no one else to turn to. Since November, we have been living in a 5th wheel with no water or power, behind a house that a dozen other people share, lots of toddlers too. It was chaotic and an increasingly difficult environment for me to deal with.
In April, my abuser was released from prison and, in violation of a no contact order AND a restraining order, contacted me and offered me back my home and all my possessions. I have come so far, my son is happier than ever, and I finally have too much self-respect to take that offer despite being as discouraged and in as difficult circumstances as I was. But I knew I had to do SOMETHING different as I was not moving forward.
So, instead of taking his offer, which in my heart I KNOW would allow him to undo all that I have done to recover from him, I took a huge leap of faith, left the place I was at and, facing homelessness, went to another, bigger city to look for housing and a job. I was able to get emergency homeless assistance for a motel room for 16 days. It runs out Tuesday. I have been busting my ass every single day, getting up at 6 a.m. and hunting for a place, applying for jobs, desperately clinging to my positivity, really trying my very hardest.
Friday, I woke up hurting (I have Fibromyalgia, PTSD, and Severe Anxiety Disorder) and discouraged, teary eyed, and afraid and fighting to hold on to the positive attitude I worked so hard to cultivate in myself, even through such hard times. I was thinking maybe my doctor and therapist were right; maybe it’s too soon to go back to work. Who would want me? And that after all my hard work to find a place to live and a job, I believed I had failed.
I prayed–what more could I do? I’d done everything I could, worked HARD, stayed positive as much as I could and now I was just stuck.
I was crying saying “What now? I did EVERYTHING I could, everything I thought I was led to do, everything I thought any higher power would want me to do. I worked my butt off, kept hope alive and my attitude right, trusted that what was meant to be would come to pass if I kept my eyes, ears, and heart open, doing all I could to find and follow up on every lead that came to me. Yet, here I am out of time, money and options, with a 13-year-old son depending on me! What do I do now?”
Well apparently the answer was, “Answer your phone” because it rang shortly after and within a couple hours everything I’d worked and prayed for came through.
Just when I’d decided to say screw it and hide in the covers and cry, I got a call about an apartment I applied for weeks ago and have gone back to follow up on 4 times. They finally approved me! So, I got up and got ready to go talk to the manager, feeling so good that I even called to follow up on the job I interviewed for Tuesday and left a message for the personnel manager thanking her for the opportunity to interview and saying I looked forward to the possibility of hearing from her.
Shortly after, I was in the manager’s office working on the rental contract, about to take a one-bedroom because I couldn’t afford a two-bedroom, when my cell phone rang and it was the personnel manager that I had left the message for. She offered me the job!! First job I interviewed for and I nailed it!! I just about FREAKED out right there in that office, and I took the 2-bedroom apartment, and I get to have my therapy dog there too!
As if that wasn’t awesome enough? A few minutes later my cell rang again and it was regarding the state government job I tested for Thursday. They want to interview me next week! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT???? I am on cloud nine right now! I DID IT!!!! I actually did it! From broken, broke, homeless and nearing hopelessness; I picked myself up, sought the help I needed, listened to my heart and higher power, worked my ass off to change and put myself back together and make a life for my son and I and I SUCCEEDED!
If I can, anyone can! I went from homeless and unemployed to not just getting adequate shelter but getting a NICE place at a good price. From jobless to offered a great job for exactly the community organization that I most wanted to work for and still sought after for another, giving me options! I feel wonderful. Proud of myself. So very, very blessed and led to share and maybe touch at least one struggling soul with hope and encouragement.
Never give up! You are worth putting your all into all that you do. You are worthy and must forgive and love yourself! Your reward will come, maybe not as soon or easily as we’d like, but in ways you can’t imagine. Just don’t give up! Learn to love yourself and live with an attitude of gratitude and hope and a heart of love. Let your light shine and your path will be revealed. Your light may also illuminate something for others as well. And isn’t that the greatest gift and reward we can aspire to give or get? Thank you for allowing me to share.
Love, light, and hope to you all!
(image source: daytobeyou.com/stay-strong/never-give-up-2/)