define strength 

                          I am strong.  I have not always known what that meant. A lover I had once told me I was strong,  and I asked him to define what strong,  emotional or physical. He said both.  Perhaps because it was what he thought I wanted to hear. Truth is I have never been a physically strong person.  I was a bit more then though. I was walking two miles a day in high school and lifting weights.  By the time of the conversation,  I was starting to be less active due to pain. So physical strength has lessened by time and disability.  

              However,  if I am honest with myself, I have always been emotionally strong. Which takes a toll.  I have had to heal. I am quick to cry,  and very quick to defend my boundaries.  Those boundaries don’t have to make sense to anyone else. They exist because of my life has been a mess of epic proportions. 

                  I was born to a pair of teenagers. Mom worked all the time,  she was rarely home. She managed to graduate high school when I was five.  Daddy was in and out of my life.  We moved alot.  My parents married when I was six,  which lasted about four and a half years.  The first four years we moved 27 times.  So as the new kid, constantly,  and the shy introvert… Well I had trouble making friends.  So much so that my grandmother introduced the idea that reading could fill the gap. 

                Which is why I was I was able to be molested.  I was not a  social child and he took advantage of how lonely and misplaced I was. I was strong enough to gather my courage and tell him to stop.  I told him that I would scream and not stop if he came near me again. So he made sure to scare me. Which keep me quiet for four years. *not that speaking up did any good * 

                   When I was eleven,  Mom met an amazing man. She moved us,  my brother and myself and her,  into his place. He had six sons,  though most were grown up and gone.  He had his youngest two still.  He lived in a two bedroom trailer on land he was buying. The trailer didn’t have running water. We lived a mile from the road,  three miles from the store and six from town. Mom worked.  My stepdad worked.  So often it was just me and the stepbrothers. 

                  We moved into the new trailer two years later,  six months after my son was born.  I was thirteen. It had running water,  and I was no longer sleeping on a couch in the living room. However,  now I had my stepbrother threatening to kill me,  and I was expected to do all the household chores. The boys were allowed to help outside. (Mind you I am a terrible housekeeper).  

              My mom took custody of my son,  to try and allow for all of us to grow up. During this time,  because of my stepbrothers actions,  she kept sending me to stay with family.I was raped during this time.  I was over at a friends house with my son,  and a guy who I had been seeing used it to abuse me.  Him and four of his  friends. So I was suicidal,  because the first thing that was really good in my life was being taken from me and I was not as important to my mother as her husband’s sons,  and because I was so very tired of life hurting. This is when I started dissociation. I had been told I was lying about the abuse,  And I was feeling like I was losing my mind. My mom and I were constantly fighting,  because of it.  She couldn’t see me,  all she saw was a mirror.  So I  moved in with my favourite grandmother.  She was a special lady.  She had broken her back three times and had to have it fused five.  About the same time,  she had been put on oxygen for emphysema. So it was a case of her needing me and I needed to be somewhere mom wasn’t. 

                  I have struggled to put the pieces of my life in a way that makes sense.  What I have listed above is sixteen years.  I am fourty one.  I have not had an easy life.  I doubt that it will change,   but I am strong enough to handle what ever comes my way.  Just occasionally I have a day when I have to say… 

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