I remember I was filling up on gas one day, and this gentleman comes walking up to me and asks: ” is your name Ryan”? I said “yes, can I help you?” this gentleman reached out and took my hand in friendship, and said, “Thank you” I asked him why he was thanking me, and he simply stated, ” because you saved my son’s life”. I was in aw to be honest, I didn’t know what to say, and then he got into his car, gave me a sincere smile and drove off. That’s when I realized all that I went through growing up, had a purpose. it was my challenges that allowed me to prosper in teaching others where to find the strength to get through life, as unscathed as possible.
I am sitting here not exactly sure how I am going to write this post, there is a lot of emotion behind it, a lot of fear and anxiety. I lost my job today, because I was not truthful about my education, I told them I graduated high school, but I didnt, and now I must pay the natural consequence for my actions. This has followed me my whole life, I worked at one of the best children’s hospital in the country, doing what I do best, helping other’s find their way through all the obstacles that come their way. They belived in my abilities, they believed in my worth and value, regardless of the fact I didn’t graduate. I am not gonna lie, I was not honest with them either, but I came clean one day, and they stuck by me and let me stay on. I am grateful to them, for believing in me.
I repeated first grade, I repeated third grade, before they realized I had a learning disability. Then the foster homes and the life of misfortunes played out as the years went by, in seventh grade the school asked my foster mother to take me out of school, “to pursue other avenues of education”. Come to find out later in my adult years, they were in the middle of budget cuts and I was not the only one they did this two, a class action loss suit against the city went on, but I did not get involved. I have a seventh grade level of education, but yet I have been blessed with working with thousands of kids, during their time of misfortunes. And now, everything I have worked for, proving my self worth to the community, it’s all gone. Or is it?
I know that my lack of education does not define me, its a sort of by product of my childhood. Whats frustrating is finding the strength to concur this obstacle that has followed me all these years. I know, deep down, that I have survived many things, and I know that the strength has to come from within my heart and soul. All my life, I have felt that there is a bigger plan, a bigger picture, knowing this, I believe that I am at a new chapter in my life. Where will this story go, I don’t know, I know what I would like to do, I want to change the world in someway, I want to give others the piece of mind to know that everything will be ok, that you life’s trials and tribulations do note define who you are, they make you better at who you are.
Am I scared right now, yes I am, I am scared of the unknown, I am scared of failing my children, yet they give me the pathway to greatness, they push me to be the best that I can be. I am hopeful that I don’t let them down. I don’t want to let myself down, I am in a place now, a cross road if you will, to further loosen the grip that my past has on my life. Some how I will achieve my goal of getting a diploma, because Society says I’m not worth it if I don’t have one, yet I know without a shadow of doubt, it wasn’t a piece of paper that got me where I am today, or the journeys that I have traveled, it was me, my willingness to beat the odds and give back.
To all that might have doubted me, I have proven over and over again, that I am a survivor, that it doesn’t matter how many trials you put me through, I will come out on top, I will overcome these obstacles that stand in my way. Someday, you will remember my name, because my goal in life, is to leave a legacy that my children can be proud of and follow.
It’s been a hard week, lots of ups and downs. Today though, was a good day, finally was able to relax a bit and spend some quality time with my wife and children. We celebrated Danny’s birthday today, went swimming and had a little party down at the lake. I needed to slow down a bit, reflecting on what is good in my life. To often does my mind fall victim to worries and stress. I am so tired of feeling stressed. When I have days like today, I dont want the day to end, because it feels to good to be free and calm. I love my family, so very much.
I started out writing this post from a very “sensitive” view point. However I just erased all of that and decided to speak straight from my heart. Healing hurts..it hurts like part of what I think hell might be like. The torment and pain that evil brings. Parts of it hurt worse than others. I told someone today that I do not enjoy this process. I don’t care to rehash or re-live painful things but sometimes I have to whether I want to or not. There are things that seemed so normal to me as a child, but when a memory lands in my mind now as an adult, I want to throw up when I realize how abnormal things were. I hate what abuse does to people. I hate what it does to the victim, I hate what it does the perpetrator and I hate what it does to…
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In my house, chaos ruled. The only consistency was inconsistency. I learned quickly that the rules could not be understood, but I still tried to understand. Like most children who grow up in an abusive household, I worked hard to make sense of my environment. I made “logical” conclusions about cause and effect. I knew that there were very few actions without consequences, so I did my best to be invisible. This seemed to be my best strategy to avoid abuse. In reality, there was no way for me to avoid abuse as long as I lived in that house. But I was sure there was a secret formula. There had to be a way to stop the abuse because I was sure that somehow, it was my fault.
Since I started recovering memories, I have rarely been able to grasp the order of events. Memory recovery does provide a…
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TEN THOUSAND cases of child abuse were reported in Jamaica in 2013. 10,000. Four zeroes. That means there were ten thousand times an individual thought it necessary to take action to report a child being harmed. That takes much time and effort. And then think about all the times people ignored the situation, did not want to get involved or simply did not know how to file a report. Think about it: in one year, there were 10,000 incidents in which a child felt pain at the hands of an adult, likely an adult who was supposed to be protecting them.
Of course, this is unacceptable. We don’t hear a lot about all the work that happens on the ground to combat this epidemic, but the government agencies, the churches and civil society groups are doing what they can with little resources to protect these most innocent members of society.
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As a survivor of child abuse, I am reminded every day that my mind never empties, it never does shake the memories that are etched into my soul. I wonder how these memories define me, how they influence the decisions I make, or how much of a negative impact, they really do have over me. I have worked hard over the years to set my mind at ease with what I went through. It has taken a long time to find myself and accept who I am, but, to be truthful, I can not say I am truly happy with what I have become.
Now, please understand, I have no regrets, well maybe a few, but I am very grateful for what I do have, I have an amazing wife who blessed me with four beautiful children. They are my everything, my heart and my soul, they are the flame within my heart that keeps me going, day after day. Yet, I constantly feel like I am failing them, not giving them everything they should have.
We struggle, day in and day out, financially because of my inability to find good pay. I have spent almost twenty years in mental health, 13 of which I worked for the best Children’s Hospital in the country, now I know I should be proud of that, and I am, but now I find myself working for half of what I was making, struggling even more to make ends meet. I feel degraded in some ways, I’m feeling like all my years of in patient work, all the crisis’s that I have witnessed and all the successful stories that I have been a part of, were for nothing.
I know I have been feeling pretty depressed lately, I try to hide it the best I can, but slowly, I know my wife is feeling my stress, I know my kids are feeling it as well. I feel like a failure. I have always tried my best at everything that has showed itself to me, I have given it everything I have, but lately I feel like that was never enough. Which brings me back to those feelings and memories of self doubt and worthlessness. I wonder if I am as strong and as wise as I thought I was. At the same time, I regret saying that. I am hopeful, that there is a much bigger meaning behind all this, only time will tell.