A three-year old little girl — giggles, full of sunshine and butterfly wishes, blonde bangs and dresses with pinafores.  And as life's unfortunate events unfold, the brightness has turned to dark. She hides, hidden sadness forced upon her.  A scarlet letter almost too heavy to carry, With all of its confusion and a feeling of disconnect, she moves on. Memories buried so deep they were not my life in shambles…I  believe that I was subconsciously trying to find  the sunshine and butterfly wishes. 

So I decide to get married at 16 — Child Number One was born in 1986.  I move forward, and at 18, Child Number Two was born.  In 1988, at 18 also, my first black eye. I move forward, it wasn't the last.  Year's of “I'm sorry” and “I love you”,  I roboticly move forward, forcing the day before from my memory…so I could function!  In 1993 my twins are gone— born, but never to take a breath.  I no longer move forward. I am stuck, grieving, not wanting to function, but I get a second job, I push through for my children. I conditioned self to block out all emotional feelings…and I leave…to a better situation, so I thought. I found a new love— he loves me.  Perfect family—  he taught me many things— music, strumming his 6 string acoustic guitar so beautifully, candlelight, and Crack Cocaine.  And This— my now favorite love.  No more night terrors, memories of birthing my daughters, broken bones—  just nothingness.  

My soul had died…no more sunshine, so I believed, until Jesus gifted me with a beautiful child (and one that I was told, in 1997, that I would never be able to carry).  She would save me from myself and in so many ways, still does to this day.  God sent me an angel— a little girl that looked so much like myself that I had to love me again…because I love her.  But unfortunately, even the love for my child— my children—wasn’t enough.  I was addicted.  And it didn’t stop with love.  I had to fix me…I had to overcome pain…I had to dig deep, deeper than I was willing to at this point in time.  

And I move forward 19 years—  in-and-out of rehabs, psychiatric facilities, self-help groups, 12 steps, occults, several different denominational churches—I got clean Sept 3, 2005. But I still couldn't find myself.  I fake it for 10 years!  And then 2015,  there was Mandy, "The Well”…there was Doris (I  knew   immediately that I wanted the confidence  that woman has), she became a mentor and still my close friend.  And then there was Stacey "the hugger “—love her!  And of course Elaine, who made it possible for myself and several other ladies to have the opportunity to express ourselves. 

What a gift. I entered The Well uncertain of who I was, carrying the childhood fears and scars, along with those wounds that I've allowed life to reopen. I evolved into a strong, outspoken, beautiful woman with amazing God-given gifts. I have learned balance, friendship, trust—that I don't have to be so tough all the time. Looking at life through our Father’s Eyes.  Today I am a survivor.   And I am truly blessed. 

Debby H.