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It's My Birthday...I Can Blog if I Want To...


WARNING: This post contains information that some may find offensive for a blog. If you are someone that knows me or knows my parents, please know that this post is not to hurt anyone, but a way for me to have a voice...the only way to be heard. This is a short snip of my story...I will not carry the silent agony any longer. And if you have been a victim of a similar crime, please email me of you have questions or if you need help, or if you would just like to say thank you for being "your" voice. Sometimes knowing we are not the only ones who suffer or have suffered, makes a difference in how we see ourselves. 




Email: 3amteacher@gmail.com

If you are offended, please be sensitive in that I have suffered through quite a bit and for a very long time & during those times, I have been forced to stay silent through it all and carry the burden of not being heard. I will not be accused of lying anymore...I will not be silent to save the feelings of others while I suffer and I hope you can see that I needed to be heard.  I do not believe that by telling my story that  I  am dishonoring my parents...but I am finally giving my pain a voice and letting it go. No one in my family will hear me, so I choose to be heard the only other way I can...though my blog. 

Thank you!

This is a picture I painted about four years ago. I planned to put it on the cover of my book that told my story. I was always too afraid to finish it or have it heard.



Today is my birthday and I have reached a point in my life where I refuse to be a victim any longer. I had a horrible childhood and the last few days I have not been posting because I have been having to sort through some pain. I was officially adopted at the age of 8 and I had survived a drug addict mother and her abuse (no thanks to the system). I was adopted into a good home (I thought) and sure, I had a roof over my head, I had food on the table, but I suffered a silent secret that weighed heavily on my heart. My adopted parents,  were both in education and worked tirelessly to make sure they appeared like good parents. Don't get me wrong, no one is perfect and I desperately wanted attention...to the point of trying to be perfect...but even perfect was not perfect and as a teen, I still hadn't felt that I fit in anywhere. My parents were harder on me than their biological children and my younger sister (who is my biological sister). I was molested and raped by their son, 

CHAD VERNER, 

and he took away my childhood. My parents called me unthankful because I felt isolated, but who could I even talk to. One year at a Christian Youth Convention, my heart weighed so heavy carrying this pain that I told a friend...who told a pastor...who told my parents. I was mortified, but the youth counselor kept telling me that it wasn't my fault and that my parents would not be upset (but they did not REALLY know my relationship with my parents). When they came to pick me up, the entire way home I heard how much I had destroyed their reputation and their family. 

What an unthankful brat I had been and how they were going to send me to a group home where I deserved to be. They kept telling me how much they had done for me and how they hadn't even wanted to adopt me, but that my drug addict mother didn't want my sister and I separated. So to them, I was worse than the mother who had physically and sexually abused me. I can't even tell you how much that hurt and how worthless and ashamed I felt. Straight A's, clean room, eager to please, and liked by my teachers...but I was a horrible daughter and deserved to be abused. I wanted to cry, wanted to scream, 

but I sat silently 

Me as a young girl.

and took the verbal abuse just like usual. I did not want to give them the benefit of seeing my pain and watching me cry. My dad jokes today that as a child I was so stubborn that when he spanked me, I wouldn't cry...so he would hit harder just to see that I had feelings. What he didn't know is that I would often be so hurt that I would wet myself and feel ashamed for not being able to handle the pain. I wanted so bad for him to like me.

When we arrived back home, I was told to go straight to my room. My parents immediately told my biological younger sister (who I had raised and protected at the age of four) that I had destroyed and lied about the family. Even my sister looked down on me. They went to their room and talked loud...just to make sure I was hearing everything, called their son and asked him if he had raped me. The room suddenly became silent and I felt like everyone but me had disappeared. My dad walked into my room and said...you're lucky your brother admitted to raping you one time!!! Then shut my door. My mom walked passed me with her head down and said nothing...wouldn't even look at me. The two people I looked up to and tried so hard to get their love and attention were now more hurt that their poor son had done this. My brother said that he was drunk and that it was only one time, but no one asked me. The only thing they said to me was to ask me a question...Do you want YOUR BROTHER to be arrested??? Anyone reading this will  know that the question was rhetorical, they didn't want me to answer, I didn't deserve to have a voice because I had ruined their son. What could I say??? I was about 15 years old and I was afraid they would send me to a group home. I said no. My dad wanted to know the details of the rape and even though...to this day, I remember every word he said, what he smelled like, and how frightened I was, I didn't want to give my dad the satisfaction of knowing my pain and enjoying seeing me cry...even for a second! No one knew that one week before my 13th birthday, I was raped by my brother who had molested me for years & I slept in the bathtub the remainder of the night from pain...from fear...and from shame.

The family just completely ignored that it had happened and the next week, my oldest brother was getting married and I was forced to have to stand next to the man that had taken away my childhood and everyone had not even cared. I was humiliated and ashamed standing next to him and I felt as though I would throw up. After that, I became very rebellious (because I had a boyfriend my parents hated & the fact that they hated him made me completely fall in love with him). After telling all their friends, people who had watched me grow up, that I was uncontrollable, I just couldn't stand to look at them sometimes. I kept to myself and I loved school and I loved art and dancing. I wasn't allowed to have a life, I wasn't allowed to wear make-up, and I was never allowed to talk back. I felt like I was in a bubble...just watching everyone else live their lives. One day, we went to a dollar store and I was wearing overalls and a t-shirt underneath (pretty conservative to a high school girl. My mom complained that my side kept showing and she wouldn't stop nagging about it. My side would show a little bit of skin if my shirt became bundled a little bit from bending over or sitting down. My dad became so angry that he drove me over to the store's dumpster and forced me to take off my overalls in front of everyone (my sister, my mom and whoever else was around) and he took them and threw them in the garbage. I had never felt more humiliated and worthless in my entire life. Having to take off my clothes after being through the worse kind of abuse imaginable and made to feel that I was asking for attention. I blamed my mom. I never could look at her without thinking of that moment again. How could she allow a young girl to be humiliated and stripped of humanity in the middle of a parking lot. Mom's are supposed to protect their daughters, but mine made sure to humiliate me for ruining her son. 

At 16, my parents told me I needed to stop seeing my boyfriend (who I wasn't even dating at that moment) or leave the house. They had the neighbor, a raging alcoholic, give me a lecture about the poor choices I was making...

 I just stayed quiet. 

 I chose to leave. I moved in with his family and we did start seeing each other again. My dad, within 20 minutes had everything that I owned shoved into a box, placed in the driveway like my life was trash. I sucked up the pain and walked away. My parents didn't even allow my sister to talk to me, but I would draw her pictures and leave them at the front door for her...which she says she did get and made her feel sad. 

After my daughter was born I came into contact with my family again and slowly built some sort of relationship to move forward. I continued my education, worked very hard and even had forgiven my brother. The year I received my Masters degree would be the worst year of my life. My biological mother just pushed her way into my life and talked about what a good mother she was. 

I just stayed quiet.

Somehow, my sister and I had got into a conversation about my abuse by my brother and she had never known that I had been molested by him from the time I was about 9 to one week before my thirteenth birthday (the day I was raped). I knew he had not been drunk...I knew who he was and what he did, but I did not want to be defined by my abuse. My sister was in shock and called my oldest brother...who was in shock, who called my mom- who was in shock, who called my dad - who was in shock, who called 

Chad...WHO LIED!!!!!

My parents called me a liar and this one event broke apart the family once again. They believed him over me...again. Everyone was mad at me... here I am...31 years old and I am stilled blamed for being molested and raped by their son!!! I couldn't believe this was happening and I didn't want to have anything to do with anyone. At that moment, all the hurt, the pain, the silence, and the shame...came rushing through the inner most part of my being like a tsunami and I was once again having to re-live the nightmare. I had been talking to my sister and why would I lie about this??? I felt so betrayed and hurt. They didn't talk to me or their grand-kids, saying that they were giving me time!?? When my sister visited this last year, she ended up in the hospital and my mom and dad had to stay with us. I welcomed them into my home like I had never been separated from them. I had a talk with my mom about what had happened and I was appauled by her behavior! She didn't say sorry...she didn't ask me if I was okay...she did; however, tell me that this situation had caused her first born son not to talk to her!!!??? REALLY!? I hugged her and

KEPT SILENT

But the tsunami was beginning to reach the surface with a fury. I said nothing, but I just wanted everyone out of my house. I wasn't going to let them ruin my accomplishments or my self-worth once again! After they left, things went back to normal, but they never called me or my kids anyway. They would send a card, or some money every once in a while because that was easier for them than having to face me I guess. 

At the beginning of the week I was talking with my sister and I was sad that my parents never called, but had sent the kids a Valentine's Card - as if that was some sort of a relationship. During the conversation I found out that my parents had let Chad move back with him...the man who fathered tons of kids he never supports, has abused women, struggled with drugs, and suffers from bi-polar disorder (gee, I wonder why..) and he was now living in their home!!! The same people who rarely talk to me, blamed me for being abused, and have treated me like I was nothing...were rubbing the pain in even deeper! I have been pretty withdrawn the last couple of days and I have been once again, SILENT...

Yesterday, I chose NOT TO BE SILENT EVER AGAIN! I DESERVE TO HAVE A VOICE & I WILL BE HEARD! I had called my mom because my marriage has been rocky and I just needed some comfort (most girls call their mom...I should have known better). She told me to call her back and when I did, she didn't answer. A day went by and she didn't even call to see if I was okay.  I began to  hurt again and wondered how it is possible for a mother to raise a child and then completely make them feel like nothing??? But I wasn't her biological daughter; however, in my mind she was my mother! I never got to choose my mother, so why should I be punished that she resents adopting me. I was an abused innocent little girl! I sent her  a text the day before my birthday...I wasn't going to live even one more day without a voice. In the text, I told her that I was hurt that she didn't call me and I told her how painful it felt that she had ignored me, but is letting a man who molested and raped an innocent little girl who lived in her home...live with them...and support him. I told them that he is no prodigal son! A prodigal son, comes back, repents (admits his sin and asks for forgiveness) and turns his life around. Chad, is not a prodigal son. He is a manipulator & everyone who helps him ALWAYS regrets the decision!!! I told her that she ever only cared about me if someone else she knew had said something nice about me, but behind closed doors, she was horrible. I longed for the mother everyone thought she was. When people would say...OH, your mom is so wonderful...I just thought of how ignorant they were, but blessed that they didn't know her like I knew her. I never said anything about my mom or dad because I never wanted them to hurt or to be humiliated, or ashamed - the way they had made me feel all of those years. I don't like hurting anyone, but I am tired of not having a voice! My sister called to say Happy B-day this morning and I asked her if things had become bad because pf my message. She said she didn't want to say anything to spare me the pain, but I asked her anyway. My mom told everyone that I had cursed at her and was rude...I called to ask her for help...in tears...and needing a mother...I am sure she would feel better if I had cursed at her...then she would have a real reason to be so cruel.  I was so hurt that I wanted to have a voice and tell everyone she had lied! I knew it wouldn't matter...that it was pointless, but I didn't care...I do have a voice and I refuse to be a victim anymore! 

I called and the phone rang, I felt a little relief in thinking no one would answer, but my dad did. I said I just wanted you to know that I never cursed at mom, I called because I needed someone to talk to...and he said to me word for word...on my birthday...


YOU SENT YOUR MOTHER HATE MAIL!!!

and hung up on me. I spoke up for once in my life and said only the truth and I was apparently sending hate mail. All I can say is that I refuse to be a victim and I will be heard...even if I have to tell the whole world what happened to me and have to deal with the shame...I will be heard!

I am going to start a blog called, This is my life...I hope it helps other girls who are going through or have been through extreme abuse and trauma and have people in their lives who are supposed to love them, protect them and care...completely blame them. I know that anyone can survive and that if I do not have to be defined by the sin of others, then neither does any other girl or boy..have to define themselves by the abuse that they are suffering through or have barely made it through...still breathing...and with your head held high!!!

I am sorry for this post. If you feel offended in any way, that was not my intention. It was also not my intention to bash my parents...I longed for their love and attention and I wanted to be just like them when I was younger. The purpose of this post is to show that I do have a voice! Everyone has a voice! No one should ever have to feel ashamed for any abuse they suffer! I will not be silent ever again!! 

For those of you who are loving the art, know that my art was my therapy. I loved to express myself without words because no one could tell my painting or my drawings to be quiet! I thank you for the encouragement and for following my blog. I needed this post on my 33rd birthday to show that I will not be defeated by the sin of others anymore & I will be back up and posting my freebies and happy thoughts from now on. If you would like to read my story, I will be posting a link to the new blog in the next few days. I will not be censored, I will not hold back, and I will finally not carry the shame that has dragged behind me for years. If you are sensitive, please do not read the new blog.  If you are someone who knows my parents, I do not want you to think less of them. They are wonderful in their work-place and they love what they do. I forgive them because THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO!


This birthday...I gave myself a gift...A VOICE.






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74 comments:

  1. ...and behind that voice? A woman who isn't defined by her past. A woman who has overcome such adversity and through her creativity has touched so many lives...and now, through her voice will touch lives more far reaching than she could ever imagine.

    Happy Birthday - and welcome to your new life!!!!

    Holly
    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

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    1. Thank you so much! I was so afraid to post this....what if someone blames me or tells me that I should be ashamed for mentioning my parents' and my brothers names, but I decided to anyway. I am very glad I did. I am reading through the comments and seeing how many other women had to live through that trauma...it breaks my heart! I am glad I could be a voice to some (-;

      Michelle

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  2. Good for you for giving yourself a voice. I think you are incredibly brave to put your story out there. Thank you so much for sharing and don't quit telling your story. There are so many people out there in pain and feel so alone. Not only will you find healing in sharing but hopefully others can find healing too. Happy Birthday! You deserve a fabulous one!

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  3. awww - GOOD FOR YOU!! I'm so sorry you went through all that, and hope for a healing future for you...happy birthday, my friend!!!

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  4. You are incredibly brave for sharing your story! Happy birthday and here's to a year full of hope and healing :O)

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  5. God Bless and watch over you. I am sorry that you had to live through that trauma and torture (hug). Keep talking because there are young girls out there who need help like you <3

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  6. Girl! Keep standing up for yourself and don't ever LOSE your voice! I am proud of you for doing that, but so sad that you had to go through that. What an awful system we have and so many people like you are suffering still today because of situations like this...

    I hope you have a wonderful day! If you need a mom who cares and will love you unconditionally... you can borrow mine any day! Keep your head held high and don't ever stop believing in yourself!!!

    Happy, Happy birthday!!! This is going to be a great year for you!

    Tara
    harpleysuperstars.blogspot.com

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  7. Michelle, I think it is so amazing and brave of you to have your story heard. I went through a very difficult childhood as well. One in which I was molested by my own father since I was 5 years old and my mother continued to stand up for him. There's alot more where that came from, but I just want you to know that I hear your voice and I share your pain. I am still struggling to find my voice and Im almost 30. Happy Birthday! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing. Telling even one person is the first step towards freeing yourself, but the pain and hurt will always exist. I get through it one day at a time and some days are much harder than other days. My hands were sharing the entire time I typed this blog...even to the point where I was hitting several keys at one time.

      It was hard for me because I had been abused in every situation where I lived and each time no one cared. I can't imagine what you must have been through!!! Your family knew !! Many times, people do not give young children the credit they deserve...children are very bright. I remember the abuse and I always looked at the ceiling, the springs of the bed frame from under the bad and imagined my drawings or what I could draw. I didn't want to accept what was happening to me and I didn't want to look either.

      I hope that you find your voice! You will in time and when you do, you will know when you're ready because every fiber in your being will keep you from hiding it any longer. You are a survivor of tragedy, but you do not have to be defined by that shame. Your mother and your father should carry that shame - not you. When I see little girls, I picture myself and I think of how sick my brother was/is for being able to abuse me at such a innocent age. I pray that there is not one day that goes by that he is not tormented by his actions and that is what has helped me to forgive him. I don't talk to him - I don't have to, but I will not carry his sin! That would be giving him way too much credit...he will not take my whole life.

      thank you for sharing
      Michelle

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  8. Congratulations on telling your story & happy birthday. I'm sure that if there was "tell your dark secret on your blog" day, you would find that many of us are living with something we've overcome or are struggling with - it is nothing to apologize for!

    - Lisa
    a teachers bag of tricks

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    1. Thank you!! Your comment made me laugh. Maybe there should be a "tell your dark secret on your blog day" hehehe.

      There are many girls and boys who suffer and I hope that this post can bring something positive to them. I am just one small story out of thousands!

      Michelle

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  9. Wow, I am so touched that you would share something so personal. It is nothing to apologize for and you have become a stronger individual because of it. I hope you have a truly happy birthday and am sending you many hugs :)

    Lisa :)
    Made In The Shade In Second Grade

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  10. You are brave and strong, keep talking - keep using your voice, let go of the past, and hold your head up! You are an amazing person who deserves so much better!! I hope you have the most amazing birthday every, and it's the start of a new life for you!

    Amy

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  11. I love how your were so brave to share you story!
    You are not defined by your past

    God Bless you I am so happy that you shared this post. It has really helped me although I have not been though extreme circumstances like you but I have always censored my voice. I have felt too ashamed that people don't want to hear what I say

    Thanks for sharing your story and I will be definitely following the new blog
    Ms. patterson

    Pocket Full of Kinders

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    1. Thank you. I grew up in a home where "appearances" were everything. SO letting that go was very difficult. Even my husband asked me when I was finished writing...
      "Are you sure you want to post that?"

      And my response to him was,
      "Are you saying that I should be ashamed of what happened to me?"

      I think he understood at that point.

      Thank you,
      Michelle

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  12. Happy Birthday Michelle! Sometimes people or parents do things that can't be forgiven or should not be. Sometimes people are just mean and we have to reconize that is there nature and we must stay away from them, so we can move on with our own life. I don't think you need there aproval even though we seek it sometimes (parents) aren't able or won't give it. Take care and yes you do have a voice and your sharing it today! Thanks, Gwyn

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  13. Happy Birthday Michelle! I know some of your pain. I, too, was molested and raped by my brother when I was 8. I was afraid to tell anyone my story. About 12 years ago, I finally told my sisters. They believed me and asked why I didn't say anything before. I told them that I was sure no one would believe me. I had mentioned something about it to my mother (about 15 years ago), she would not believe that her son would do anything like that. I have mad a good life for myself. And my husband knows of the pain I went through. Thanks for sharing your story. It lets others know they are not alone!

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    1. Thank you for sharing. I cried when I read your comment because I hate of having to think of any child having to suffer in this way. When we are children we have no power. I felt helpless, but now, even with my shaky hands writing this post, I feel as though I have empowered myself. Years of "putting on a happy face" really wears you down on the inside and sometimes I felt completely alone...even when there were many people around me.

      I am glad that you are working through your pain - I know how difficult that can be.

      Thank you
      Michelle

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  14. Happy birthday! You are very courageous sharing something so personal but you do deserve to have a voice. I know that other girls will be helped by you sharing your story.

    Swimming into Second

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  15. Because of your voice, others will now have one, too. You are brave and wise and good and worthy of love and being heard.

    Hugs...

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    1. I sure hope so. Thank you for the hug...

      Michelle

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  16. I am weeping for you as I read this! I am so sorry for what you have gone through but so proud of you and happy for you that you will not be defined any longer by your past. It is your past...your future awaits! Know that you are in my prayers! Hugs to you and Happy Birthday!

    4th Grade Frolics

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  17. Sometimes the hardest thing to do in life is to cut those people from our lives that bring us nothing but heartache, but once we do we wonder why it took us so long to do so. The best lesson I have learned in my lifetime is that we do not have to be a product of our parents, or our past. We can be whoever we choose to be. We define our future not the events or people of our past. I too was molested as a young girl. I had Parents that drank and their solution was to "never speak of it again" (after I finally told).
    But today after years of shame and embarrassment (for something I had no control over) I have the most amazing life which includes a wonderful husband, kids that I couldn't be more proud of, a job I cherish and love, and supportive, fun friends. The thing that helped me reach this point? Writing.
    Write for you. Write for therapy. Write to forgive and forget. Just write and your life will become the story you want it to be.
    Best of luck and hugs from this Arizona girl, miles away.
    Have a happy Birthday...to hell with the rest!
    Tammy

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    1. Thank you so much. I believe this post and the text I sent my mom, which was very nice...considering how I really feel...because they are now trying to tell my sister that is was her fault. Sometimes I really don't understand how my mom could be so generous and giving to other children, but so cruel to me. I use to want answers, an apology...something that could at least show me that they understand that what I went through was not my fault...but now, I just want to be heard.

      Thank you for listening! It really means a lot that everyone is so supportive...I have been so scared to tell people for so long. I am really glad to hear that you have made such a wonderful life!! I too live in Arizona.

      Michelle

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  18. Your story brought me to tears. I had an incident with abuse when I was younger too and my mother had me and the person who abused me sit at a table and "talk." She asked if he was touching me and I think you know what he said. No of course he wasn't. Luckily it stopped right away, and even though it was minor I suppose you could say (although abuse of any sort is really not minor) it still gets me thinking about it to this day. (it was about 15 years ago)
    I hope God blesses you and gives you time to heal. Happy Birthday and many more happy ones to come.

    Sarah
    funintitlemath.blogspot.com

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    1. I am glad that you did not have to endure more than you did.. Even ONE time is ONE time too many. One time can change how we see ourselves, how we relate to others, and how we cope. Abusing a child is never minor!

      Thank you very much!
      Michelle

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  19. Wow, sooooo sorry of the heartache and pain you have endured for years!!! Happy birthday and God bless you!!!

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  20. Michelle,
    Giving yourself a voice for your present was a wonderful idea. Know that you have surpassed these challenges to become a strong, giving person. I cry for the childhood you had, and hope that by sharing your story, you inspire other girls to give themselves a voice and stand up for themselves until they are heard. I hope that you have an amazing birthday and get all the hugs and love you deserve!

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    1. Thank you very much. I cried through every typed letter, but as soon as I clicked...publish..I felt relief. Every abused child is screaming on the inside for help. I know I was. I hope this encourages even one person to share their story and release themselves from having to carry their pain alone.

      Michelle

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  21. Michelle, I don't think any words could express to you how sorry I am that these things have happened to you. I don't know you, and just barely started following your blog (Which I LOVE), but all I want to do right now is give you a hug! No one should go through anything like that, and I'm sure you are striving to give your kids all the love you never received or felt. Thank you for not giving up. You are a great example of standing up for yourself and striving to help others. I don't know how much this means, coming from a complete stranger, but I truly hope that you have a very Happy Birthday. Thank you for sharing your voice with us. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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    1. Your comments alone, feel like hugs! Sometimes complete strangers can feel more like family then your family...

      Thank you very much!
      Michelle

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  22. Michelle,
    I cannot even express the pain I am feeling for you.
    I am so incredibly sorry you had to endure such a horrible childhood. I am crying reading your post and just in awe that you have had the courage to share so many personal details of your past. You are incredible. Truly.
    I hope that by sharing with us you start to heal and begin to realize that we cannot choose our families. We are not our parents and the past does not define us. You have survived the worst and still you persevered! Look at you! You are smart, successful and we all adore you! I told you just the other day, you deserve nothing but the best! Now is the time for you to just set healthy limits in your life and find the best.
    Your parents just may never get it. Your husband may never get it. BUT YOU GET IT. So focus on your children and things that make you smile. And let this burden go.
    33 is going to be the first year of the rest of your life.
    Happy birthday:)
    Love ya.
    Jaana

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    1. Thank you so much Jaana! Every word you wrote was so touching and completely right on. We cannot choose our families, we are not our parents, and the past does not define us as long as we don't allow it. Thank you so much again!!


      Michelle

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  23. I'm glad you have a voice. I am glad you didn't give up. You are an example for everyone and your new blog will be amazing. Your voice may give someone else a voice and so forth, casting a ripple.

    I hope you have a wonderful birthday. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are amazing!


    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

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    1. Thank you. Your comment really means so much to me. I was terrified to post this. I really do hope that this brings something positive....

      Thanks again!
      Michelle

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  24. I'm sure that writing this and having your voice heard was a very difficult decision. But, it is one that I'm so very proud of you for doing. I know (especially from reading the comments above) that others needed to hear how you have persevered and become a strong and amazing woman. Keep your head up. Remember who you are and how far you have come. Your voice is powerful. Embrace it.

    Elizabeth

    Fun in Room 4B

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  25. I'm so sorry that you're still going through so much pain. My prayers and thoughts are with you Michelle.

    Libby

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  26. You are AMAZING. Thank you for sharing your story and I am VERY proud of you for finding your voice. I deal with students who go through these things and sometimes the only way to help is to let them have a voice. I will definitely be reading your new blog and I hope you never feel that you shouldn't say what you need to. The one lesson I would like to tell these girls is that God never gives you more than you can handle. It may not be fair or make sense, but it is a lesson we all have to learn in some way. I'm sending you a great big hug. You go girl! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Emily @ Second Grade Silliness 

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  27. Michelle,

    Happy, happy birthday.

    I'm sorry. Sorry for that little girl. Sorry for the pain that keeps resurfacing. Sorry for the heartache that continues to seep through. Sorry that some people are too selfish to see passed themselves and into the needs of a child.

    I hope you find some solace in the fact that you DO have a voice and can use it whenever the hell you wish. I hope you embrace that the crap you were SO STRONG to endure has helped mold you into an even STRONGER adult. Sometimes the only positive we can find in the misery of our past is that it helped you become YOU. What doesn't kill us, truly does make us stronger. I hope your new outlet will allow you to completely slough off any negative feelings about yourself that your childhood experiences may have placed upon you. I hope your own children will only know that they are special and loved completely, without limits, by a very strong, caring woman.

    I hope you can find laughter in each day and that this dysfunctional familial situation takes a back seat to YOUR life.
    {{{hugs}}}
    ❤Traci❤
    Dragonflies in First

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  28. I am so glad you have chosen to have a voice. I think you should keep this up (unless it is too painful for you) because I think you are a great role model for too many girls who have also gone through the same horrific nightmare. Your strength may give them hope and a voice, as well. I applaud your courage and admire your strength. I wish I could hug you. Every birthday you have from now on will be a positive day - a celebration of your voice & that you will not let ANYONE silence you. Thank you for your story, Michelle. You truly are a beautiful woman. -Tracee

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Making my story known and being able to name the person who did this helps me to let go of the secrets and the pain. I suffered by myself for a very long time, why should my abuser get to live without any accountability. I say his name because I am not afraid to say his name and he will never hold my life captive again. Sorry for the heat of the reply...I received a disappointing comment this morning and the comment has really made me think about how some people can really distort the reality and purpose of telling my story. I don't retaliate. If I did, my brother would have been in jail a long time ago. I am giving my story a name and a voice so that I can let go of having to carry the weight of the pain that took my childhood.

      Thank you for the encouragement!!! It means so much to me to have complete strangers send encouragement, support & hugs - and to be able to read how others are being encouraged to tell their stories and let go of the pain that has tormented their lives as well. Hearing from others lets me know that I am not alone in my suffering and telling my story can have a positive impact on many other women or men going through similar circumstances.

      Michelle

      Delete
  29. You are amazing! Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Do what is right for your family...even if it means cutting those evil people off completely. Real moms, adoptive or biological, protect their kids. You deserve protection , lots of love and hugs... I admire your courage.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! My parents didn't know what I was going through, but their reaction when they found out is was completely made it worse. TO be hurt by someone for years is one thing, but to have people resent you and lie about your suffering is the worse kind of pain imaginable. As a teen, it made me feel like I deserved what had happened to me...I would never abandon my children like that...or any other child for that matter. I take abuse very seriously and the circumstances in my life have given me the gift of reading peoples' emotions. I know who is a danger & I can spot those who are hurting. I hope my discernment will someday help a child who is suffering...Children are so innocent. My parents did not want to have to accept what happened to me and fed off my brother's lies to help them cope with the seriousness of what he did. I know what happened and I don't need to prove that to my family who won't even let me speak. Trying to make someone quiet is like telling them they are not human.

      Thank you for your support,
      Michelle

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  30. I read your blog with a heavy heart, you did not deserve what happened to you. We don't know each other but I want you to know I am rooting for you and praying that your heart will be lightened and that you will never again be silent. You have so much courage, real moms and families don't act like yours have, unconditional love is what you deserve and deserved you are a of great worth don't ever let anyone tell you different.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Though I am sorry for what has happened to you -- your backlash by posting this blog was unfortunate.
    To blog is to take responsibility -- to take responsibility is to know where and where and to who you post/share information.
    Though many people in your comments are congratulating you, I am not. I will no longer follow the blog of someone who was hurt, deliberately hurts others in retaliation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand how you feel. And although you may think that this is retaliation of some sort...you are very wrong. My family has never acknowledged what has happened to me and I know that there are many other girls and women who may be going through similar situations. I understand how much this pain can weigh heavily on an individuals' heart and eat at their soul. I hope that my post encourages other girls and women to face what happened to them, not be afraid to tell their story, and let go of the pain and the secrets. This had nothing to do with my family, but EVERYTHING to do with me. That is why it is called, my voice. There are always people who think that I should be ashamed, but why should I be ashamed for what someone else did to me? My family continues to lie and slander me & I am...for the first time in 33 years, making my voice and my story known. I am sorry if my sorry offends you. It is unfortunate that you are unable to empathize with suffering. You are very lucky to have never had to suffer in your life.

      Michelle

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  32. Michelle,
    You are a beautiful person inside and out. I believe your story and in you!! Going through all of that as a child and then becoming a teacher in my opinion is no coincidence.

    God Bless!!!
    Valorie

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Valorie!! I almost did not recognize you from your pic....sooo cute!! Your hair looks amazing!

      Thanks for the support

      Michelle

      The 3AM Teacher

      Delete
  33. Michelle, what you are doing takes a lot of courage, especially with having to face so much adversity coming from your immediate family. Regardless of what anonymous said up there, it is extremely important that the covering is ripped away from people who allow wrongdoing to continue to happen, simply because it is family. It is not ok to sit by and let them continue to live an imaginary fairytale, simply because they think they can do so. I have never had to deal with a situation like this, and I can't imagine how hard this was for you. I do understand that you had nowhere else to let it out, and that is important also. They do not seem to feel uncomfortable with treating you the way they do, it is sad that they are uncomfortable with the truth. You are amazing, and you are totally worth everything good and great, regardless of what they feel, believe, or tell everyone else.

    Angela
    The Daily Alphabet

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  34. You are a brave woman. Thank you for sharing your story with everyone. I hope you can use the new blog and your art as a way to find healing for your self.

    Angelia
    Extra Special Teaching

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  35. I am so sorry for what you have endured. I have completely fallen apart reading your post! You did not deserve the horrible circumstances you have had to live with. God bless you for pulling yourself together, as impossible as it is, and becoming the person you have become. May He continue to show you ways you can help others who have had to struggle like you, like your new blog. I think it's a brilliant idea. Sometimes (and it's not lightly I say this) it's best to create distance with your family, if they're not going to support you and help you move forward with your life. Again, I am so sorry for your pain.

    And God bless you on your birthday. There is a reason you are here; you can shine light and help others with their dark struggles, too.
    Buzzing with Ms. B

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  36. WOW!! Your story is truly amazing! I love your painting for the cover of your book and I hope that you continue on your journey to get it published. Heck, it could even make a great Lifetime movie. I absolutely love your graphics and will begin to use them in my documents! Thanks for all you do. Keep strong!

    Michelle


    Our Sweet Success

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  37. Continue to tell your story. You are a strong woman.

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  38. Keep Speaking Out. You are a true testament to bravery!

    faithfulinfirst.blogspot.com

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  39. Michelle, you are an amazing young woman. I can't even begin to imagine the pain you've experienced. And yet here you are, a very strong, loving person. I'm sending you lots of birthday hugs.

    Barbara
    Grade ONEderful

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  40. From one adoptee to another... my heart hurts for the little girl you were who was victimized, my heart is proud of you for the strong woman you are, who is NOT a victim, and stands strong! For all that you have been through, you are an amazingly strong person! What a birthday gift you have given to yourself; strength, empowerment, and voice!

    BTW, if you're not familiar with the adoption.com message boards, you might want to visit. There's a special bond and amazing support system that happens there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the link. I briefly went through it, but I will def. be spending some time there.

      Thank you so much for the comfort!! This has truly brought so much more peace than I could not have even imagined!

      Thank you again!
      Michelle

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  41. Michelle, I am sending so much love your way! I am also sending love to that little girl that you were. Keep speaking up - rejoice that you DO have voice. Love, love, and more love,
    Camille
    An Open Door

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the love!! I have been getting so much encouragement and support from the most unlikeliest of places (well, maybe not unlikely - just unexpected)

      Thank you sooo much!
      Michelle

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  42. Michelle,

    I read this post a couple days ago and was extremely heartbroken for you that I was unable to comment at that time. I cried so hard though we don't know each other because I just could not imagine the amount of pain & suffering you have endured. It's just not fair. It's not fair that these people are so blind sighted that they can't see past their son's lies. It's not fair that you had to fight this fight alone. It's not fair that you were robbed of a childhood. It's not fair that the system failed you. And whoever this anonymous person is- that's just another person to dust off your shoulders.

    What's important now is that you are able to seek counseling and assistance in order to move past this. It's important that you do not let this define you. Don't ever let this define you. You have been through it and you will CONQUER it. It's not your fault. None of this was ever your fault. I can't imagine the burden you've carried all these years. I admire your courage and I am so proud of how far you've come. Your a wife, mother, and an educator. Only good things can come your way now- this is your time. You are amazing!!! I love your ideas, and your CLIP ART...oh my word girl- you got it going on!!! I will keep you in my prayers and always know that your "blogging buddies" are here if you ever need a shoulder to lean on. Keep your head up, you've fought a good fight- its time to SHINE NOW :)

    Edana

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    Replies
    1. Thank you sooo much for your comment. It was so meaningful to read! I still have days where I struggle, but I am definitely beginning to heal. I really had to separate myself from my parents. Although it was very hard to accept that they will only bring more pain, I have come to terms and I am just focusing on my husband and kids right now. I am also extremely busy with my art, which has helped give me something that I love and can share with other people.

      Thank you again!!
      Michelle

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  43. You're doing great things by sharing your story and, essentially, giving others who may be trapped in a similar situation permission to share their story as well. Prayers for continued healing for you.

    Oh My Little Classity Class

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It took me 33 years to name my abuser and to tell my story publicly (in a huge way). I appreciate the support & am always comforted by the comments - it helps me to know that there are so many other women out there who are still carrying around that bondage...

      Thank you
      Michelle

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  44. I'm very proud of your courage to take back your voice, and to refuse to be defined by your past. Your story brought me to tears, and made me hopeful that someone else who was struggling similarly would be given the courage to find their voice as you have courageously found yours.
    BTW - I'm of the opinion that you *can* choose your family! Surround yourself with the people who love you, respect you, and care for you. They will fill your bucket when the others would just knock your bucket over. Prayers for you.

    Jen
    Hello Mrs Sykes

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    Replies
    1. Thank you sooo much! I am finding it very true that we can choose our family. Growing up, I was always closer to friends and teachers than my own family. I was even closer to one of my friends' mom named, Ellie - who was such an aspiring and loving single mother.

      Thank you for your thoughtful words!
      Michelle

      The 3AM Teacher

      Delete
  45. I just found this blog entry when I was poking around your site--as you know, I love your drawings and I now think you are more amazing for telling your story, you are so brave! I would definitely follow your new blog!
    Barb
    kinderzoo

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  46. I am a year late reading this post and I am so proud of you! I am sure your story has helped someone. I believe stories help others... I am happy you were able to have your voice and share with everyone.

    I did not endure anything close to what you endured growing up...but still felt closer to others than my own parents. I, too, seek their approval and have struggled to move beyond it...

    Thank you for sharing your incredible story. You are a success story. An independent, brilliant, beautiful (in and out) human!
    "Autumn"

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  47. I had to go back and read about your post from last year.....ok, so maybe I am stalking you!
    I am so sad that you had to endure this. But maybe that pain helped you to become who you are today.... You channeled your anger in your art. You are an amazing artist. So in the end, I'd say you are the winner! All the while I was reading this, I was thinking of a friend who's adopted daughter, a teenager, is struggling through many issues..... And it makes me wonder if someone is abusing her... Hhmmmm?


    Thank you for opening up your soul to tell your story. I hope you have had a much better year this year.
    Patty

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  48. I just read your blog and am praying for you. No child should ever have to face what you have faced. I'm glad you've found your voice, I pray that you have relationships that sustain you now. I pray that you also know the power of a relationship with God. Wishing you power through your struggles and an eventual peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are such a blessing!! It is so comforting to know that people are praying & I need all the prayer I can get!! I am walking in faith, but I am still human. Thank you so very much for your encouragement and love!!

      Delete
  49. Almost 2 years later and I find this post.....My eyes are welling up with tears as I write. I hope this message find you at peace with all the things you have gone through. I don't know you but I must say, you are a STRONG woman. What a blessing you are to be using the rocks thrown toward you as stepping stones to advocate for yourself and others who have experienced what you have. I paused in prayer for you as wrote this comment. May you continue to heal, grow and bless others.

    Emerald (iteachlilsweeties.blogspot.com)

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  50. I truly admire your courage. I'm so sorry that you have had to demonstrate your courage because of this terrible situation.

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  51. Have loved your work for a while, but just stumbled on this part of your blog. I know you wrote that years ago, but don't EVER apologize for telling YOUR story. You should never feel guilty or apologetic for telling YOUR story, how it happened to YOU. Others may get offended or be disappointed or what have you, but that is on THEM because they never had to walk in your shoes. May you continue to speak truth and move on (the best you can, albeit just shy of impossible) from this.

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