An Open Letter To Those Who Have Shaped Me

An Open Letter To Those Who Have Shaped Me

Thank you for all of your help and support, or to some of you, for hurting me.

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Let's face it, I wouldn't be alive right now if it weren't for those who have shaped me into the woman I am today. I'm not just talking to my family and friends; I am addressing those who were once toxic in my life, as well.

To the boy who told me I was too ugly to be his girlfriend in the 6th grade, thank you. It gave me time to focus on other things instead of boys who have yet to hit puberty.

To all of my old volleyball teammates from 4th-8th grade, thank you. Some of us are still close; some of us haven't talked since the end of 8th grade. Each and every one of you helped me through middle school and prepared me for high school. I am immensely proud of all of you. You are great mothers. You are great spouses. You landed a fantastic job. You are working so hard in school to achieve your dream degree. You are shining, and I have enjoyed watching you grow over the past decade.

To my best friend, thank you. You are my biggest blessing. We have known each other for well over a decade though, so you're considered family. You have helped me through some rough times and I will never be able to thank you enough. I cannot wait until you're my maid of honor and the godmother of my children.

To the boy who broke me, thank you. Our relationship was my very first relationship. It ended very badly, which made me realize that I need to stand up for myself more. It helped me open my eyes because I was such a pushover. I don't deal with anyones shit anymore, and it's thanks to you.

To the girls in high school who destroyed every bit of self-love I had for myself, thank you. You made me never want to go to school. I love education and learning; however, I hated walking to classes or making new friends, because you made the rumors about me come to life. There wasn't a day in my life from ages 14-18 where I didn't want to kill myself, in fact, I tried too many times. I graduated from high school and promised myself that I would never let myself be treated like that again. I would never let myself "believe" that I'm worthless, because I know I'm not.

To my boyfriend, thank you. You are the biggest pain in the ass that I have ever had, but you saved me. You helped me grow and held my hand through all of the relapses and bad days. Even though you don't clean the house to save your life, I love you. But please start cleaning or I'm going to find another boyfriend.

To my parents, thank you. Thank you for never leaving my side, watching me make decisions that you knew were awful, holding me when I needed it, helping me with money (what's personal finance?), and being the best role models I could ever imagine having. You made me learn.

There were times where I hated you, I even told you that I needed to move away from you when I was 15 years old. Now, I'm old enough to realize that I didn't appreciate you as I should've. You both are my best friends now, and I am eternally grateful for that.

To my brother, thank you. You have helped me through so many traumatic incidents. I have watched you cry because of how bad I was hurting. But the crying didn't make you stop. You never left my side once. Sure we've had our fair share of fights, but I would've been mental, physically, and emotionally destroyed by now if it wasn't for you.

Thank you for letting me FaceTime you about a handful of things, especially about the dark places that I feel like I'm getting close to. You have grown into a great, handsome man, and I cannot wait to see where you go. I love you more than anyone. An ideal career: recreate Webkinz to where adults can play.

To the guy who came into my work and told me he was going to kill me, thank you. I am now way more aware of my surroundings and you've taught me a lot about the legal system.

To my dogs, thank you. All three of you. Well, maybe four of you. I chased a lost dog for 11 miles once and he made me realize what my purpose here on Earth was. So, yes; all four of you.

You have never spoken a word to me, but actions speak louder than words. Each and every one of you has had an impact on my heart and I can only thank you in treats and kisses.

To everyone in my family, thank you for your endless support. I am very thankful to have a family that hypes me up, especially when you post a picture of me on Facebook.

Thank you for shaping me into the woman I am today.

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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22 Times Mom And Dad Were Right, Even If I Hate To Admit Being Wrong

You have always been there for me, no matter what, and I appreciate it with my whole heart.

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I have been blessed with two amazing parents. Since the day I was born, they were always there to support me in the big ways and the small ways — from always cheering me on at my volleyball games to sending me care packages at school to calling me for encouragement before an interview to sending me daily "good morning, have a good day" messages.

The lessons that they have taught me in my 22 years on this beautiful earth have not gone unnoticed, even though I may not have always listened to them.

1. When they told me that I will never disappoint them, as long as I am trying my best.

2. When they told me that I deserve to be treated with respect.

3. When they told me that I would survive heartbreak.

4. When they told me that some friends are not life-long friends. 

5. When they told me to bring a jacket whenever I go out.

6. When they told me that growing up is not all fun and games and to enjoy the present moment.

7. When they told me that some people in life are just, well, mean and bitter. 

8. When they told me that it is okay to take time for myself and to put myself first sometimes.

9. When they told me that people need to earn my trust. 

10. When they told me that God has a plan, even though it may not be the same as my plan.

11. When they told me to treat others the way I want to be treated, even if they treated me poorly.

12. When they told me to always send a thank you note, email, text message, or phone call.

13. When they told me that honesty is the best policy and that karma will bite me in the butt.

14. When they told me to be humble, but to be proud of my successes. 

15. When they told me to love my body and my brain just the way they are.

16. When they told me to find my passion and to follow it with all of my heart.

17. When they told me to think before I speak so that I do not say anything that I will regret.

18. When they told me I would survive, even when I thought something was the end of the world.

19. When they told me to learn from my failures instead of ignoring them. 

20. When they told me to stand by my beliefs, even if that meant standing alone.

21. When they told me that small gestures go a long way. 

22. When they told me that they will always love me, even when I am being stubborn or mean or disrespectful or annoying. 

Thank you, Mommy and Daddy. I love you so much.

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