This post is brought to you by the makers of Pine-Sol® Products. I have partnered with them to spread the word about the ‘When Life Gets Tough, Women Rise Above It’ campaign and sweepstakes. To enter the sweepstakes, visit www.womenRiseAboveIt.com. All opinions and stories are my own.
By the time I was a fourth grader, I had already found myself asking, “Why doesn’t my father love me?” Here’s why: My father was supposed to return to Antigua temporarily to set up his medical practice, so the family that he left behind— his wife, his son, and me, his baby girl, could reunite with a bright future.
But he never came back. And when I would speak to him over the phone, he would act like speaking to his daughter was an inconvenience. So the calls came less, and I grew angry.
By the time I was allowed to have a boyfriend, I would automatically assume that the relationship would fail. I am not proud of it, but I remember telling my high school boyfriend, that his love was like a pillow to my face: it suffocated me, even though love was what I really wanted. By the time I was in college, I got worse. I picked up and moved to another continent without trying to work on my relationship. I moved to Ghana for a semester in college and found ways to be in touch with my friends, but not my boyfriend.
By the time I was twenty-four, I knew that I was educated, funny, creative, a great writer, and a sensitive soul. But what I also realized was that I wasn’t happy because I was in a lot of pain and decided to get some help to overcome this sadness.
For five to seven years, I went on a journey toward self-discovery to process my pain. I visited Antigua several times to reach out to my father. The outcomes of these efforts did not have the happy ending that we watch on the movies. But they were rewarding trips. I realized that my father could not give me the love that I needed because, he, too, was hurt.
Seeing my father and the life that he had created for himself as a big doctor and lonely aging man softened my heart. He was in his own prison and if I did not learn how to forgive, I would be adding the final touches to my own.
I decided to forgive my dad for never returning for his “Dumpy.” Just like how I was influenced by my family dynamics, I realized, too, that my dad was a product (and arguably, victim) of his own family dysfunction.
I also went to therapy to talk about how I was feeling. Up until that point, I learned to cut off people, dismiss them quickly, and keep it moving. My wonderful therapist was able to coach me through some of my hardest moments, leading me to some significant breakthroughs. And to her, I will always be grateful.
November 11th marked my first wedding anniversary to a man that loves me and, more importantly, that I love back, without hesitation. I think the Universe works to give you what you need, on the one hand. On the other, the Universe works to give you what you want when you are ready and when you are prepared. I met my husband shortly after my thirtieth birthday at a time in my life where I was healed and ready to love without fear and without that rancor I held inside. Our marriage is a testimony to the statement, “When Life Gets Tough, Women Rise Above It”.
To recognize and celebrate the remarkable women among us, Pine-Sol® is teaming up with actress and activist Rosie Perez to launch the ‘When Life Gets Tough, Women Rise Above It’ campaign. From November 1, 2013 through January 31, 2014, women across the country are encouraged to contribute their own stories of triumph to Pine-Sol’s moving collection of stories by visitingwww.womenRiseAboveIt.com.
If you have a story of perseverance, then this is your chance to share it with the world and to inspire other women who may also be going through challenges. Also, by entering your story, you will have a chance to win many great prizes, such as:
Sweepstakes Rules: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States & D.C. 18 years and older. Ends 1/31/14 at 11:59 a.m. PT. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, and prize descriptions, visitwww.womenriseaboveit.com. Void where prohibited.
Frugalistas– Please enter the sweepstakes and share your story of how you rose above it.