“Life hands you certain cards and you must do your very best not to change the deck, but change the way you play.”

My Story…

My story holds a lot of brokenness. Broken things, broken relationships, broken situations, and broken places, all that have led me to become a broken person.

My family broke during the exhausting divorce between my parents, which broke my hopes and efforts in my current and future relationships. My confidence and self worth was shattered after being stuck in a physically, sexually and emotionally abusive relationship for almost two years beginning at the age of fourteen. During my early teenage years my entire world felt broken. Everything in my world hurt me, that one day I too joined those things and those people and began hurting myself mentally and physically with them. Because if you can’t beat them, join them right? I let these cards, lets call them, take over my life. I stopped caring for myself. I didn’t eat or shower for days at a time. I spoke the most horrible, awful things about myself directly to myself, to my reflection in the mirror. The brokenness in my life paralyzed me. I stopped attending school when I couldn’t come up with a new excuse as the why I had another mark on my body or the days I had been up for over 40 hours prior contemplating which was the best way to end my life. I thought that was the only way to forget about the divorce and escape a person who threatened to spread the pain he caused on me to the ones I loved if I ever ended it. I sabotaged every positive thing I came across due to beliefs that I didn’t deserve any good in life.

In the next year I was sent away to a therapeutic school for my safety. I went to court and received a life long restraining order while he received punishment I thought acceptable but my brokenness turned into bitterness that turned into victimization. I went to college not for grades but on a swim scholarship and ended up using my past to get away with the upmost unacceptable things. I would show up to practices still drunk from the day before in hopes to forget my past and I would force my professors to pity me in order to get out of taking tests and still “earn” a passing grade. I had allowed two more years to go by with no improvement on bettering myself or learning how to love myself again until one day I was introduced to yoga.

It started slow and small, but each day of stretching and having to trust my body to bend in ways it never has before opened a place in my heart to let some light of my own shine within. The yoga became addicting and eventually spread to other parts of my life. I began eating again. I had the energy to pick up hobbies like writing poems/journaling and I starting becoming nicer to the reflection staring back at me in the mirror. I learned to live life by the quote, “be who you needed when you were younger.

In the past two years I have worked my ass off to better myself. I try to speak only positive words to myself, I read self-help books and articles, and I pray. I am currently holding a steady job, finishing up my psychology and marketing degree, and after four years of not being able to stay in a relationship for more than a few months due to fear, I am currently two months short of a year from dating a man who has become my best friend.

Message to my story…

Today I believe in the goodness of people. I believe that life hands you certain cards and you must do your very best not to change the deck, but change the way you play. I have learned that no matter how hard I work on myself I know that some days will always be darker than others. I still have mornings when I wake up wanting to feel sorry for myself or believing my world is ending when something goes wrong. I’ve learned to accept those slip-ups in my life though because today I believe that being broken is a blessing, because every flower must grow through dirt to bloom.

-Anastacia Rossinsky, Age 23

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