Erica’s Story

Growing up it’s easy to believe that everyone loves like family. You expect everyone to be warm and welcoming. Until you get to middle school… And then they start calling you names because you have tight curly hair, and you wear glasses.

It’s the girls who laugh at you and the guys who mock you for liking someone. It’s the guy you like who gives you that pity smile, which ends up making you feel like you will always be pitied and unloved. It’s Mom and dad who loved you the best they could growing up, but then life got in the way and it dwindled. Less “I love you’s” come from their lips and more “Why can’t you do more, be better, be the top of your class” take their place.

And then your self worth becomes something that’s measured by a letter on a piece of paper, and you try your very hardest but academics have never been your thing.

Then you look for your self worth in others and those oh so dreaded dating days begin. One day you are everything he wants and the next day you are fighting to be good enough for him to keep his eyes on just you. For two years you fight the constant battle of trying to keep the relationship afloat, despite being cheated on time and time again.

Or at least that’s been my story.

No amount of cutting or suicidal thoughts ever gave me peace; I’ve just realized that I have to love myself for someone else to be able to love me.

Yes, I still have days where I simply just do not wanna exist, but I remember it’s just a bad day – not a bad life. Every storm runs out of rain, and there is a rainbow at the end of the storm.

I’m so worth loving, not matter what happened to me in the past.

Stuck

That was my word for seven years. I was stuck in resentment, stuck in my past, stuck in not being able to live in the present moments. I lost joy. I sought after things that destroyed me. I grew up in a home of loving parents, two moms actually. My brother & I were adopted at a young age from Ukraine and that affected me big time. I wondered what did I do that made me so unworthy that I was put up for adoption? Was I even meant to be on this planet?

I started cutting in middle school & it carried on for the years to follow. I don’t quite know why I kept doing it but I did. I starved myself. I made myself feel unworthy. I did it to myself.

My high school years were spent living a double life. I was a church intern but went home & cut myself to feel pain. I was miserable and my parents had no idea.

Then, a few people came into my life senior year & reminded me of how worthy i was. They assured that i was adopted for a reason. That I was loved in spite of my choices.

I was reminded that my parents chose to have a life that included kids. They wanted to experience the joy, messiness, & love that having kids comes with.

Through it all, cutting, starving, depression, I was surrounded by people who loved me. They were constantly encouraging. They call me out when I slip and cheer me on to be the best I can be. They got me unstuck.

Today, I choose to live. To live for those who thought this world is better off without them. To live for those who think their battle isn’t worth fighting anymore. To live for those who cut to feel something instead of pain. I choose to live for the one’s out there who feel unworthy. Because there is freedom out there; you don’t have to be enslaved to your past, present, or future. I chose to live to tell my story of how even the most broken, scarred, and reckless people are worthy of love. Your life is worth it.

Written and loved on by Katie Stevens