Guest Post by Shea Clarke
I’m taking a little detour this week…I just felt that I needed to touch base with you all for a second or two. I have received so much incredible feedback both here at WWIH and privately. So much feedback, in fact, that it has taken me a bit by surprise. I was not expecting the outpouring of love and emotion that I have received—especially from the first entry “Vacant Eyes”. That story was especially hard for me to write, but now that I have done so it has been cathartic and for the first time I feel at peace about it all.
I think what has struck me most about the feedback, though, is how many have said they feel as if they are reading a mirror of their own lives. For that, I am truly sorry. No one should have had to feel that kind of pain. I wish I could reach through this monitor and give you each a hug. Our childhoods should have been different. Maybe someday we can all meet up for an awesome weekend at Disney World and have a carefree anti-grownup weekend and celebrate the lost children inside us who were never allowed to be. That would rock out loud.
Now, the reason for the detour: When I ended my entry last week, I was on abusive husband number one, had just given birth to my daughter, and I was only seventeen years old. This is only the tip of the iceberg of my emotional, abusive life. There is so much more yet to tell. I am about to get into some deep and heavy issues–clearly examples of what happens when you exclude God from your life.
I was a very lost and confused little girl trying to live a grownup life with no one looking out for me but myself. I didn’t believe God really loved me because I thought I was bad. I had been told over and over I was bad. I was unlovable. I was ugly. I was worthless. I was stupid. And on and on. I thought no one cared, and because of all that had happened at the time I was convinced that God didn’t care, either.
Now, as an adult, I know he did and he was there….I know he was watching over me and protecting me because so many far worse things could have happened to me. I am very lucky to be alive today. I know that my children and I are here because of God.
I just felt I needed to take a moment and shed a little bit of light into the darkness that I have posted over the past three weeks. I will continue the rest of the story next week if you would like. I just don’t want to bombard everyone with too much darkness, because there is a lot of darkness still to come. As you see from my author bio, my life is like a bad Lifetime movie. If I hadn’t lived it, I would have thought someone had scripted it. But it’s my life, and I am who I am because of it.
Do I wish it had been different? Well, yes of course. I would have loved to have parents who loved and took care of me, a Mother with whom I could have a relationship even now. Do I regret things I have done in my past? I don’t ever say I have regrets. I would change some of the choices I made and make better ones, but I have no regrets because everything I have done has led to my being the person I am today. And if I say I have regrets, that would mean my children are mistakes—and my children are in no way mistakes; they are the greatest joys and treasures of my life and the best choices I ever made.
So, friends, until next time I will leave you with this: Do you ever feel a need to take a detour in the telling of your story?
Shea Clarke was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and after a 10-year detour in Boston now lives in Aiken, South Carolina. Having left behind a life that had played out like a bad Lifetime movie filled with addiction, abuse, and depression, Shea has now been happily married for the past six years to her very own Prince George. She jokes that he was worth the wait after sorting through a great number of toads. Shea is Mom to Kayla (26) and Marygrace (16)–her princesses here on earth–as well as Olivia (b/d 6-23-07) and Alessia (born still 11-13-08)–her Angel Babies in Heaven. She is also Grandma to perfect little Lorelei, who doesn’t allow Autism to get in her way. A dedicated canine rescuer, Shea highly esteems all of God’s creatures and loves bringing hope to the hurting.
Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)