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I Have Not Always Lived In Bliss. How I Got Here

Updated: Aug 17, 2019

In my last post, I introduced myself and made the confession that I truly do have a joyful and blissful life. But It has not always been this way. On the contrary, when I was a teenager I was an absolute nightmare with my family.

On the outside looking in, I looked like I was living the all American life but on the inside looking out, I was angry, resentful and living in pain. I had been abused by a family member related by marriage and I felt like I could not tell anyone in my family, so instead, I took it out on everyone in my family, especially my sister. I won't go into detail for her sake but it took us a long time to work through it and become friends.

After a traumatic childhood, I would go on to deal with issues of domestic violence and stalking in my first marriage. Before my first marriage, I was walking across the university campus and walked right past the counseling center. I took myself in and began to deal with my childhood issues. It took a long time and a lot of therapy hours. If I did not start my foundation for therapy then, I would have never survived that marriage.

Divorce was not in my plan when I said "I do" but I learned a lot about myself. I learned how to stand up for myself, value myself, and protect myself. I also knew I was worth much more than I was being told I was worth. If it was not for the courage of my parents and grandparents I would not know how to face my fears, stand up against abuse, or be the person I am today. In fact, I would not be here today if I did not find the courage to leave with the help of my family.

Not everyone has the support system I had back then and that support system is much larger today. I understand that I have been blessed with a lot of people to love me. I also had to grow my support system and you can too.

If you are being abused please seek help NOW! Tomorrow may be too late.

I returned home to live with my mother after I separated from my (ex)husband and I at once started counseling again. Looking at all the trauma in my life was not easy but now I can say I am proud of myself.

I used to be a frightened little girl that bullied someone else to ease my own anger. It didn't work. I became an abuser myself. That was hard to look in the mirror and admit all the hurt in my childhood had created someone else's abuser.

It was difficult to go through abuse in a new marriage and to walk away and start over. But I DID!

Now I have a full life with an amazing husband, grown kids, growing Godchildren (Thanks Sis for sharing them), a wonderful mother that is my hero, a dad whom I have developed a close relationship with, a sister and her family that make me feel so special, and a list of friends that I can trust with my life. I also have an amazing career where I get to help people work through those same issues, so they can come out on the other side and love their life!

I want to help you! You do not have to be trapped in the toxic relationships, the unhealthy environment, the abusive marriage, the self-hating cycle, or the

____(fill in the blank)___ that you are dealing with in your life. You DESERVE more, you ARE more, and you CAN have more!

Like I said in the last post, it will not be easy, but it's worth every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears you might shed to get there! I know because I DID IT, SO CAN YOU!

Have a blessed and balanced day!

~ Melissa

Melissa Smith is an LMFT in the state of Kentucky. To find out more about her click here.

Live. Life. Balanced.Today is a blog written by licensed marriage and family therapist.

For more information about counseling go to

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