SWAP Week 2

This past week’s Self Worth Action Project stories makes me so proud, inspired, and mostly speechless, and here are a few:

  • Today both teachers of my sons, on their first day of school, commented on how they’d heard about each son and were excited to have them in their classes. They told us how their previous teachers loved them and how well behaved and how active in class activities they were and how they were really sad to see them go.
    I haven’t done much that has value in my life, but raising two boys with that kind of reputation is all I’ll ever need to build my self-worth. –Craugher Chris
  • I am getting sober (addicted to hydrocodone). I have been without pain killers for 2 weeks now.  –Craugher B.
  • Self worth? Those words to me a year ago would have made me roll my eyes and call the goody two shoes a dreamer- But today those words mean everything. My whole life I always relied on my family, friends, significant other, random snotty girls at school ect. to determine my worth but here’s my story of how that all changed: at 17 my mother and I fought worse than cats and dogs and she asked me to leave her home- so I did. I moved right into the arms of a man who would eventually be the reason I turned my life around. 17 and vulnerable- coming from a broken home and a mother whose every relationship had been strained by physical and verbal wars- I involved myself with a (almost) 27 year old man (here on known as Asshat). I had everything going for me- a family that loved me (no matter how much we didn’t get along), college acceptance letters, baby sisters (3 and  who needed me, a car, 2 stable jobs, good friends and the ability to support myself and start a wonderful new life. Do you know what was missing? Self Worth. Somehow through our conversations, Asshat had managed to convince me to move in with him “just until I got on my feet and could get my own place”…but hey guess what? Asshat didn’t have a job. I know I know- WTF was I thinking? You know what? I was thinking I couldn’t do it on my own. Slowly- very slowly he pulled me away from all communications with my family (he lived in the mountains and my cell had no service at “our” house and he forbade me from calling my mother on his cell phone after she and I got into a fight over him), convinced me to quit my jobs (because the commute and gas wasn’t worth the “shitty pay” I was receiving), and even managed to get me to drop out of college(yes- shame on me for letting it ever get that far- but it gets worse). My family was desperate to save me because they saw what was happening way before my barely adult self ever could- and that only made the fighting between him and I worse. I then received an invitation from my maternal grandparents we couldn’t refuse- They offered us both jobs at the family business, an apartment, cars, ect. So we packed up all of his shit (and yes, it was shit- the man was a fucking hoarder- no joke) and moved 4 states over to start a “new life”. Bullshit- there’s no such thing. The fighting only got worse- and so did his drinking and recreational habits (puff puff pass if you know what I mean) until these fights they escalated. Insults to me, my weight, my appearance, my family were thrown about on a daily basis- but I still took it because he “loved” me. Then they turned physical- and I still didn’t walk away. I couldn’t. I didn’t know how- and as he pointed out everyday- No one else would ever put up with my shit or care enough to deal with my baggage the way he did. Things never get better when you leave them alone- only worse and in January the fight we had I’ll never forget it. My aunt had been diagnosed with breast cancer- and I had a lump that the doctors were very concerned about. we fought and he threw me around some more- and that’s when it happened- he told me he hoped I would die a slow painful death from the cancer he hoped I had so that I would know what it felt like to have my life ruined like I ruined his. And this time instead of putting my head down- I felt it. I felt myself go “woah hang on there- I am better than this. I am BETTER than you”. So I called the police. And I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me- that’s not what this is. Self worth comes from Self Respect. If I dont respect me, how can anyone else? Since that day: I don’t let anyone disrespect me- big or small. My life has changed in so many ways. And you know what? I LOVE ME. I’m pre-med at a wonderful university with a teaching hospital, I have my OWN home, my own car, my OWN life- All because I learned to respect myself. To realize that I am better than people want me to believe. Mankind is a cruel race- survival of the fittest and all that- judgement no matter where you look, falsehoods on every tv, movie, magazine. But you know- it doesn’t matter. In fact it literally makes me laugh out loud when I see those girls now- because they have no respect for themselves and I feel sorry for them. Moral of this story you may ask? Respect is worth. Love is worth. Confidence is worth. But not from others- from yourself. No one can give you self worth but you. Self worth- It truly does come from within. –Craugher Alex P.
  •  Battled bulimia for many years. Ihaven’t gotten on a scale in almost 16 years. I refuse to allow a number dictate my self worth, my mood, or ruin my day. –Craugher Marylin
  • I finally told an ex how he has no power over me anymore and that I now see that I deserve so much more. and I am not allowing his guilt trips via email to hinder me. –Craugher Shana
  • I’m telling myself that rejection is ok. And that no matter what … It will all be ok. And I’m spending more time breathing in the moment than worrying about all of the “what if’s”. –Craugher Jaclyn
  • I quit smoking 8 days ago. Today I put back that chocolate bar. Can u say rough ? –Craugher Jean
  • Threw away my ciggie pack after 20 years of smoking. –Craugher Roshini

As for this Craughing girl… I’m trying. Today hasn’t been easy, my codependency has been flaring up like crazy… so I have stopped and taken the time to re-read all of YOUR stories, that right there gives me joy, hope and enough time to process. Thank you all.

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