Our featured blogger this week is a very special lady who has channeled her childhood and life challenges into a purposeful life of service and love. Kimmie, inspirational blogger/owner of Life Balanced: A Chosen Path, is a wonderful soul and a survivor of sexual and emotional abuse. She has dedicated her life and her blog to helping others who have gone through traumatic experiences find a place of comfort and light. We met on The BlogFarm site; an international blog community where many share and exchange ideas and post on a wide range of topics, and I was drawn to her writings. When I approached her to be featured, she generously agreed to share her story and insights. For that, I am truly grateful. Please welcome this week’s Featured “Get To Know” blogger, Kimmie of Life Balanced: A Chosen Path, blog leave her a comment here, then please visit her blog and support her… Enjoy the visit!
What challenges have you experienced and what lessons have you learned?
I have faced many challenges in my life so far, but I guess one of the most memorable ones would be as follows:
One of the bigger challenges was when my dad died with cancer. The relationship between him and I was tense. He was responsible for the sexual abuse I endured in my childhood. Because of that, I never had a normal father/daughter relationship. A few years before he died, when I was about 25, I confronted him for the first time, and he denied it. And not only did he deny it, but he put the blame on me. I yearned to hear the words “I’m sorry”, but it never happened. When he was on his deathbed, I was living in another state. I didn’t feel as though I could go back there to see him. Not because I hadn’t forgiven him, but that I couldn’t emotionally handle it.
With a little encouragement from my therapist, I wrote him a letter to let him know that I still loved him and forgave him but also to let him know of the pain he had caused in my adult life. At a moments notice, I decided to go back to see him before he died. When I got there and went in to see him, I almost fainted. To see him as nothing but mere bones was horrible, especially since he had always been a very big man; big as in tall and big boned.
My mom had told me that he had her read him the letter I wrote. She said he had tears in his eyes, and she could see the remorse he felt about it. I decided that hearing that was good enough for me to have closure. After he slipped into a coma, just minutes before dying, I held his hand and told him I loved him. He faintly squeezed my hand, as if to let me know how he loved me also. That would probably be the most challenging thing I’ve been through in my life so far.
What I learned from it would have to be that no matter what someone has done to you, forgiveness is the best thing you can do for yourself in order to heal. I learned that what he had done to me was what was done to him in his childhood. I broke the cycle. He never faced his painful past, he only continued to ignore it, and because of that he grew angrier inside and it came out in disastrous ways.
“Always do the things you fear the most. Courage is an acquired taste, like caviar.” Erica Jong
Where did you grow up and why do you blog?
I was born in Santa Barbara, California, but grew up in Hendersonville, Tennessee, a little town just outside of Nashville. I think it will always be considered home to me.
I didn’t know anything about blogging until about a year ago. I had heard others speak of it, and occasionally would haphazardly end up on a blog just from doing a simple search for a product. Once I learned what a blog actually is, my interest began to grow. At first, I thought it might be too time consuming. I also didn’t think of myself as a writer. I finally made the choice, less than a year ago, to see what was involved in creating a blog.
It didn’t take long before I became addicted to it. I knew exactly what I wanted to blog about. I wanted to share the knowledge, experience and insight I had gained from my clients, as well as from my own traumatic past. I’ve experienced a couple of times when I hit a plateau with my writing, my mind just went blank, as did my motivation to continue blogging. I’m glad I didn’t give up either of those times. There was a certain pull I felt within that kept me from giving up. I gain quite a bit of personal satisfaction from blogging. To me, there is a certain sense of calmness to it; a release of stress.
What is most important to you/about you?
The most important thing to me is to strive for a balanced life, and my blog is just one of those things that helps keep me on the right track. When I write my posts, I’m also letting the words sink in, and in return it is self therapy.
The most important thing about me, I guess, is that in my life today, I use the strength and courage I gained from my traumatic past to reach out to others with my sincerest empathy, encouragement, love, and inspiration.
Growing up in a very dysfunctional, abusive, and negative home has given me the compassion I have for others. I’ve gained incredible insight and am able to connect with others on a deep level because of it. I no longer look at those past experiences (sexual abuse, emotionally abusive ex-husband) as something to stop me from enjoying life. While I do wish they would have not happened in the first place, I now view them as something that gave me amazing inner strength and determination.
I have finally accepted that what happened in the past cannot be altered, and that to waste time dwelling on them will only stunt my emotional and spiritual growth. This took me many years to learn. It’s not easy to accept and let go of a painful past; to let go of the anger and hurt. A lot of people I’ve come across in my path that have gone through a similar painful past are still hanging on to what cannot be changed. It usually shows up in subtle ways, and often they ignore it hoping that it will just disappear.
Unfortunately, unless it’s dealt with it only grows bigger. Once you get to the acceptance stage, life becomes more balanced and enjoyable. Only then can you truly let go of all the anger, hurt, frustration and depression.