January 11, 2017

Didn't deserve to dream

I have received some amazing stories in the past few months. This one seemed fitting for a new year and all of us who are striving to be better for ourselves and God. This woman is a rock and I am so grateful for her vulnerability and rawness as she opens her heart about abuse and neglect and the impact her lost dreams have had in her life. Hold your dear ones a little tighter tonight, and don't forget the dreams that will make the most impact. Life isn't about how much stuff we can collect, or awards we receive. It is about family and taking the time to love.

Didn't deserve to dream 
by Debbie Fox

I always thought someday I would get what I deserved—I dreamed of a family that loved me, and a life surrounded with love. But that isn’t always how life goes, and each new obstacle I had to face made me question if I even deserved to dream.

I was born to two alcoholics—6 generations of known pedophiles, who struggled with addictions and domestic violence. So right from the start I was destined to fail. Under doctor’s orders my mom had to leave California to give birth to me in Montana—without my dad—so my grandmother could help her instead.

But not long after I was born, my mom decided to go back. When she arrived, she found the—carefully set up—nursery full of beer cans. He also had gotten a DUI while she was gone, but she didn’t decide to leave him for good until I was 6 months old. My father has been in and out of my life since—I last heard from him in 2006, so I have no idea if he is dead or alive. 

My mom was an alcoholic and had dissociative disorder so when I was younger I would be having a normal conversation with her and then she would start talking like she was a three year old, a seven year old, or an eleven year old. I grew up never knowing what to expect. Every night she drank, even though she was told she was killing so many brain cells—the addiction was just too strong. As a result I was often neglected and when I was 10, she often left me alone at home. 

At one point, my mom’s best friend and her boy friend moved into our apartment. The boy friend molested me every night for a year until he moved out. Unfortunately, I had no one to protect me. My mom was crazy, my dad was out of the picture (I can count on one hand the times I have seen him and on both hands the amount of times I have talked to him on the phone).

I tried to hold it all together, but it took me quite awhile to forgive my dad. I was angry that my protector wasn't there to stop these heinous actions. I was angry that I wasn't enough to be loved or for him to stay. He would even tell me at a young age it was all my fault—if I had never been born none of this would have happen. I felt depressed and anxious and as a result even as an adult I deal with depression, anxiety and PTSD.

When my mom finally went to treatment for her alcoholism they discovered that she was bipolar. It wasn't managed well as this was the late 80's/early 90's. She had major psychosis once and went after me with a huge butcher knife convinced I was an intruder and not her own daughter. She also hallucinated and thought munchkins were stealing our car. None of this was out of the ordinary in our household. I lived in constant fear that she would harm me unintentionally. I slept with my door locked and did my best to be away from home. 

On June 27, 1999 my grandma found my mom dead. I had a friend rush me home from work and the police asked me to identify her body. They didn't tell me she wasn't covered with a sheet. So, as a young 23 year old, I saw my mom's dead body face up with her mouth open. It traumatized me and gave me panic attacks for a very long time. I had to mourn losing the mother I had, but even more I had to let go of the dream and lose hope that I would ever have the mom I deserved.

So I dated the wrong kind of man whose approval I so desperately sought—I think a lot of that was because of my dad. My boyfriend too came from a line of abuse. One night he strangled and almost killed me . . . but I say he killed my spirit far before he almost killed me physically. 

During all of these years I have faced a lot of health issues that have been literally debilitating. I think that I am the type that holds things in rather than lets it out, but there is something beautiful that happens when you find your voice. 

Through all of these intense trials I have turned to my Savior, and He has heard me. I know He has felt everything I ever have felt. I have no family members anymore— except an uncle I adore in Minnesota and his amazing family—but my Savior knows what that feels like too. He knows what it is like to hurt physically. He knows what it is like to feel abandoned and He is aware of all of our challenges and lost dreams.

In the end, I have learned so much from my earthly parents—though they aren’t the ones I thought I deserved—and from their abuse. I have learned what it means to cleave to the Lord when you have no one else who is there for you. Sometimes I hang on to Him like I would a lifesaver thrown to me in raging rapids.

I have learned the power of forgiveness. I have learned that shame and guilt are corrosive. If guilt moves us to make things right it serves a purpose, but if we've done all we can to make things right and we still feel guilty . . . it is not over. I have taken my experiences and used them for good.

Through what can only be described as a miracle, I was able to go to the UN in New York City and talk to ambassadors about the importance of families because I know what it's like not to have a strong one. I was able to be more persuasive because I know that families really are the frame work and the thread that holds our society together.

I have learned that I could choose to believe people are fundamentally evil—because of all of the sexual, verbal, emotional and physical abuse in my childhood—or I could choose to believe they were the exception and most people are good and loving. I choose the latter. I choose to pray for charity to love my imperfect family, and I do.

At times I have had to deal with the pain of people leaving my life and this poem came at a perfect time and for a perfect reminder for me. The Lord truly knows what He is doing. I love how it says these people aren't tied to your destiny. I know when I trust the Lord—despite the challenges— that is when miracles happen. Sometimes it means letting go of abusive, toxic and/or emotionally unhealthy people in your life, and realizing that those traumatic experiences are not your destiny.

"Let It Go" by TD Jakes

There are people who can walk away from you. And hear me when I tell you this! When people can walk away from you: let them walk.

I don't want you to try to talk another person into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you. I mean hang up the phone. When people can walk away from you let them walk. Your destiny is never tied to anybody that left.

The Bible said that, they came out from us that it might be made manifest that they were not for us. For had they been of us, no doubt they would have continued with us. [1 John 2:19]

People leave you because they are not joined to you. And if they are not joined to you, you can't make them stay.

Let them go.

And it doesn't mean that they are a bad person it just means that their part in the story is over. And you've got to know when people's part in your story is over so that you don't keep trying to raise the dead.

You've got to know when it's dead.

You've got to know when it's over. Let me tell you something. I've got the gift of good-bye. It's the tenth spiritual gift, I believe in good-bye. It's not that I'm hateful, it's that I'm faithful, and I know whatever God means for me to have He'll give it to me. And if it takes too much sweat I don't need it. Stop begging people to stay.

Let them go!!

If you are holding on to something that doesn't belong to you and was never intended for your life, then you need to . .


If you are holding on to past hurts and pains...


If someone can't treat you right, love you back, and see your worth...


If someone has angered you...


If you are holding on to some thoughts of evil and revenge...


If you are involved in a wrong relationship or addiction...


If you are holding on to a job that no longer meets your needs or talents...


If you have a bad attitude...


If you keep judging others to make yourself feel better...


If you're stuck in the past and God is trying to take you to a new level in Him...


If you are struggling with the healing of a broken relationship...


If you keep trying to help someone who won't even try to help themselves...


If you're feeling depressed and stressed...


If there is a particular situation that you are so used to handling yourself and God is saying "take your hands off of it," then you need to...


Let the past be the past. Forget the former things. GOD is doing a new thing for this year!!!


Get Right or Get Left. think about it, and then...


Your destiny is what you make it, but as long as you include God, you will never be alone. Hold on to that truth. Grace is the gift that helps us thrive and the strength that will help us stand.

To read more about Debbie and her journey visit her blog at:


Related articles: Our Choice to Shine


Dani said...

What an amazing woman! She's a fighter and so strong!

Unknown said...

Thank you Dani! That means a lot.

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