Sometimes when I tell stories about my life it surprises people. It almost sounds like made up stories. Can someone really have that many stories, that many trials? I tell them so calmly and detached, sometimes laughing like it is a joke. Truth is I try not to let it affect me. You have to let it roll like water off a ducks back. That doesn't mean it leaves you unchanged.

I like to think about what I am thankful for. The one thing I have always prayed for is that my children always know that I love them and for them to be happy. Their lives have not always been easy, but they have grown up without dealing with the depression I had growing up. Part of me thought it was normal and I was stunned when I realized it had passed them by. I'm not saying they were always happy or that they didn't struggle with making friends too. I am thankful that they have been healthy physically and mentally. I have reason to rejoice.

Still there are parts of me that struggle with the abuse and poverty that are no longer part of my life. I have a hard time trusting people, I get so uncomfortable around people that it makes me jumpy at work. I would love not to jump out of my skin every time I see a shadow or someone knocks at my office door. I have become somewhat of a caricature. Then there are my hoarding tendencies. I don't need to tell you where that comes from.

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