I blog on Quora, it’s a question and answer site full of life experiences and useful information. Above is the link to the question and my answer along with others answers. So A2A stands for “asked to answer”.
I had a few A2A’s one about being a top writer and how they handle notifications, I was like “I’m not a top writer and most likely never will be” my answers are by far the least popular and I’m cool with that. I have no fluff or pizazz to dazzle you with. I’m the pesky little truth that you sit beside but would rather ignore. Very doubtful I’ll make you laugh perhaps make you think. I may make you laugh on occasion. When you do laugh you’ll bust a gut doing so. I’m one of those shooting stars that you gaze upon but for a moment in laughter.
There is no easy answer to this question, nor a specific event that completely shaped the person that I am, the person that is writing this answer. So I am going to briefly list events, then let you, the reader decide. Before you read any further keep in mind that almost every thing good has eventually dissolved or washed away in my life the key word being almost. The only really good whole, single most beautiful thing that has shaped who I am is my son, and daily I strive to not F#&@K it up for him at least not like it was for me.
I believe we can all agree and relate to our birth being a huge event for everyone. Think about it. Contemplate that for a moment. Consider all the miscarriages and abortions that occur daily and give thanks to this event in your life. Remind yourself today that you and your very existence is a grand achievement and shapes the basis of your humble beginnings from a new born babe to the very person you are, the person reading this.
1.My birth is first. Funny thing is, when my Mom would scream at me or hit me I would always say “I didn’t ask to be born” yet here I am.
Think now if you will about the family you were born into. This also will greatly affect you, will shape you and the outcomes and struggles we all eventually face.
2. So my family is in this slot. They were poor, mentally ill, not well educated and abused as children. So basically not a great template to say the least. So go ahead now think of what you were born into, well go on. It has shaped you into what you are. It’s an event to say the least.
3. My cousin sexually abusing me is my number three. Perhaps one day he will read this or my book and feel the shame and the space that was left in me from his actions thank you Nicholas John Distefano. You were considerably older than me, and you damn well knew better. I kept it a secret all my life it took 37 years after the events to acknowledge how you and your actions shaped me in regard to sex and love. I loved you, you used my love of you to do what you did. I then thought that in order to recieve love that sex in some way was tied to the emotion of love. It is not. Sex is an expression of love shared between two consenting adults.
4. Marrying at age 14. Need I say more? I realize marrying young was a common practice in certain cultures and in certain times frames. I’m sure we can all agree that you should wait, wait as long as you need. I suggest wait till you are at least 30.
5. My first true love Dirk. I have this thing with guys and their names starting with the letter D. Go figure. I cherish the time we had. I’m saddened that I hurt you, and that you are no longer around for me to tell you this. You live in my heart, and you shaped me in ways you’ll never know. RIP Dirk.
6. Being at a place at the wrong time. 1989 Boutte Louisiana. I wasn’t dealing the drugs, but I hung with the drug dealers, I received my drugs free in doing so.There was a huge shoot out between cops and a moving car. A friend was shot dead in front of me. I was Charged and prosecuted for distribution of MDMA. Served 1 year behind bars at age 19. This event came to shape my life and my belief of God and spirituality I have today. I found something in that cell. Something that whispered in my ear when I saved up my pills to take my life. Something beyond me stopped me. It’s what I call God. Thank God for being there in the cell with me. For helping me find the beauty in most all things including but not limited to suffering.
7. Marrying my second husband. His name starts with a D. We were 21 years old. He has also helped me raise my son. He is who my son calls Dad. Basically we grew up together, then grew apart. Through the 22 years we have been in and out each other’s life, We have torn each other down, built each other up, then down again. It is what it is. This time around we finally have peace.. With an civil split. I say civil because we have always gone to war when separating. This time I believe we understand that we do not work together any longer. Remaining friends is the best we can try for at this point in time. He may read this and not like what or how I stated this. I don’t care. I’m coming clean in life, no shame or regret to bare. I’m doing so to be better for me and for my son.
8. Meeting my sons biological father and falling madly in love. That lasted a few years. His name also starts with a D. Two things worked against us ~Time due to a 10 year age difference~ Racism. Trust me not the traditional racism either, perhaps some would call it reverse racism.
9. My Dad’s death. He died on my birthday. My birthday is New Years Day. What a way to bring in the New Year right and your birthday right? I never examined, nor came to understand love not like that, not when it’s gone from your life after having it for 33 years. He loved me unconditionally. I realize now where he learned this. He learned this from his life, which was full of conditions and requirements. Suppose when you live it, you learn it philosophy wins again. He lived with the rejection and labels. He took that and channeled it positively and as best he could into me. Now I’m doing so with my son.
10. My sons birth. Need I say more? Anyone who has a child and is reading this knows how much this event will shape your life ahead. All your plans, hopes, dreams now center around the beauty and innocence of your child or children. From the day you hold them onward you vow to try and make it different for them if you had a crappy life. If you had a good life then you have a great start and example to continue, believe that ties into number 2. Yes I do believe it does.
11. My son in intensive care for a week. He was 18 months old, and his pancreas failed to produce insulin. He was diagnosed a type 1 diabetic. Till this day you really never know how free you truly are until you live with an illness such as type 1 diabetes. All events, food, your entire life is dictated around insulin. Juvenile diabetes is the most overlooked childhood illness with no cure yet. I often would pray that by the time he was 10 we would have a cure. He is 10 and we are still waiting.
12. My Moms death. I was never particularly close to her when I was younger. She was severely abusive both verbally and physically. That part would shape anyone. Abuse is a bad horrible thing to endure. It also breeds more abuse. Why? Because you know nothing beyond it. It crowds and overshadows the beauty of life. We made our peace in my older years, we still often had disagreements and on this particular time she sent me a card on the day she died. I had hung up on her or maybe she hung up on me… It’s hard to say but she died two weeks later. This event still makes my heart hurt. Imagine someone close to you dying, and on that day they mailed a card to you stating their concern for your life, and that they loved you and hoped all is well and was sorry. Then imagine going to your mail box to receive this card three days after their death. Pretty profound huh? Yeah it shaped me in many ways. Try to let go of anger quickly if you can. Truly you don’t have no guarantee of anything. Each minute is given to you by a force greater than yourself. Like it or not, random as it may be, it is what it is. Try to make peace if you can. It goes along way.
13. My illness. Bipolar. It’s the most destructive and sometimes beautiful thing to behold. It answers many questions about your life and how you lived up until the point if you have been diagnosed with a mental illness. If you follow me, read my answers you are most likely very familiar with my illness and my transgressions that stem from bipolar disorder. I’ve spent a month in jail in 2010, then I spent 4 months again in 2012. Details of these events are posted both on my blog site as well as well as on my blog here. Want to know more? Buy my book, or you could private message me and l will do my best to answer or expound upon details surrounding each event.
So if you believe one single event has shaped or changed you significantly, stop and remember all the other events before that one event, or the ones after that one. You are in your process right now as you read this answer. You are being shaped in this moment regardless of what you feel or think. Significance can be found in many many things, including but not limited to one event.
But the greatest thing that I’ve come across that has affected me and shaped my life beyond my son is peace. I found it, or maybe it found me. It’s an elusive tricky fella because even when you find it, you must care for it, acknowledge it, even guard it, yes that’s right guard it. Why? Because others will try to steal yours. Either way it’s necessary to live a full life. And I’ve lived a very full life. Wouldn’t you agree? But the beautiful part is I’m only half way there.
So my simple answer is my experience with peace. Peace has shaped me, healed me when I allow it to overshadow the hellish, crazy, exciting, tumultuous, euphoric thing that is my life. Peace.
Besides you can make this stuff up, it writes you. It’s called life.