Monday, August 15, 2016

Priceless

I have been writing and publishing for just over two years. It wasn't until last summer that my writing "took off". By took off I mean I actually began to see sales or page reads on my Kindle Unlimited books. Now, I am not one of those authors who measures their success by the money they make.


No. I measure my success by how many people I can impact or connect with. Let me explain...


When I was a teenager I was in a relationship that was not healthy. The man I was with, if that is what you could call him at the time, was possessive and abusive, both physically and mentally... emotionally too, I will say. He knew just how to hurt me with a look, or a word. Sometimes the silence hurt the most. I did what I could to make him happy, to gain his acceptance, to have a day with him in which I didn't flinch or cower to the side of the truck. Where I could be with him and his friends and not be laughed at because he somehow "put me in my place".


No, it wasn't healthy. I wasn't healthy. I had suffered from an eating disorder when I was young, and it spiked its ugly head during this time. I was 16. I went to high school. I used to have friends, a lot of friends. I had a full-time job (35 hours/week) I worked after school or on the weekends. Well, when I was with 'C' I turned away from my family and friends. He was jealous, and to make him happy I cut people out of my life.


I cut my hair, because people loved it and showed me attention because of it. He hated that. So, I got rid of it.


I lost weight. I was an American size 6. I had too much of a rear end. So, I got rid of it.... thus entered my eating disorder. I lost enough weight to get down to a size 0/2.


I lost all part of myself. Who I was. My family and friends. I even dropped out of high school so I could eliminate one more thing that would put space or distance between me and 'C'.


I paid his bills. He was never able to hold down a job, so over half of my money went to him each week so he could eat while I was at work. So his truck payment was not late. So he could go out with his other girlfriends...


Oh yeah, that's right. Because I wouldn't "sleep" with him, he got it from somewhere else. Actually, he got it from many other people. One of which wrecked his car while he was fondling her... and stupidly (ignorant of his "infidelity" at the time) I paid for the repairs. Yeah... I loved him that much.


Then one day I woke up. Somehow, somewhere, my mom's words hit me. My sisters' love hit me. My brother's and my dad's words hit me, and I realized that I was better than that. I was worth more than what I was accepting.


I was me. I was a human being who was worthy of friendship, of happiness, of love.


And what I was getting, or accepting from 'C' was not friendship. It was not happiness. It was not love. It was humility. It was possession. It was control... I was under his control.


So I broke free. It hurt like hell. It hurt so much that I didn't think I was going to survive. He came around, he called, he wrote letters... and I just couldn't anymore. I made a clean break and dealt with the pain and hurt, the anger and denial without him.


I was 17 when I did that. I was 17 when I decided that no man was going to do that to me. No person was going to do that to me. No one was going to make me feel like I was not worth something. That I was not of value. That I wasn't good enough.


I was 17 when I decided that I didn't want others to feel that way either. I do not want anyone to feel that they have no one, that they are alone, that they are not good enough.


No one should ever feel that way. We are all meant to be here. Someone does love each one of us.


But, it all starts with us. We must first value ourselves. We must accept us. It is hard to do, for those who suffer from low self-esteem like I do. I fight it every day. But I also survive every day.


And so do you.


What does my story have to do with writing?


Well, my first story, Brielle, has a little... or a huge part of me in it. The main character, Brielle, is attacked (I was, once, as well. Not as violently though). I put all of my pain and experience into her character. I tried to make her coming to terms with her being good enough, of realizing she served a purpose, come across to the readers.


My other stories, mostly, are written to help inspire, to make you feel, to give you ideas of things you can do in your relationship to maybe add a little spice.


 But mostly, I write my ramblings to hopefully let you all know that you are worth something. You mean something to this world. And you are perfect just as you are. The only person you should EVER change for is yourself. First, make YOU happy. Because, one thing I have learned, when you are happy then others will see it and you may just put a smile on their face too.


Remember, you are priceless...

16 comments:

  1. How brave you are, Ash, and what a great role model for your kids. This explains a lot. Those who come make it through the storm are the first to offer shelter to others. This is you to a T. Hugs and gratitude. xox S

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    1. Thank you so much for your beautiful comment, and encouragement. Shelby. It really means a lot to me.

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  2. Beautiful Ash. Today seems the day for baring one's soul. The more I learn ��

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    1. Thank you, M! And yes, it was definitely one of those days for many of us. 💜

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  3. Well, glad you were able to get out of that relationship.

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    1. Thank you, JMD. I'm so glad too. It took a while, but I got out. 😃

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  4. Thank you for sharing this, Ashlee. You are a beautiful soul and we all have our crosses to carry and our stories. You keep being you--and the rest will follow. And your definition of success? Dead on. Keep shining.

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    1. Thank you so much, sweetheart. Yes, we do each have our own. It makes us who we are...it makes us real. You keep being the beautiful person you are too.

      And thank you. Success can mean so many different things, but for me it means that 1000%. 💜

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  5. It always amazes me how some of the brightest people can go through some of the darkest times and still retain their shine and spill their warm glow on to others <3

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    1. It is those dark times that make so many people stronger, and appreciate the good times. <3

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  6. I want to thank you for sharing this with me with us. Is ironic how trials and pain that we go through Come Thru in our art. Sometimes the most beautiful pieces come from the most tortured Souls, we bleed onto our canvases or into our writing. One can see you through your work.
    I see you.
    Thank you

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    1. Thank you for that. You are right, we do pour a lot of ourselves into what we produce. The pain, sorrow, joy, love - all of it. Thank you for taking the time to read this and comment. I appreciate that more than you know.

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  7. You're inspiring to me, in your kindness and desire to always help. Hugs lady and I'm glad to call you my friend!

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    1. Aww. Thank you, hun! So glad to call you a friend, too. <3

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