I grew up in a dysfunctional & abusive home, often witnessing parents physically and emotionally hurting each other. My dad self-medicated with alcohol, and my mother slipped in and out of depression, and violence. When I got married young, my hope was to cut ties with my parents and start a new life.
I witnessed my ex-husband suffer from PTSD from the military, and try to take his own life several times, to later succeeding after our divorce. This was a turning point. Mental health became the most important thing in my life. I quit jobs that were stressful and settled into a profession that came easy and gave me independence and freedom to heal.
After my divorce, I lived alone for the first time and would find it very difficult to be comfortable alone. More than an hour alone typically left me crying and revisiting the past. I knew I needed to develop the tools to heal and to better regulate my nervous system. I found a local meditation community through a book I was reading and started practicing a formal Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice.
Today, I am grateful for the awareness that mindfulness practices have thought me. They allowed me to heal, to notice tendencies, and to be in the loving relationship I always wanted.