Sondra Barrett

I have been thinking about sharing my story for some time now with all of you. I had pages of scrawled out notes, with various bits of information all over the place. It was messy and unorganized and felt incomplete. Many times I would read someone else’s story and think “Whoa, this is so moving and powerful!” and I really want to help, but I couldn’t get the words to make sense. I realized in part that I’m still making sense of what I was trying to share. I’m still a work in progress and I don’t have all the answers. But if sharing what I can helps even one person, then I need to do it and it needs to be now. So here it goes: 

I have spent more years of my life (31 years and 9 months) “in a relationship (roughly 18 years of time)” than I have not in one. It even blows my mind that this is true. With that kind of time, you would think I could be a relationship guru, or an expert in love. Really what I have come away with is a long list of what NOT to do, who I should or shouldn’t attempt to be with and most importantly a newer, clearer and more refined version of myself. 

In April of last year, I reached out for help from a mental health professional. I didn’t know what I needed exactly or was hoping for specifically. I had some guesses. Maybe more self confidence? Some abandonment issues I felt I should deal with? I knew I needed something to change and I figured that this was how I could start. I am thankfully I took that first step every single day. 
A big part of my unhappiness was that I didn’t really know who I was, what I wanted, or what made me happy. My understanding of relationships was skewed and off kilter from reality. Even with all the time I had spent dating, none of it had been truly healthy. I was co-dependent, insecure, perfection seeking, and always breaking my own heart.

The other part of how I felt was related to the relationship stuff that I didn’t see for what it was. I endured emotional, mental, verbal and some physical abuse, manipulation & power struggles, controlling & jealous behaviors, having partners who were in need of help with their own strong mental issues but refused to address them, stress on relationships with my family, stress on my finances, cheating & lying, and harsh negativity all cast onto me and my self image, all in the name of “Love”. I used to think that if I gave 100% of myself and made all the sacrifices that it would be enough to fix any broken relationship I found myself in. But none of those things were Love!!! My choosing to suffer through them all didn’t bring me the joy & happiness that I so desired. They just brought pain and took away years of my life. 

Today, and every day I now work on being a whole person, without needing someone else to fill in the blanks. The clarity I possess surprises me, and the goodness & self love I feel are incomparable. I know that there is someone special out there for me who isn’t meant to “complete” me but to compliment me. They are meant to join forces and become a team with me. Someone who will let me live & breathe and have peace with me not needing them desperately, but wanting them lovingly in my life. I’m thrilled to know I am capable of offering that in return. 
The impactful changes I had that all stemmed from taking that first step were so great; removing negativity from my life, losing drama and bull shit, shedding weight off my mind and even my body, gaining confidence to be my real self, working towards discovering her fully, fighting the fear of being on my own in so many ways, finding out what I truly want, giving me drive to chase my desires, and forever understanding how to Love me first. It hasn’t all been easy and it’s still not at times. I can attest that it was all worth it though.

That first step for you may be something different Brave Babes, you are each on your own journey. But you only need one first step. I urge you to take it, baby size if that’s the best you can do. Before you know it you’ll be sprinting into the new life that you want and deserve, becoming the best and truest version of yourself and never looking back.

Kindra MurphyComment