I was born into a crazy situation where black is white, up is down, the truth is a lie and a lie is the truth. It was a life of contradiction and sharp contrasts. What I saw I was told didn’t happen, and I was told what to believe even though it was the opposite of what I knew to be true. I got to than point of doubting what I said, what I thought, and what was truth. I have now to sort through everything I knew growing up, what I accepted as fact and I have to rethink my entire life: did this really happen, how about that? It got so bad that I felt like I lied every time I spoke. If I saw a blue sky and said “the sky is blue,” I felt I might have lied about it. There was a lot of abuse all around me. I was terrified much of the time, never knowing what was going to happen, but knowing it would not be good. I was told how bad I was and by 4th grade if someone was nice to me I was convinced my parents paid them or they felt sorry for me because I was unworthy. I was crying out for attention, and got very mixed messages about acceptance and love. I was abused in many forms, so love and acceptance got confused with sex, pain, and pleasing others. This carried into my married life, I thought sex was love. My mother backed it up, always reminding me to offer myself to my husband, deny him nothing, always look my best, and obey him at all cost. I tried so hard to be a good wife, in the terms I understood. There were so many issues with that marriage. I married the first man I had sex with, who I offered myself to voluntarily. I needed to get away from the abusive home life I had, and he seemed to promise to take care of me and love me. Well, his home life was also not great and he soon was cheating on me. I tried to talk to my parents, I figured home was better than this, I was told “you made your bed, now you lie in it.” My mother did not want further shame on the family of divorce. I struggled, but stayed, and I admit I wound up also having a short affair with a man who told me I was a good person. I felt so guilty that I was afraid to complain further about my husband’s infidelity, he had dozens of women in the 30 years we were married. Yet I carried the blame for my actions. I also believed his explanations that I was boring and no fun. I believed his emotionally draining messages directed at me, soon I felt worthless and just carried on day to day accepting that I was the bad person I had been told I was since birth by family and spouse. At 50 I had begun to doubt God’s existence and was at a very very low point. I knew something was very wrong and I could not go on hating myself, nor could I go on with this marriage. I got on my knees and cried out to God for change, I offered myself to God if He would please give me peace. Within a week my then husband of over 30 years came to me and said: “I am in love with (someone else) but I know you will be alright with that.” Yup, we had gotten to the point where he felt he could confess and nothing would change, that had become the norm. I, instead, said “What? That drunken slut?” and then he made the statement that sealed it. “Don’t you talk bad about her, don’t you ever talk about her like that.” Then he spat in my face. God knew I would need that to get the courage to finally leave. It took courage and a lot of leaning on God; but I was able to gracefully divorce. I have since been working on healing with my parents and siblings, my mother denies everything, but my father did apologize to me. My sisters and brothers and I talk, it has been so many years I am not sure if there will ever be a closeness, they are also struggling as a result of our childhood experiences. It took until I was in my 50s to start realizing I am a wonderful special person in God. I had lived a lie long enough, the lie that I am unworthy, and the lie that I am less. God loves me unconditionally as I am. I still struggle a lot with the old messages, but I hope through this to uncover the truth, turn my world upside up, and through God find that peace, complete peace that I deserve.