Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Guest Post: My Life Unmasked

Today I am Guest Posting over on Amber's blog! Check me out HERE

I feel so blessed to have met Amber of My Life Unmasked!

She is a breath of fresh air!

It's really amazing how we all come from different walks of life.

It's hard to look at someone and see through to them at where they have been and what they have gone through in their life.

Today we get to learn more about her!

Her "story" is amazing and will touch the inner most parts of your soul.


Take it away Amber........


 I am Amber from My Life Unmasked
Can I just say what a blessing it is to be here today.
Kimberly has asked me to share with you my testimony- I am so excited!
For me, my testimony is my life story as I was raised as a Christian.
So without further ado here is my testimony!
I was born to Pamela and Clarence David Patterson in Richmond, Virginia. I was not their first child but rather there sixth. In total there are seven of us (4 boys and 3 girls). There was fighting and yelling due to alcohol and other drugs in my home. I know that my parents loved me and would do anything to provide for me but at times (when they were fighting) I would hide underneath the table, shaking from the loudness. I know that my father had shot off a gun in the house once to make my mom stop and several times my older brothers (who were teenagers at the time) would jump on my fathers back in fear that he would hit our mother. But my father never laid a hand on my mother. Because of the alcohol both my mother and father would push each others buttons... the both became loud and violent when alchol and other drugs were in there system. But I know that deep down they loved each other very much and they loved their children even more.
When I was two years old my father never came home. My mother thought maybe he had had enough of her pushing his buttons and just left her; but a month later we found out he had been murdered. Many people say my father was a drug dealer as well as a roofer, if this is true then he probably died when a drug deal went bad. I think he was probably just trying to provide for his family the best he could. (I so wish I remembered him). Everyone says that I was his favorite child (it there is such a thing).
My aunt and uncle came serveral times in the following months to visit. And when I was two and a half they adopted me. The adoption not only effect my mother but it also effect my oldest sister, Angela, who took care of me when our mother was busy taking care of the other childer. I am sure it was hard. I was the only one in my family to be adopted and since it was an open adoption I have a relationship with my birth family. I moved to Roanoke, Virginia and lived there for a couple of years.
When I was three and a half years old something happened between my aunt and uncle... they feel started to fight a lot and then they decided to get a divorce. They went to court to see who would get custody of me and my aunt won custody though I did have to travel and visit my uncle every month. If you have never been through a divorce may God bless you and make it so you will never have to.
The best thing about the divorce is that I got to travel. I was a pro at flying by myself. I got to live a double life or so it seemed as my aunt is catholic and moved to Maryland and my uncle is Baptist and lived in many places: Virginia, Flordia, Georgia, and now he lives in Fairview, Tennesse. My aunt lives close to the city. My uncle lives in the country on a farm. Life for me was very different depending on who I lived with. 
But I am getting ahead of myself.
When I was around five years old my aunt started dating a guy named Jim. He was very muscular, tall, and to be honest I was a little scared of him. My aunt and Jim dated for several years. But when my aunt and I went to visit my birth family one week it would change everything. I was seven years old when it happened, my aunt had let me spend two night at my birth family's house (which she NEVER does) so I was so excited to just spend some one on one time without her. When she came to pick me up I noticed that her friend was with her in the car, I got in the car and we pulled away from the trailer. But before we exited the neighborhood my aunts friend turned to me and said "Amber honey, Jim died in a motorcycle accident." I felt extremely hurt, not only by her words but by the fact that one my aunt couldn't tell me herself and that she had waited to tell me for several days. Jim had been hit at a red light by a drunk driver. Who got off because the police officers said that he wasn't over the limit.
We went to two funerals for Jim in the following weeks. Then a month after he passed away my aunt started dating Jim's cousin Johnny. I kind of felt like that was WAY to fast to grieve a guy you were about to marry. And several other family members had said that Johnny and my aunt were messing around while Jim and her were dating. This not only embarrassed me but it hurt me because I also thought that she was messing around.
When I was nine years old Johnny and my aunt got married. And at this point I also felt as though I had been exiled out of the family. As if my aunt no longer wanted me. She had everything she needed with Johnny. This feeling only grew stronger within me once Johnny and my aunt had children of their own. James came when I was eleven. Abby came a couple years later.
I started to become very depressed during this time because I felt so unwanted. Thank goodness for the middle school I changed to. It was a christian school and the teachers there made me feel wanted. That is where I grew in my relationship in God. (Going to Catholic church every sunday didn't do much for me... I just didn't grow... But this middle school I went to changed me). I made some friends and soon my depression disappeared. My favorite classes were Bible class, art, choir, and English.
When I continued at this school to the high school, my faith and my friendships continued to grow. But my faith was about to be rocked and tested my junior year of high school. My aunt and I went to visit my birth family but on the way there my aunt decided to FINALLY tell me that my mother had cancer and probably wouldn't be alive much longer. I was so hurt by the fact that yet again she had kept the truth from me for so long. That she had chosen to say it that harshly. And that she didn't seem fazed by it... she seemed glad that my mother was dying.
When we got to the trailer I knew something was terirbly wrong because my younger brother, Kyle (who is mentally retarded), answered the door. We walked in and found my other brother, DJ, asleep in one of the bunks. We woke him up and he told us that mom had been omitted into the hospital one o'clock that morning. My heart shattered. I immediately felt numb, scared, hurt, and alone.
We drove to the hospital and found the rest of my family there. But the person on the hospital bed wasn't my mother. . . no the woman on the bed was frail, fragile, a skelton of a woman. My mother was brave, beautiful, strong. This couldn't be her. This couldn't be happening to me. I was afraid of her... and that hurt me the most. But I gathered my courage and said that I loved her so much and through the oxygen mask she said "I love you too" and gave me one of her killer tight hugs.
I was said to have to leave her there in the hospital because I had to go back and take final exams- which I failed because I couldn't focus. I mean how could you when at any moment your mother could be dying. Thank goodness though I that wasn't the case. My aunt and I made it back to Virginia in time to: One, see DJ graduate high school (the first graduation I had ever been to) and Two, to be there when my mother passed.
The greatest part was that my aunt stepped out of the room when my mother passed away. It was just me, my sister Tiffany, my brother Timmy and his wife Molly. Tiffany and I had already planned out that we would be staying the night with my mother. God didn't let us have that burden on our back. My mother passed away at 9:46 PM on June the 9th, 2006. God knew that I couldn't of called everyone to tell them as I could barely walk out of the room when it happened. Me and Tiffany went outside of the hospital, told my aunt what had happened (well Tiffany did) and I wept. I can remember Tiffany continued to apologize for not being able to cry. I can remember clear as day sitting on the curb, looking up at the star filled sky and talking to God. Asking God, "Why did you take her away? Why not me? She had a whole family to take care of? I didn't have anything. Why God. I miss her..."
After my mother passed and we had her funeral. My aunt was quick to meet up with her side of the family to go to Virginia Beach for vacation. Which hurt me yet again because she was so worried about going to Virginia beach and not so worried about making sure that me and my family was okay. Thank goodness she allowed me to stay with my birth family and meet up with her in Virginia beach later that week. I felt like finally me and my family would meet each other and grow a true relationship without her always peeking over our shoulders. At the end of the week though when Tiffany and I met her in Virginia beach things again would take a turn for the worst in my life. One evenning, Tiffany, my aunt Mary Beth (not the aunt that adopted me), and myself were watching the sunset and somehow the question arose did our mother love us. Mary Beth was quick to turn to Tiffany and reassure her that Pam (Tiffany and I's mother) loved her. Something about her body language told me that I was not included in my mothers love. So I said "My mother loved me too." Never have I ever seen someone whip around so fast to look me square in the eye and say "No, your mother neglected you." Oh man was I hot, hot because it wasn't true. Hot because my mother loved me so much to give me up for adoption, love me enough to let me have a better life. Loved me enough to let me go. Not only was I so hurt by this. But I didn't know who to trust.... can I trust God.... can I trust my aunt and uncle... anyone that isn't my birth family...
I got home to Maryland and my aunt pretended like everything was okay. As though her half sister didn't just die from cancer, as if I didn't just find out another thing that she had kept from me. I spiraled uncontrolably into a deep depression. I started to cut myself to release some of the emotional pain that had built up inside me. I contemplated jumping in front of a train to end my life. I contemplated running away. I cut everywhere... I was so hurt... so numb... I cut in class right in front of the teachers... I cut in front of my friends... I cut in the darkness of my room...
My two best friends called me out. They told the principal what I was doing to myself and my principal told my aunt. Who freaked out and made me go to yet another shrink to discuss my many problems and put me yet again on medication.
After I graduated and went to Liberty University for a year I came home. Liberty had re-established my relationship with God. To the point where I literally felt God breaking every wall I had built around my wounded heart. God had opened my eyes to Job's story in the bible, and Jesus' story in John both men having suffered so much pain but in the end gained so much peace, joy and eternal gifts. Jesus made a way for me. Jesus is my Savior. When I came home from my first year of college I came home to a household that forgot me. I felt so alone. I stopped going to the catholic church my aunt attended and decided to go find my own church family. During that summer I also decided to not go back to Liberty University because I had no more college fund and already had a 3,000 dollar college loan to pay. (Later to find out that my aunt had spent my college fund to fund her college career.) I again fell into the temptation to cut... cutting is very much an addiction that I will have to deal with everyday of my life. I became distant and depressed. Numb.
During this summer I decided that I would do what my aunt had always wanted me to do... live on the edge. I started to talk to five guys on the computers, started to go and meet them without anyone knowing. I had been talking to this one guy and he really seemed like he wanted a real relationship with me. He lived fairly close to where I did so I drove to see him one night. Just wanting to meet him and see what he was all about. Well, he ended up stealing my virginity that night. So now I was numb, ashamed, and felt so ugly and broken because he had raped me. I didn't tell anyone for a long time and started to cut myself. I asked God how could he let these things happen to me... knowing in the back of my mind that this (the rape) was completely my fault since I was the idiot that decided to meet him at his house without anyone knowing.
In the spring,  I started to attend the local community college which I didn't take seriously simply because I felt the teachers didn't care one ounce about me and my success. So I started working full time, paying bills (one being a $300 rent bill to live in my aunts house), car payment and other such things. I soon started working full time until I started to be harassed by my assistant manager. I quit Hallmark and really had no motivation to seek employment. Which my aunt yelled and screamed about the $300 rent she demanded. I then started to work at a before and after care center but they didn't continue through the summer so yet again I being bagered to get a job as I need to pay $300 in rent for a small room in my aunts house.
When I didn't get any jobs for a couple months my aunt started to harass me. She treated me like a slave in her home... babysit my kids... clean up my these errands... I became increasingly depressed.
When I was twenty-two years my aunt started to show her true colors. What she really thought of me. How she blamed me for not allowing her to follow her dreams. Blaming me for the adoption. I became so numb during that time and clung to God. Knowing that He had never once left me alone during any one of my struggles in life. I decided that I was going to leave my aunts house, pack my bags and either live out of my car or at a shelter. That I couldn't take my aunts emotional, verbal and pyschological abuse anymore. God provided me with a friend, Brian (who is one of the guys I met online but who wasn't like any of the other guys), who I now live with. My aunt and I do talk but normally it is when I babysit Abby and James. She still underpays me, she still verbally and emotionally abuses me. But she will never again make me someone that I am not.
I had to tell you all of that to tell you this. God will never leave you. Believe me I have walked away so many times, rebeled like a child against her parent, and everytime God has been patiently waiting there with arms wide open to take me back.God is still unmasking things in my life... lies that I have believed for so long, hurt that needs mending (things like that). God has so blessed me with this amazing testimony to tell everyone. I lost a lot of father figures in my life but GOD is the only father that I see right now. He is the ONLY thing that I need. God  has given me so many blessings... God has made so much beauty out of my pain. God draws me closer to Him through my sufferings. What am amazing God we have. Without this life story I wouldn't be able to reach the number of hurting people I have. How blessed I am to have suffered so much loss but gained so much Joy! Praise the Lord!
Let me leave you with this poem by Russell Kelfer
 (May it bless you as much as it had blessed me):
You are who you are for a reason.
You're part of an intricate plan.
You're a precious and perfect unique design,
called God's special woman or man.
You look like you look for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb,
You're just what He wanted to make.
The parents you had were the ones He chose,
And no matter how you may feel,
They were custom-designed with God's plan in mind,
And they bear the Master's seal.
No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into His likeness you'd grow.
You are who you are for a reason.
You've been formed by the Master's rod.
You are who you are beloved,
Because there is a God!
If you want to know anything more about me feel free to leave a comment on my blog or email me. I would love to hear from you!


At February 22, 2012 at 1:02 PM , Blogger bonbon said...

Hi! I just foudn your blog today and have enjoyed looking around. I especially enjoyed the post on the wall collages... definitely inspired me to get going a little faster with decorating my apartment and getting our pictures up! Also, I love how spiritaul and uplifting yoru blog is. Keep it up!

new follower :)

At February 22, 2012 at 1:12 PM , Blogger Kimberly Bonham said...

Hey Bonnie,
How did you find my blog? Just curious? I am always interested to see how people are landing on my blog.
Thanks for stopping by and followig my blog. I am now following yours also :)

At February 22, 2012 at 1:54 PM , Blogger Bubble My Licorice said...

Looks like a really nice blog!
it's so nice doing guest posts :)

At February 23, 2012 at 12:06 AM , Blogger Ioana-Carmen said...

Nice blog! Check my blog and follow me if you want!


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