November 2002:  After I got ghosted by my boyfriend, who didn't know anything about my abuse because I never told him that, I was suicidal.  I had a total emotional and psychological breakdown and wanted to kill myself and wanted to disappear.  I didn't act on it, just like I never have acted on it before or since, but it really scared me this time because I realized that I needed to have help to get out of where I was and to start healing, which meant I needed to talk to someone about what happened.  I took the first, hardest step and contacted the counselor connect4ed with my church.  It was the first time I'd talked to anyone about being sexually abused.  It was absolutely one of the hardest things I've ever done in my whole life, but it was absolutely necessary and I wish I'd done that sooner.  I needed to talk.  I needed to know that it was possible to heal and that it was possible to live.  I wanted to live, but I hurt so much that that overpowered the will to live.  Once I start3ed therapy, I started to realize how messed-up things were and how messed-up my expectations for a relationship were.  I wanted to eventually be married, so I knew I needed to work on this.

November 2005:  I started online dating the summer of 2004, after getting diagnosed with anxiety and depression and starting medication for those.  I had continued therapy, and my counselor and I felt it was time for me to try to find a boyfriend again.  In the spring of 2005, Scott and I started dating, and we knew within a few weeks that we would eventually get married.  I told him about what had happened and also about my ex-boyfriend ghosting me, and Scott understood enough to continue to talk to me about it.  He has never pushed me to do anything I don't want to, and that's one of the reasons I love him.  That October, I moved in with him, partially because I had lost my job and got a really low-paying job that meant I couldn't afford my apartment anymore.  Besides, I was spending most of my time over at Scott’s anyway.  We weren't ready to get married yet, and I was still continuing counseling.  Scott helped me work through things that came up in our relationship and that came up in my relationships with family members.  I still had suicidal thoughts, and there were days when I just wanted to not be in the world anymore, but Scott was ther3e and other friends were there who helped me realize that it was possible to live.  The next year, we took in a friend who was in high school and was going through problems like I had.  She got pregnant and had a little boy.  We had some rough times, the three of us, while she lived with us while she was pregnant, but we were all able to work through them.  We now feel like we are family.  She and I call each other sisters and she's kind of like a sister and kind of like a daughter to us.  Her son is kind of like a grandchild, even though we call him our nephew and our godson.  We are not his official godparents, but we fulfill that role just as much as his actual godparents.

November 2020:  Scott and I have been married just over 12 years now.  At one point, we both thought about getting divorced we were arguing so much and were not able to talk to each other.  However, we were able to work through that, although some things have remained troublesome spots.  At one point, he cheated on me online and I caught him at it.  At one point, I thought about trying to find my ex-boyfriend and trying to go back to him but I didn't.  We were able to get through that, and got rid of a "friend" who was making matters worse by using us to support herself and her daughter.  Scott and I decided we would not have biological kids and would not try to adopt.  My health problems can be genetically triggered, and we don't want to pass that on to anyone.  Erin got married and now has a one-year-old daughter.  Her son's almost 12 now.  They live nearby, so we get to see them a lot.  We've all grown even closer.  I am so thankful to God that He gave me a second chance (and third, and fourth) at life and at love, and gave me this wonderful life that I have now and this wonderful family that I have now.  I am still going to counseling, and it's still making a world of difference.  We are working on different things in our relationship, Scott and I, and we are in a good place in our relationship where we both are actively working to maintain the relationship and actively working on our own issues that get in the way of our relationship and our life together.  We are secure in our plans for the future and secure in our concept of our relationship.  It is such a blessing!

I used the November 2020 mini kit challenge kit from Jumpstart Designs.