It Takes a Village to Raise a Woman

I’ve been thinking about writing a letter like this to thank all the people who helped me claim my life back. Not sure if I’ll do it — I tend to get too flowery. But it felt good to write.

April 25, 2014

Dr. [name]
Therapist [name]
Father [name]
Father [name]
Dr. [name] DDS

Each of you need to know that you had a huge part in my coming back to the world of the living which is what I’ve worked on for the last year and a half.

Throughout my forties I was profoundly depressed, heavily medicated, and had many suicide attempts and psychiatric hospital stays. I ruined a really good marriage and I deeply regret that.

In my fifties I made one bad decision after another until I was ruined financially by my con artist husband. When he discarded me and cheated on me with a 26 year old woman, I truly never felt more depressed in my life (and that’s saying something!). Except for my daughter and parents I had nothing and no one left.

I don’t know why it was at that point that I decided I could not let that man have my life on top of everything else he took from me. I enlisted a team of professionals and my family who have never stopped loving me to help me find out who I am and what I want to be.

Starting with Dr. [name] and then [name], my psychiatric nurse practitioner, then therapist [name], and finally I began to have months and months of the strongest desire to re-introduce myself to God and find a church and church family, and I hit a home run right off the bat by finding Fr. [name], Fr. [name], and [name] Church.

I also give credit to the reasonably priced and high quality recreation facilities in [name] because it helped me lose weight and gain strength, but mostly showed me that physical exertion is what I need most for my mental health. And keeping busy.

And it turns out I’m actually a pretty happy person (with no more stress headaches) now that I’m on my way to being divorced from a heartless man.

So many people helped me. I had to declare bankruptcy, but thanks to Legal Aid and an attorney who volunteered his time at a local law firm, I got that behind me and have already greatly improved my credit. I went to my long time dentist with emergencies and he helped me for a very low cost.

Over a year ago I began to volunteer at a child abuse assessment center in [name]. I wanted to give back, but they gave me far more than I gave them. Earlier this week they have hired me full time. At 57 I am starting all over again and I feel so grateful.

I’m telling you busy professionals what an impact you had on my life because you need to know that you do make a difference, you save lives. I feel honored, and more than a little blessed to have each of you in my life.

When communities do the right thing, their citizens benefit. Happy and healthy citizens cost less to maintain than miserable, unhealthy ones.

For the first time in ten years I am fully supporting myself with no help from outside sources and I plan to keep it that way. I’ve learned that more often than not, when we ask for help, we get help and that’s gone far to restore my faith in mankind.

When I left work yesterday (it feels so odd to say that after so long not working) my boss made a point to tell me what a great job I did this week and how they’re lucky to have me. I was really moved.

I still have a couple of weeks of feeling pretty incompetent but things are starting to gel for me and they can see that.

I’m not qualified to give anybody else any advice, but I can honestly recommend that if you need help, that you come right out and ask for it. You might be surprised at the result.


2 responses to “It Takes a Village to Raise a Woman

  1. That’s so nice of your boss to say that! Yay! I think the letter is a good idea. It’s never a bad thing to be grateful and thankful and to let others know.

  2. I think if I were one of those people who listen to people, try to help people, etc., that I’d appreciate knowing what I do makes a difference. Any races coming up? Eugene has a huge marathon next weekend — made me think of you. xox

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