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Welcome to Women in Transition - Talk to Theresa (Teddy).
This is my story and I hope that it may give someone out there the courage to take control of their life and to find the self love that they need to survive in any type of abuse.

I was born in Syracuse N.Y and I won't mention the year LOL. I was the first born of my parents and then the second was my brother who is 22 months younger than me. We were very close as children and we still are.

My father was a alcoholic and my mother was a very codependent woman who relied on my father for just about everything. She was a very ill person most of her life because of Rheumatic Fever from a child up until her death at 56 years of age. She died at a early age also because of the physical and verbal abuse my father reaped on her until the night she died. My brother and myself also suffered all of this type of abuse over many years until we were able to leave home, which we did through another self destructive way, we married people who were like my father and then the abuse started all over again.

I married a man who I had five children with, which were , three boys and two girls. All of my children who grew up in the sixties and seventies became involved in the drug scene. The two oldest children a daughter and one son , became run - always, to search for them selves . I had very little parental skills at that time for I was only 18 years old when I married. The only thing I had to hang onto was to be "angry" very "angry" and that was my power to survival, like my father role model for us. I never struck my children for I knew that kind of pain, but I did verbally abuse my children just as I was verbally abused.

My middle child, a daughter, became involved in talking drugs such as magic mushrooms and mescaline which is high hallucinogen, this drug caused her to become a paranoid schizophrenic at the age of sixteen years old, after that she was hospitalized several times and refused to take her medication so that left her vulnerable to the world. She became violent at times and I had to have the police come and take her once again to the hospital, but they would only keep her for a few days and then release her back to me. It got so that I could no longer help her or live with her, so one day she just left on her own when I was at work. She is was on the streets then and still is now and there is nothing anyone can do unless she is a danger to herself or others. That was so very hard for me to swallow and to accept.

My oldest son at the time was so involved with drugs that he held up a person in Colorado and went to jail for two and 1/2 years, I was just so glad that he was off the streets and away from the drugs. After twenty six years of marriage and alot of sadness and pain, I felt that I was ready to leave the marriage. I started divorce proceedings and left him to only find that while I left to move to Florida and was gone for only two weeks, he had a massive heart attack and was hospitalized. This forced me to return for all of my family became enraged with me for leaving him, you see if I was not there someone would have to take care of him and no one wanted the job! so back I went for another couple of years and the abuse continued.

One of the things that I discovered about myself was that I exchanged roles with my family, I became the parent of my parents always saving my mother from my father and also my brother, so I became the "caretaker" of the whole family and this became my choice of drug also. You see, when I fixed anything or anyone of that situation, I felt good about me and this was a temporary "high" for me. This also was a way to for me to detach from the pain and what was going on in my life, I had no identity for that identity was totally enmeshed with my husband, family and children. I was "emotionally bankrupt", I did not feel any longer, my feelings were buried under all the pain and garbage that I was carrying around. Then the depression set in and I became what is called "clinically depressed". I went on medication for this and I did feel much better and found that I could think better, clearer, so then I decided to change some things in my life.

My husband pass away after nine more heart attacks and unfortunately in front of three of my children still at home, this was devastating to them. I still had a young son of only twelve years old and for this to happen to him was very traumatic to say the least. This was now the starting of my life and finding me, this wonderful child of Gods. It was very hard at first for he left us nothing to help support the four of us, he did not pay into social security because he worked for himself and he did not have any insurance, so this left us penniless. I could not get any help because I owned my home and there for not entitled to assistance from the DSS. If it had not been for the Disabled Americans Assoc. which my husband belonged to, we would have gone hungry and lost our home. Thank the good lord for these kind and compassionate people.

One year after my husbands death, I met and married a man who not only inspired me to return to school, but he also showed me that there was real love and real men in this world that cared about there family and was able to love someone with all the loyalty and devotion that any woman deserves. He was there for me when I was down and there for me through all the struggle through college. He dried my tears and held me through all my fears. He is my best friend and my husband who I dearly love and devoted to for the rest of my life.

You see all my sisters, there is always a way to survive and we all have options in life if we would just learn the "tools" to survive which is, counseling for your dependency , learning the "tools" to take care of your self, setting boundaries and limitations so that you are never "emotionally bankrupt". Best of all learning to LOVE YOU.

There is so much more to this story, but I don't want to bore anyone or go on and on about my life and its bad memories, I now take the good and leave the bad. Do the best I can with what I have and turn to God when I don't have the answers, which is some times often, lol . God bless all of you out there and please do know that I am here for you to help you through the bad times and laugh with you through the good times. Let me teach you the "tools" for survivorship. Let me show you how to love yourself and love others in a healthy way.

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