Kibra's Story: My Past Does Not Define Me!

Kibra's Story: My Past Does Not Define Me!

My name I'd Kibra, I'm 48 years old, and I am from Yakima, Washington by way of Poughkeepsie, New York! 

I'm a Beautiful Disaster because no matter what life has thrown at me, I will eventually turn things around and get back up again. 
To say I was born into a loving, but highly dysfunctional family. My parents divorced when I was 2, and we moved out to Washington a year later with my three older brothers and our mom. Coming out west was a major culture shock for my brother's I'm sure, as we are now in the desert!  I was too young to form any permanent memory of any of our family members, including our father. 
We were brought up by our mom knowing it was "us against the world". We had no other family on this side of the country except the five of us. The youngest of my brothers is five years older than me, so when I was ready to start school, none of them would be there to protect me. My family's answer? Teach me to fight by getting my ass kicked! That little girl dug her fingers into my face so hard, she broke the skin!  I remember crying so hard, my face and my head hurt. As I was taking my bath and getting ready for bed that night, they (including mom) let me know that was the last fight I would be allowed to lose. Any other losses will come with additional beatings from them. 
My mom drank, and quite a bit, but so did everyone else's parents in our neighborhood, so I don't really remember thinking too much about it. When I was eight, some caseworkers showed up at my school and I was placed in foster care due to neglect. I had no idea what that meant, but I was terrified. My brother's weren't taken away because they were teenagers. I would remain a ward of the state until my 16th birthday. 
I had so much hurt, anger and mistrust in the adults in my life already, but there would be a cataclysmic meeting between those feelings and more trauma from the age of nine to eleven. 
My mom refused to go to treatment for her drinking so they sought a more permanent placement for me with a black family. It would be in that home that I would suffer physical, sexual, mental and emotional abuse along with other foster sisters that would come and go in those two years. 
I would end up running away and taking my two younger foster sisters with me when I was 11. I finally got up the nerve to do so when one of the girls came in my room while I was crying, she hugged me and said "he does it to me too". 
That would be the last time I would stay in any foster/group home for more than two weeks at a time.
Fast forward to about 5 years ago and my introduction to a new to me type of therapy - E.M.D.R. Eye Movement and Desensitization Reprocessing. I really thought it was super hokey, with the light bar and all, but I was willing to do anything! I had been in and out of treatment, and talk therapy since I was eleven with little change other than getting off of drugs. That process allowed me to get in touch with the feelings surrounding my childhood trauma for the very first time. At first, I wasn't convinced it was a good thing, as my feelings seemed to be completely exposed. Things upset me so easily, I was triggered by shows I had been watching, I noticed predatory behavior in people around me and that was really scary. 
I am a naturally introspective person so even though I'm no longer in therapy, I continue to process all that has been uncovered. Some of my foster sisters and I decided to sue the state of Washington's department of Child Protection Services for failure to act, which led to all of us being abused in the same home at different periods. They settled of course and with the money I chose to buy a home. I am the first in my family to do so, and I really wanted something that would be  tangible proof of turning this really traumatic experience into something positive. 
I am a survivor, I am not a victim. Do I still have struggles? Hell yes I do! But I refuse to let my past, my struggles or my trauma define me. They might explain some things about me, but I get to choose who I am and how I live my life today. I choose to be loving, kind, encouraging and uplifting to others. I choose life every single day, no matter what it throws at me. I am a beautiful disaster, and I wear it proudly! Thank you ladies for all you do! 

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