When I was a 29-year-old single mom of two little daughters, they were kidnapped by their non-custodial father and taken out of the country. I was a battered women’s advocate making $10 an hour and facing a $100,000 problem. The challenge of my life time was reaching out for support and navigating the rough terrain to bring my little girls back home to America.
I’ve learned that people are inspired to provide help and support when they see another person working to improve her circumstances. I was the human Habitat for Humanity, working hard to make big changes in my life and break out of inter-generational patterns domestic violence. Only when others saw my efforts did they reached out to help, and I was very fortunate indeed.
While it is humbling to accept help, we are much stronger together than when isolated. Never be shy to accept help. If you need help with parenting, take parenting classes. If you need some counseling, get it. If substance abuse is an impediment, find help. There is no shame in accessing resources. It’s unfortunately very difficult to break patterns of dysfunction that we’ve inherited from her family. It’s easy to repeat them, despite our promises to ourselves to be different. But it’s absolutely possible, and more likely when we find a tribe of people wanting to make the same improvements.
The incredible result was that just over two years later, I was able to bring my adorable and very traumatized little daughters home to America. And that’s when the real work began.
Publishing my memoir reinforced that we all have a story worth sharing. By sharing mine, it gave the green light to other women to share theirs. And that is powerful!
We hope you will join the conversation. If you have comments for Lizbeth, a story you’re willing to share, or inspiration for others, we would love to hear from you below. You never know who you might inspire or where it might lead.
For more on Lizbeth Meredith please click here.
For Lizbeth Meredith’s book, Pieces of Me, please click here.
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