I had so many things to be angry about. So many people had wronged me, from my biological father who molested me, to my beloved grandmother who’d bailed him out of jail and brought him home to live with me after he shot my mother in the head, to my mother who taught me that I was worthless and unlovable, to the so-called friends who had used and betrayed me over and over.
They wronged me. They hurt me. They deserved to suffer for what they did to me. How could I possibly forgive them, especially if they were not even pretending to be sorry?
This is the story of how I made the shift from a lifetime of negative thinking to a new life of positive thinking.
What does positive thinking really mean? I used to think it meant thinking like an optimist. I considered myself a realist back then, and thought optimists were only able to be optimistic because they had never suffered as I had.
I have survived a lot in my life. Abuse, rape, neglect, homelessness, poverty, and depression top the list.
In fact, I've spent most of the last three decades surviving: getting past one overwhelming problem after another. If it's not worrying about how I'm going to pay the rent or where I'm going to live, it's a relationship done gone super-drama, a health crisis, or “someone needs my help and I'm going to help them even though I need help myself.”