THE REAL

MY STORY…

November 8, 2016

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Who is The Broccoli of Dating?

My name is Veronica! I’m 32 and still trying to figure it out. My learning style is kinesthetic and my background definitely reflects it lol. I’ve literally done a little bit of everything. Cleaning toilets? Yep! Serving tables? Yep! Financial Planning? Yep! Owned businesses? Yep, Yep! I’ve even done a voice over for a commercial! And this hardly exhausts the list. As varied (and random) as my experiences have been, they all served a unique purpose. I’ll never forget serving tables, barely clearing $1,000 a month, and yet being the most fulfilled I’d ever been. I knew my income wasn’t enough but I decided not to allow that to rob me of my joy.

Through this I learned what it meant to truly serve others. I viewed my job as my ministry, and as a result I had incredible peace as I relinquished control and fully trusted God for the first time. My life is filled with so many pivotal moments and seasons like this that have made me who I am. I’m flawed but look forward to evolving each day and sharing with you along the way.

My relationships mean the world to me. When I talk about relationships I don’t just mean dating or romantic relationships. I am blessed to have an incredible group of people around me who is comprised of family and dear friends (…too many for me to keep up with at times!). These are what I like to call “iron sharpening” relationships. They don’t hesitate to call me out on my foolishness. This is a very important detail because it lends to my growing self-awareness and evolution as a person. I am constantly picking myself apart and trying to understand my “WHY?” In my relationships, I am vulnerable and transparent. I desire for my blog to be an extension of my interactions with those close to me. Unlike a lot of people on social media (…not knocking it or anything….or maybe I am!), I’m inclined to shine a spotlight on the REAL! And let me tell you, it is infrequently wrapped in a box with a pretty bow on it!

The Beginning

Innnnnn West Philadelphia Born and Raised… well not quite! I’m actually from Mt. Airy, a lesser known neighborhood in Philly. I like to say that my story was sort of the “rags to riches” scenario in reverse. I grew up in a 10 bedroom house, with my father who was a physician, and my mother who was an entrepreneur and a stay-at-home mom. In my early years, I knew no struggle.

Turbulent Years

Toward the end of middle school, my father got sick. Little did I know, this was the start of an incredibly long and painful season. There are details about the next few years I remember vividly and others (actually complete blocks of time) I have no recollection of. My father passed during the Christmas break of my freshman year of highschool. Not having encountered anything tragic to that point, I assumed I needed to get on “normally.” In school, my role was still to provide comedic relief. After school, I was numb. My mother shared with me recently, she thought I was going to commit suicide. I sunk deeper and deeper into depression. The further I sank, the darker my life became. Six months after losing my father, I was raped. What was left of my soul was snatched away. When I think back to that time, I have no utter idea how I continued to move forward. It was no doubt the Lord!

Like a textbook survivor of sexual trauma, I spent the next 10 years or so on a rampage. Because of my pain, I developed coping mechanisms to ensure I maintained maximum control in every situation. While some of my behaviors were viewed favorably (being driven and grinding in my career pursuits, being street smart, and not getting played in romantic relationships) ultimately, I realized that they were all generated from a broken place.

Unfortunately, I dwelled a little while longer in my heap of destruction. Financially, I hit rock bottom more times than I’d like to admit. My previous coping mechanisms were failing me, yet I was desperately holding onto whatever I thought I could still control.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Getting to a healthier place required first deciding to do something different, and then, years of developing greater self-awareness. This meant peeling back the layers of my brokenness and surrendering the damaged pieces of my heart to the Lord, going to counseling, participating in prayer ministries (Cross Current and Living Waters), finding the courage to brave the discomfort, and completing a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. My education and training gave me the tools to effectively replace my unhealthy coping behaviors and to learn how to express my feelings assertively. Undergirding the experiences I share in this blog is my education and training in Marriage and Family Therapy. I think it’s terrific to be able to share from a place of personal experience. I feel though, it’s even more beneficial to also have supporting data that both backs up those experiences and outlines effective tools to reach higher ground. 

…No worries, I’m still a mess! My background just makes me more aware of it 🙂

Well WHAT NOW?

My desire is to not only share my journey but also the things that have been helpful to me along the way. I hope this blog will create a community of women who are validated, encouraged, and inspired to thrive in life and especially in relationships. We were made to be in community! To love and to be loved! I”ll tell ya right now…if you tune in enough, I’m gonna love on you a little bit! Get ready for it XOXO…

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6 Comments

  • Reply TerraBright November 18, 2016 at 5:18 am

    Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring others to write theirs, an awesome movement that is uniquely you is just beginning! So excited to witness it❤️

  • Reply Christie November 18, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Veronica, I commend you for sharing & opening this part of your life up, especially for others who might be experiencing the same things. There are so many of us, that can relate to your story. It’s not easy dating, especially when trying to hold on to your values during the process. I am a victim of sexual abuse, and can relate to so many things you stated in your blog. With that being said thank you for inspiring! I look forward to following you on your journey!

    • Reply Veronica November 18, 2016 at 11:04 pm

      Thank you soooooo much lady! I love how vulnerability breeds validation and authenticity in others. I’m really looking forward to building on this foundation.

  • Reply Tiffaney November 19, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    Thanks for being so transparent cant wait to read more!!

    • Reply Veronica November 19, 2016 at 10:47 pm

      Thank you Tiffaney! 🙂

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