Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Define Your Own Perception, Part II

Welcome to week two of Perception Is Everything!
We were all wowed by the strength of the ladies last week, and I'm very happy to share two more AMAZING ladies that overcame the odds.

First up, we have Niken from Read My Mind.  Have you ever had someone from another country or culture follow you? If  you are like me, you got all giddy at being connected to someone that you would have never been able to meet if it weren't for blog land. Not only was Niken sweet and fun to follow, she is a filmmaker in Indonesia! Um...How cool is that?

However, this girl has worked very hard to get to where she is.
She dealt with a troubled home life, financial woes, and ostracism from her own family.
I'll let her tell you how she overcame this in her own words, and let it touch you the way that it touched me. I feel so blessed to have her sharing this with us.
I edited her words a bit, to aid in translation, but I didn't want to over do it, and take her voice out of the story. I can almost hear her in my head, and I hope you can too.

 A Bouncing Ball
 I've been neglecting a lot with myself about sending this to sweet Janna, who is super genius about this sponsorship idea. Why? Because I was ashamed and I've never shared this story to anyone before. But then I reflected to my own experience about reading people's blog and feeling related. This can touch someone's life. 
And then I decided to send it, because hopefully, my story can help someone out there who has similar experience with me even if it's just a little. One thing in this life that I believe is that whatever bad things or unfortunate events that happen to you won't kill you. It will make you stronger, but only if you choose to. And I happen to be one of those people who has a black line in their history. Most of my friends think my life's perfect and nothing ever go wrong with it. 
They have no idea I've learned the hard way. 
 I have a not so happy childhood. My biological father was an abusive-alcoholic lazy ass. 
All I can remember about him is the physical abuse he conducted towards me and my mom.
 I can see those moments as crystal clear in my head. Which is a bit odd considering it all happened when I wasn't even three. But I do remember! 
  However, I'm so so lucky to have the most wonderful woman I proudly call my mom. 
She's my rock star and I'll be very lucky if I could be just half of her. Anyway, after lots of effort and fight later, my mom divorced my biological father and got full custody of me. 
The custody not hard of course as my biological dad didn't care that much. 
And the fact that I have still never seen him again is fine by me.
 After that, it was the world, my mom, and me. 
Life was real hard on us. 
My mom got married so young and she was even younger than me now when this is all happened to her. Widower with one daughter and no job yet. Trust me when I say I know how starvation and hunger feels like. We had those days when we have nothing left anymore. 
But it's not the fault of my mom, if she did everything she could for her children. She worked hard to support us while carrying her 2,5 year old daughter. From her I've learned that if I want something, I have to work to get it. 
 As for me, besides the financial case, the hard part was that people's judgement and how they treat me and my mom. Apparently, being a widower and a kid without a father was more complicated. 
I lived in doubts from other people. Most of our relatives were acting hard on us. 
I heard them talking about how my mom couldn't raise me, how they knew I would grow up as stupid-troubled kid, and how they could see that I would never ever be somebody. 
It hurt when you hear people talking like that. And since they believed I'd be a scumbag, they treated me like one. Therefore I grew up as a very very introverted person who tended to push people away. Later I realized it was because I was sad and angry at myself because I let the doubts of people stay in my head and my heart, so I felt like I'm never gonna be good enough. 
I always put people first and forget to take a good care of myself.
 I was so hard with myself, I pushed myself way too hard, I didn't forgive myself easily upon failures or mistakes that I made. But I never talked about this with my mom or anyone else. 
 And then when I was 16, after several months knowing a Swiss boy, one day he said to me,
"This is not your fault, none of it. You cannot make everyone happy and you don't have to. 
That's not your responsibility. But you are responsible for yourself and your own happiness". 

{Sound familiar?}
Those words from this considered-stranger boy made me realize that I couldn't keep being angry and miserable about myself. One day I woke up and realized I don't want to feel that way ever again. So I changed. 
I stopped (secretly) being mad at myself and tried to do the best with myself because I'm responsible for myself. I (secretly) used to feel sad and angry that our closest people treated us badly. Treated us in a bad way, like we were nothing. But then I changed my point of view. 
If they weren't hard, I would be a spoiled kid. I would be a pathetic person who's pitying herself. I would be a quitter. But no! Because I have it the hard way, I fight back.
 I survived. I learned to fight and defend.
 I learned to work hard, I learned to never underestimate people, I learned that you are good enough and no one can take away that feeling from you. The most important thing is, don't let it take away your ability to love and to trust. I learned to be thankful in life and be grateful.
 As I believe it, it's your life and it's not always okay. So learn it, live it, love it! The thing is you have a choice. People can think and say whatever they want about you. But you only down with that if you choose to. Otherwise, you can fight back and be the best of you. 
Life has taught me, the harder life hits me to the ground the higher I reach to the sky. Just like a bouncing ball. 
 Maybe I have it in a hard way and I pray that none of my children or anyone should ever experience that. But if you asked me, I won't change a thing of it because I won't be who Iam today without it all. And don't worry. Life's good. My mom re-married to the best dad I could ask for. He's the one I call 'dad' and he's my only father. The fact that I don't have his blood in my vein cannot change that. Life is just. Let's bounce ;) -- Thanks, Niken D. Rahayu
Next up is Desiree from All At Once!
We became blog besties quite some time ago, and she was my first blog Skype date!
Her blog is title "All At Once", because she had to grow up all at once at a young age. It didn't stop her, though! She focused on the positive, and now has a fabulous life!
She is a busy little mommy, but that gives her GREAT blog fodder.
I love her little nuggets and I've never even met them. Other than Skype, that is.
I used to think... I had it all as a kid.
Now I know... I had no idea what I was missing. 
Life now may be hard work, but I have an incredible life. 
People see me as... A mom, a sarcastic and sassy girl, unfiltered at times.
But I hope that they know... I have so much love in my heart.
My intentions are pure, and I want the best for everyone.
I blog because.. I want my handsome boys to grow up and have more than just pictures to look at. 
I want them to read my stories, see our struggles and our growth, see the beauty and love our little family has for one another. 
If you want to know more about Desiree, you will have to see for yourself!
I was so excited for the support from last week and am inspired to keep this going!
I already have one submission for next month and can't wait to see who has a story to share.
To find out more information, visit here or click the "Advertise With Me" button.
I just added it last week, so I would love it if you check it out!

PS: You will also find me over on Niken's blog for her new series "When I Was A Kid"!
It was so fun to participate, and I shared some fun photos. Check it!


Kirsty Arnold said...

I love love love this idea! Perception really is EVERYTHING. I am learning that over time, especially after hitting rock bottom last year with Depression.

I could sit around and worry about it happening again, about how people perceive me and think poor me BUT I chose to start a blog for the soul purpose of addressing those unspoken conversations to provide information, real life experiences and helplines etc to try and change other peoples perceptions :)

You truly are inspiring!

Niken said...

Janna,you make me sound 1000x better than I actually am.I'm losing words except, thank you so much for this. You rock!

Jamie said...

Love this. I will go check them out when I get a few minutes!

Jenn said...

Great stories :)

Alana Christine said...

Awesome stories! Thanks for sharing!

Melissa said...

Such amazing stories!! :)

<3 Melissa

lesley: the dream tree said...

love these stories. perception really is everything! it makes all the difference in the world.

Nicole said...

WOW...thank you Niken for sharing your amazing story. You are a beautiful person, inside and out!

Rima said...

Love Niken. Her story sounds familiar because I had friends who were like that when I was growing up in Indonesia. Tough Times Before = Sweet Times Now.


Kelly { MessyDirtyHair } said...

wow the first post. What a strong girl. Both girls are fabulous! love this gf!!! love you!! xo Kelly

Taylor said...

These are great, I'm looking forward to reading the next round.

All At Once said...

Wow! What a beautiful and powerful story! Niken seems wonderful. Thank you for having me! xoxo

Katrin said...

Niken, you are so wonderful! Thank your for sharing this story! I am so glad we are friends!
And Janna, your blog is gorgeous!

Mimi said...

it was amazing to read this post! i definitely began to see some things in a different light. :)

<3, Mimi
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