Posted by: speakoutservices | July 30, 2011

30 Years and Counting: How Did I Turn Out?

I am painting my nails now in anticipation of my 30th high school reunion taking place in a couple of hours.  This is the third time I have attended the reunion, and I am noticing how different I look each time.  I fear I am going to have to go to the Fire Department and borrow the “Jaws of Life” just to trim this big toe.  The box of Nice and Easy will save my gray temples from detection, and I will have a few hidden contraptions to lift, enhance, and suck in various body parts. 

I suspect I am no different form my other classmates who are doing much the same things to look their best this evening.  We will all surely have pictures of our children (maybe a few grandkids), talk about our careers, and spend the night discovering how we all “turned out.”  As it is, I have yet to write a bestseller, get a doctorate, speak to packed arenas, or take luxurious vacations abroad every year.  Instead, I have a nice little home with really worn out carpet, my own small (and growing) training business, and a mini-trip planned to Cedar Point where I hope not to get sick on the first ride.  Most importantly, I have a great husband (who is still the first one) and two wonderful, thriving kids who are a little less wonderful before noon. 

So how did I “turn out”?

Well, here’s how I could have turned out:

I could have failed school with the constant fighting with and abuse from my father, and had no graduation at all.  And no job prospects.

I could have continued to use drugs to escape the pain and watched my life spiral out-of-control, destroying my realtionships, finances, and health.

I could have created another violent home with messed up kids who could have ended up as confused foster children.

I could be on my second or third marriage – picking another abuser each time.

I could be trapped in a life of depression, anger, and bitterness over what happened to me.

I could have ended it all permanently through accident or design.

Sadly, there are incest survivors living these realities right now as I figure out which cream will fill in my wrinkles.  I look in the mirror with gratitude for the newfound perspective on the amazing life I have and the Grace that brought me to this point.  I pray for the survivors who don’t yet realize they have the power to change.

I think I turned out damn good.



  1. I think you did, too! Thanks for another inspiring article.

  2. I think you turned out pretty darn good too! I think you are amazing! have fun at your reunion, and burn up the dance floor if you get a chance! Love, Susanne

    • Thanks – I had a great time. It is so interesting to me to remember people who rode my bus in first grade, and then they pull out a pic of their grown child – or grandchild. Aging is sometimes a surreal experience. How did we go from the bus to this picture so fast? Unfortunately, the DJ departed a bit before people were really warmed up to dance, so my burning only lasted a song or two. Otherwise, it was a nice evening and well-planned. I especially liked how they had a table with the pictures of all the people who had passed away – we had 17, a pretty shocking number for only 30 years and people who were not even 50. My best friend was included in that mix, she died of cancer at 24. So it was awesome to see her included at the event.

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