A Second Chance at Life

I’m going to be one hundred percent (100%) honest in this blog post, and this is also the most personal post. So far, all of my posts have been about the races I’ve un, training, and nothing else. It’s time for a change, and its time to start sharing about myself with you.

Recently, the Spring semester ended, and I was awarded the Dean’s Honor List for the second semester in a row with a 3.75 GPA for the semester. My cumulative GPA is a 3.73. All this wonderful news, accomplishments, and all I keep thinking about is how lucky I am to have a second chance at life.

First, I’m coming clean and explaining from the beginning of the end.

In 2008 I got married to someone whom I thought I loved; I thought I loved him because I was desperate to get away from my ex-boyfriend (whom I left years prior) and his continued abuse. Six (6) months after my wedding, he completely changed. I started noticing things, things I ignored. What things? Money was constantly missing from my bank account, the gas for my car was constantly gone the day after I filled up my tank and came straight home.

On my wedding day

The money I’d give to him to pay bills wasn’t going to pay bills; the electricity in my house was shut off numerous times because of it. His physically looks were changing; his skin was looking like he was rotting, and he blamed it on genetics. His teeth were also rotting, which I thought was just due to the fact that he had no dental insurance.

My home, no matter how hard I cleaned and organized, was continuously looking like a hoarders home. I was sick and tired of living in filth, surrounded by useless junk and empty boxes. He kept everything and I mean everything for no reason. He also was cheating on me constantly, which I was not surprised at because I wouldn’t even let me touch me, wouldn’t let him kiss me, and I wouldn’t have sex with him. The lack of physical intimacy was the theme throughout the entire relationship and throughout the entire marriage. We slept in separate rooms since day one (1), and there was no communication between us. When he did speak speak, it was filled with anger, violence, and hatred. He was always looking for a fight. Everything was about him, the things he missed out on growing up, and how he is always the victim. Everything he told me about himself was nothing but a lie.

He had told me that while he was in boot camp, he was an enlisted Marine, he had punched his C.O. (Commanding Officer) in the face because he got yelled at. He had also told me that he had attended sniper school, and was temporarily a firefighter on base. I had managed to get a hold of his S.R.B. (Service Book Record) and found out differently. He never made it to sniper school, never was a firefighter, and never punched his Commanding Officer. The Marine Corps let him out of his contract because he was unable to handle the stress he was under while in boot camp. Since he was unable to handle and manage the stress, the Marine Corps gave him the rank of Lance Corporal so they can issue him a medical discharge. He never finished boot camp.

This was when I doubted and didn’t believe anything he told me. He as a boy with no plan at life, who was now unsuccessful at holding down a job. He had lost the job that a friend got for him. He claimed he was fired while out on Jury Duty. When he obtained an attorney to try and sue, the attorney wouldn’t take the case, citing that he was lying. When I asked where his jury summons was, he claims he threw it away. I knew he was lying and he had no jury duty summons. So, now the question was, where and what was he doing for a week. I know he wasn’t going to work, obviously.

While all of this was going on, I was working hard to transfer to California State University, San Bernardino to obtain my B.A. in Criminal Justice. During all of this with him, my studies were lacking and my grades were not the best. He was jealous of me, he was jealous of what I was working toward, and he was jealous of the praises I received from my professors, my department chair, and my peers. He started to ensure that I couldn’t sleep at night by constantly yelling at my three (3) year old son (from a previous relationship which is a longer story), punching my refrigerator, having “friends” over to get drunk.

The first thing I lost was my personal checking account due to being overdrawn hundreds of dollars, which was at the hands of him. He always wanted to blow money by taking his friends out, buying them things, drinks, food, etc. The joint account was also gone, again, being overdrawn hundreds of dollars.

He also told me stories of how he physically abused his previous girlfriends. He told me he chocked one of them because she had tapped him on the shoulder wrong to get his attention, he told me how he “threw” another girlfriend across the room because she wouldn’t stop “yelling” at him. He also told me how he punched one of his previous girlfriends in the face, I forgot the reason he told me but it didn’t matter. The more stories he told me, the more I realized that I couldn’t stay. Next, he would start physically abusing me. I had started to plan my escape out of the marriage. I had to be smart about it, and I also had to plan a safe exit at the same time.

The second thing I lost was my health and fitness. I had gained so much weight due to depression. I weight 375 pounds, which is the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life, I didn’t even gain weight when I was pregnant. I was slowly declining, and it wasn’t good.

Meanwhile, I had to work double shifts at two jobs in order to try and keep the apartment I worked hard on my own to get, the electricity on, food on the table, gas in my car, and other life necessities. He was not contributing to anything excepting taking money from me, and tearing down what I had built, and was building brick by brick. His continued jealously, his continued mental (emotional) abuse, his continued violence keeping myself and my son in constant fear, his short temper, his hatred, his anger, and his overall personality destroyed my life.

This is was the end, and it was headed for a quick decline that wouldn’t stop until it hit the ground. It hit the ground, hard. I had lost it all, everything I worked for was gone.

My divorce was final in early 2012, and I was already back safe in Orange County with friends and family. I had also just started working for my current employer, and it is the best job I have ever had. Through the people whom I have the pleasure of working with, I started to gain confidence in myself, self-esteem, and they saw something in me, and they sure as hell made sure I saw it. This job was the start of a second chance of life, it showed me who I am and that fire isn’t dead. I had also started to slowly gain control of my life. The weight started coming off due being back in Orange County, in my own apartment, cooking again.

By the time it was all said and done, I wasn’t able to graduate with my B.A. like I had wanted to. I had not only failed a required statistics course, but I had also failed to pass two classes with the grade of a “C” or better. I was so upset that my department chair met with me and talked to me. He told me not to worry about it, and not to come back quickly. When I asked why, he told me that when I came over to the Criminal Justice Department after completing all of the Information Security courses, it had inspired the department to have a Crime Analysis Option to the major and he wanted to see me graduate with it. He also told me that I am a wonderful, bright student, who will go far in the field of law whether that be law enforcement, or as an attorney. Those were the two fields that he could see me in.

Hearing this from my department chair lifted my spirits and I decided to hold off retaking classes. He told me he didn’t know when the Crime Analysis option will be available, but to keep my eye out for it. He also advised by doing this, I can also retake classes and boost up my cumulative GPA to above a 3.0, enabling me to graduate with department honors. The more I talked to him, the more I realized that it is not the end of the world, and I can still salvage the damage done by my now ex-husband and my department chair was advising me how to do that.

I took time off school, and decided to just work. I worked hard, working two jobs to pay off past debts that my ex-husband had left me with. Even though I had no contact with my ex-husband, the damage he did caught up with me, and I was forced to leave my apartment in Irvine. I found a safe place to stay, thankfully it wasn’t far from my now old apartment, and I started to rebuild my life. I had joined a gym to gain strength and endurance back, to shed the body fat and gain muscle.

I had to start all over again. In early 2013, I decided to rid myself of everyone who was poisonous and everything that reminded me of the poison that took my life away from me and destroyed it. I threw away my wedding dress along with everything from my wedding. I threw away everything from my bachelorette party, I sold my wedding set and engagement rings (I paid for my wedding set and my own engagement rings) for over $600 to a jewelry store and paid off bills with the money. I got rid of my couch, and any furniture I purchased during my relationship and marriage with him. I got donated all my old clothing to the Salvation Army. I feel so much better after getting rid of all that poisonous things that were weighing me down. I can now get a fresh start.

Now, its time to rebuild my credit. A good place to start was to gain a checking account again. I was able to gain a checking account again, and I was so happy. I began paying off all the debt that my ex left me with. Picking up the pieces and putting it all back together again. At times, I felt helpless, hopeless, and even felt like a complete looser. I pushed through and continued on.

I decided to take a step forward and take refresher courses in Administration of Justice at Los Angeles City College. I met a professor who saw a fire in me, a fire I thought had burned out a long time ago. Taking classes and earning my certificate in Fingerprint Expert, which will allow me to apply for entry level fingerprint specialist jobs. My instructor, who was a fingerprint specialist herself formerly worked for the LAPD, told us that students get hired with this certificate and those students came in to talk to us. No one has been hiring for that position, but I’ve continued to keep my eye out for when a spot opens up.

While I was renewing my PC 832 P.O.S.T. Certification, I was at West Los Angeles College and the professor was the best I had since my fingerprint expert professor. I felt like I was at home while on campus. I saw that the campus was offering an Associates Degree in Paralegal. I took the first course, which is required to take before taking any other paralegal course. I quickly feel in love with law again, and that fire was fully burning again. I quickly registered for three (3) more paralegal classes, declared West Los Angeles as my home college, and declared my major as paralegal. I finally found myself, and which area of law I am to be in.

That brings me to where I am now; on the Dean’s Honor List at West Los Angeles for two semesters (Fall 2017 and Spring 2018) in a row, immediately after the first paralegal class, and professors who are taking an active interest in my career. Also, the program director has been continuously asking me if I thought about law school since I took a class with her as the professor. Now, she is assisting me with choosing a law school, and offered to write me a letter of recommendation for law school and for employment.

Remember how hard I was working at my credit? Well, all the hard work paid off. I was able to lease a brand new car without a co-signer, something I was never able to do before. I was able to get approved for credit cards, and just recently, I was able to finance a car without a co-signer; but not just any car, a brand new 2018 Honda Civic. I felt very accomplished, and proud of myself.

Currently, I have chosen a law school; I am also looking at graduating from West Los Angeles College Summa Cum Laude. I’m also working with admissions at Cal State San Bernardino (CSUSB) to go back so I can finish my B.A. while getting a high GPA, and I get to graduate from CSUSB with department honors.

I have a chance to do it all over again. Not many people get to say that. I’m grabbing this second chance, and I’m not letting go. I’m not stopping until I’ve reached, and accomplished my current goals. I have a second chance at life, I’m doing it my way, on my terms.

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