Guest Post: Recreating Her Identity, One Day at a Time

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Today I'm delighted to share a guest post from author Cheryl Bannerman.:

Four years ago. Two days before Thanksgiving to be exact. It was a day I will never forget. Not just the day before I buried my father, but the day I lost my identity. I guess it would be better if I start at the beginning.

Growing up in a rural part of Southern New Jersey, in a middle-class family, the youngest and only girl of three siblings, I enjoyed a good life of private schools, lavish vacations and the adoration of my parents, married for 54 years to date. My mother introduced me to books at an early age and encouraged me to not only read, but also write. I remember having my first poem published in a collective book of poetry at the age of only 13.

As an adult, I achieved various Undergraduate and Graduate degrees, successfully founded and operated my own Training and Development company, raised a special needs child on my own, and became a published multi-genre author of fiction.

But then....at the age of 42, before burying my father, I learned a truth about my entire life that would shatter my identity, as I knew it. I was NOT my parent’s biological child. It was a secret that apparently every single person in the family knew…but me.

Soon after, I was forced to bury my mother along with the family secret, proceeded to finally break free of a 10-year abusive marriage, and pick up the pieces of my life to start over in Florida. Searching tirelessly through public records for answers, with zero results, I had emotionally crashed and burned, with no hope of a happy future. And unfortunately, the emotional pain triggered even worse results on my medical conditions. But one day through my pain and tears, I saw a light of hope. I realized that my mom and dad loved me, and gave me a good life, and that I could mold my future into whatever I wanted it to be. I immediately wanted to spread the good news to other people who had also lost hope, were suffering from depression, or were caught in an abusive relationship, that there WAS hope. You CAN recreate your identity at whatever age and create your own ‘happy ending’ in life.

Ultimately, through my faith in God, sense of humor, and intense ‘talk’ therapy, I was able to ‘recreate my identity’ and come to terms with the truth. Here are some of the ways I did this:

*   Asked for help/support/guidance

*  Allowed myself to grieve (i.e. cry, scream, sleep, shop, etc.)

*   Learned how to say NO/Set boundaries

*   Detoxified my life of all negative people and influences (includes news & social media) & forgave those who were not sorry

*  Treated/Pampered myself

* Talked about those I missed – i.e. happy times as a child, funny stories about my parents, etc.

* Achieved my short-term goals and set new long-term goals

Another way I healed is through my writing. One of the few female authors to introduce topics of social concern within ‘fictional’ stories, my books draw from my most intimate life experiences and include characters who have been victims of child molestation and domestic violence, and who suffer from depression and various other addictions. For example, my second book, Words Never Spoken, which just won the 2018 Book Excellence Award, is a self-help, poetry, chapter-book about a woman who escaped an abusive relationship, and even includes self-reflection journal pages for you to document your feelings and begin healing.

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My goal now is to continue helping victims of Domestic Abuse/Violence, Grief and ANON family groups, and Corporate Health and Wellness groups, to heal — creating their own ‘Happy Ending’…One Day at a Time.

Author/CEO/Speaker: Cheryl Powell (writing under Pen Name: Cheryl Denise Bannerman)

You can learn more about the author, Cheryl Bannerman, on the Bannerman Books web site.

And purchase any of her works of fiction on her Amazon Author page.

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