It's a little difficult for me to write this but I think that it needs to be done. I am a relatively successful, very intelligent, kind, community involved mother of 4. I'm an Army Veteran, a social worker a public servant and an aspiring writer. I was also a battered woman who was too embarrassed to tell anyone what was happening to me. But that is no longer the case. I've learned that I am not defined by what happens to me. In February of 2012, I began searching for Truth because I felt very strongly that there had to be more to life than "this." I've learned that adversity really allows you to meet yourself. When this happens, when you meet your Self, some run away screaming, some cower in fear, some continue to suppress what they find and some embrace themselves and all their imperfections, scars, feelings of guilt, past and present hurts and unhealed wounds. It's those who look upon themselves with forgiveness in their hearts and healing within the comfort of their arms that realize the truth about themselves. That's what this situation has allowed me to do. It's not about regretting the past or trying to plan the future...it's about changing my mind about the present so that it isn't seen as something to constantly run away from. The present moment is just another opportunity to accept who I am just as I accept the blue sky, the drifting clouds or the shining sun. They just are. And that's ok. I don't accept the treatment that categorizes me as " battered" ( nor should anyone) and that issue is being properly addressed; but that label is not who I am. This knowledge has been truly helpful in allowing me to move forward in my journey to be the mother, sister, daughter, and friend that I'm meant to be.