Rheumatoid Arthritis is One of those Hiccups.
Sometimes stairs are not my friend and when I am having a flare, my skin can feel like it is on fire. The exhaustion can be unrelenting. Lupus has no cure but it is treatable in most cases. Unfortunately, for some it can be crippling and fatal. Most of my days are good days, so I am grateful.
Loving Yourself When Others Hurt You
I recently left an abusive relationship with a narcissistic control freak. The truth of the matter is he did not love himself so he had no idea how to love me. There is a part of me that has to accept responsibility, as I did choose him.
But my decision to begin a relationship with him did not mean I had to stay. When you decide to be a part of a union in which your partner goes out of his way to say demeaning and disrespectful things to you, you do question ”What was going on with me that I would pick such a person and somehow believe that person actually loves me?”
I also realized that an apology without a change of behavior is simply manipulation. That shows a person has no plans to change even when they know they are wrong.
One of the hardest things I had to endure happened on July 7, 2018. My best friend, my dad, passed away. Because of the man I was living with, the trip I had scheduled to see my dad was postponed. My partner promised he would make sure I would get to go, but of course that trip never happened. Time ran out, and my father passed away without the final visit I had so longed for.
I was mad at my partner and I was mad at myself for allowing that to go the way it did. My daddy was the most awesome girl-dad ever. His wings were ready, my heart wasn’t. I’m still not over this heartbreak. But the best part about that living-in-hell situation is that I am no longer there.
I have forgiven him, and doing that has allowed me to forgive myself. It wasn’t an easy thing. I lost a lot of stuff and while it’s “just stuff,” starting over is difficult. For a while, I struggled with housing instability.
Now, I’m on Solid Ground.
In my recovery, I learned that I am better than what I have been through. One of my biggest blessings is my friends. They have loved, encouraged and supported me in so many ways. I wonder what I did to deserve such an amazing group of people to help me get through the madness that was once my life. My gift for what they have done for me is to pay it forward. I want to somehow support women in abusive environments who need some encouragement and strength. Maybe they need a ride to the nail salon because they neglected themselves after being put down so many times. I will do whatever I can do.
I Have a Few Passions.
One has been travel and I feel honored to now be in the travel business and to do some modeling. I have been modeling off and on since I was 16 from New Orleans through Kansas City and now Hampton.
I believe that there is room for everyone to make it. We are made different for a reason. The curves on my body, the sway in my walk, my bald head, the brightness of my smile and my skin imperfections are all mine for a reason.
I can’t let having been bullied in school or having picked a man who didn’t see the true beauty in me keep me from being the incredible woman that God intended for me to be.
We are Each Unique and Amazing
My hope is that every woman, from a young age and into her nursing home years, looks in the mirror and sees an amazing creature — regardless of her physical body. Maybe she has physical challenges or a large visible birthmark or a gap in her smile. Regardless of her size and the hue of her complexion, she is the most beautiful and astonishing person coming and going and if others don’t get that, then it sucks to be them and we don’t need them anyway. I don’t want what happened to me to taint my view on relationships and love. I am loving and lovable and I, like everyone, deserve the best version of love I can find. It is out there and when you find it, you will know it because you will be treated the way you deserve. No matter how things go in your life, it’s never too late for a brand new start.
Until then, I’ll be living with Lupus and still loving my life.
Felanese Gordon was born and raised in New Orleans. She was a long-time Kansas City resident and is now loving every bit of the east coast in Virginia.