Author, Mother, Survivor Writes About Finding Peace After Years Of Battling Personal Trauma

By Francesca Miracola

‘I Got It from Here: A Memoir of Awakening to the Power Within’ (She Writes Press, Apr 25, 2023), is both a story of hope for women who are looking to reshape their lives from the ashes and a cautionary tale for younger ones. I shared it with the world in the hopes of helping others heal.

It makes sense that I was asked to write an article about the lessons I learned from my experiences and the takeaways I want everyone, especially young girls, to absorb. It was the opportunity I’d been hoping for, a chance to spare young women from the hell I lived through.

But the assignment left me frustrated with writer’s block. What was I supposed to do, put together a bullet point list and hope they’d heed my warnings? Did I really think that after glancing over a few words of wisdom written by me they’d be magically enlightened?

I could practically see the eye rolls on the page. I get it, I was that age once too, sometime between my teens and twenties. I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to an “older” woman either. I would have thought, she doesn’t get it, things are different now.

As I continued to struggle with a way to communicate with young girls, my teenage daughter sat in her room scrolling through social media. I envied the influencers and the influence they had over her. I decided to be real and draft a message I hoped would go viral.

I spent most of my teens and twenties desperately seeking love, acceptance, and approval from others while paying no mind to myself. The more I worried about what everyone else thought of me, the less I mattered to myself. My superpower was transforming into whoever I needed to be to satisfy the needs and expectations of others. I ran on anxiety and Diet Coke. My toxic trait was fearing I wasn’t good enough then degrading myself trying to prove my worth. I’d follow through like a champ, repeating the cycle over and over again in a futile attempt to wash away my shame.

I know, cringe! I’m not actually going to post it anywhere. But if you low key relate, then follow my story:

I married an abusive sociopath and wasted prime years of my life trying to escape his physical and mental abuse. The divorce wiped me out financially and since I chose a career that I wasn’t interested in my bank account never recovered. Suburban life depleted my soul, but I stayed put struggling to keep up appearances in the traditional life that was expected of me.

I surrounded myself with people who mirrored my existence, projecting my misery on everyone around me, blaming them for my unhappiness. It’s no surprise I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my body stored my pain.

I alternated between severe anxiety and crippling depression for decades until the resentment of self-betrayal boiled over, and I exploded in rage. When I finally rose from the ashes, I realized my beautiful daughter was collateral damage of my anguish.

Turns out the best way to impart wisdom on a young girl is to heal the woman raising her. I had to take a hard look at my way of being and humbly admit I had some issues at play. I looked within to determine the cause of each pang I felt – guilt, shame, resentment, anger, anxiety, sadness – and without fail an old wound would be there.

The world outside me offered no relief, forgiveness was the only cure. I learned to let go of my grievances and see the love or lesson in every situation. The hardest person to forgive turned out to be myself.

Whether you’re a woman looking to begin again or a young girl at the beginning of your journey, follow your inner guide and take the steps that bring you closer to peace; circumstances and relationships will line up from there. And if at times you lose your way, forgive yourself and begin again.

Francesca is an Italian American from Queens, NY, currently living on Long Island, but in her mind she’s a free-spirited wanderer. She’s a breast cancer survivor, but she rarely defines herself as one – probably because she feels like she’s been surviving something most of her life. She’s funny; at least, she makes herself laugh. Francesca graduated cum laude from New York University and worked in financial services for twenty-five years, even though she wanted to be a therapist. That’s probably because she needed a therapist. Francesca finally wound up on her true path as a student and teacher of A Course in Miracles, author, life coach, and founder of Protagonist Within LLC. Francesca is a wife, a best friend, and above all, a mother. Visit her website at Francesca Miracola.

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