Tanya Lee Hamilton
Tanya's Story "
I genuinely love, care for and enjoy the company of others. Others have told me that I am kind, selfless, and caring, that I am loving, funny, inspirational, thoughtful and artistic. I think I am genuine, courageous, and creative. I grew up believing that I was stupid, ugly and worthless. It took me years of hard work and tears to finally realize my self-worth. I need you to know some things about my past to fully appreciate my long journey to where I am now.
From the time I was born, I went through multiple cases of abuse, of every kind, by too many abusers to remember at one time. I was sexually, physically, and emotionally abused, and as a victim of abuse, I was convinced that it was my fault. My very first memory was when I was about four years old. I hung upside down on an old steel swing set, at the very top, and I dared myself to straighten out my legs. I had just escaped from being sexually abused by a neighbour and then had my arm burned by an iron when I got home. As I sat on my front doorstep after I got home from the school play yard, I gently rocked myself with my arms wrapped around myself tightly. Leaving my body rocking, in my mind, I learned to “fly” that day. At first, I ran like a crane; then as I ascended into the clear sky, I became a strong eagle, stretching my wings out away from any harm. Over the years, I was to fly many, many times. The sun warmed my body, and I felt so free, so beautiful. I soared high above all the devastation, the pain, and the dysfunction that enveloped me on Earth. I learned at a very young age to hide behind the appearance of laughing and joking, yet I yearned to laugh for real. Even in a crowd, I felt abandoned and alone. I chattered and kept people laughing so no one could see how much pain I was in.
I raised four special-needs children of my own entirely by myself. No parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents or even friends were there to help or assist me. I regularly took my girlfriend’s three special-needs children on weekends to give her a break, along with my own four, but no one could handle even one of mine. During my first year of college, I initially was going full-time. I was working part-time, did the newspaper route at night time now and then with a friend, had my children in Brownies, Guides, Cubs, Scouts, and counselling (Are you keeping up with me? lol) with AMAC (Adults Molested As Children) Group for me. I volunteered with elderly friends cleaning their places/making meals for them with the trade-off that they spent time with my kids to replace their absent grandparents. I dropped down to part-time after my kids had stayed home from school one day, and started a fire in my basement. Oh yes, we also did a newspaper route, to have enough money for food. Somehow, I managed to make the honour roll that semester. now, how did I do that one??
I had an accident with a freight train on a Friday the 13th, with a Mustang. I was in a coma for two weeks and had to relearn how to walk and talk again after I consciously woke up. (I kept telling them they didn’t want to do that…I never shut up, and I’m always on the go!!) I didn’t break any bones, but I have a severe brain injury. Every day of my life, I deal with severe pain, mostly without medication. The pain lets me know I’m alive! You can’t be in this much pain, and be dead!! A transport truck almost backed up over me. When everything was over and done, the back of the truck was resting on the front windshield of my car. He thought he was stuck on something; he was! Me! A car trying to beat a red light swiped the front of my car. Ok, God, I get it. You don’t want me to drive. That was the last day I drove. I managed to quit biting my nails, after a lifelong bad habit of biting them. I managed to quit smoking, after 39 years. My sister always did say I was a force to be reckoned with!!
I got the chance to go up on the EdgeWalk, a walkway around the CN Tower, near the top, with absolutely no railing around it. You have a special jumpsuit on, with steel “ropes” attached to “things” up above, and I was allowed to use a wheelchair guided by an assistant. I didn’t have the physical ability or balance to just walk. It is incredibly safe, with all of their safety gear. I was so excited and thrilled!! Everyone else was nervous or downright afraid. Here I was yelling “Whoooohooo!!” every chance I got!! For me, I was in my “safe place”. Everything looked just as it did when I “flew” like an eagle!!! It also gave me a brand new perspective on all the abusers in my life. The people down below looked so small, like dots on a page. I could just put my finger on them, and wipe them out!! It was such an incredible, powerful feeling as the years of feeling inadequate and worthless just vanished! I felt empowered that I too meant something, that I did have value and worth. I felt better than I ever did in my entire life!! I had it confirmed how I felt that by surviving the accident with the freight train, I had better learn how to live! I had spent all of my life living trying to die. Besides, God has a very good reason for my life…I just raised my special-needs grandson that no one else could handle! When everyone else walked out on him or threw their arms up in despair, I was there. Sit. When can I get up?? When you calm down. I still fly sometimes, but it’s rare.