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Growing up in Foster Care gave me the skills to be the kind of woman I not only needed to be, but I wanted to be.
Foster care isn’t glorious and often I feel like I am one of the lucky ones.. having only been in 3 different homes growing up.
But I didn’t walk away unscathed.
- Emotional Abuse from my foster parents
- Sexual Abuse from friends of the bio family
- Physical Abuse from various sources
Being forced to talk about problems when at 6, 7 or 8 didn’t know what that even meant but being yelled at nonetheless that if I don’t talk about my problem I am going to be a screw up.
Being told that you will be worthless, an alcoholic and amount to absolutely nothing didn’t do me any favors – except that I vowed myself to be and do better.
At 15 when I had to repeat a grade, preferred running away and getting drunk than being in school and after disappearing for 3 weeks one of the residential counselor’s pulled me aside and told me “Petra, you’re not stupid”.
Listen, I am blonde and blue eyed and back then it was the equation of being stupid. And given my life, how was I supposed to believe anything different?!
- I graduated high school at 15 on top of my class
- Became a mom at 17 to one of the coolest dudes
- Moved to the US at 18 because why not
- Married at 18 it was right for the moment
- Became a mom again at 24 another coold dude
- Had a DUI at 26 – experienced my first awakening shift
- Earned a Bachelor’s because I am good at accounting
- Opened my first business during this time
- Was raped at 27 because he was an asshole
- Became a mom again at 28 – to a warrior incarnate
- Earned my Master’s because I wanted to save the world
I was always fighting the voices from my foster parents and trying to hang on the words from the residential counselor.
I always believed there is and was something better for me out there but shit I couldn’t make heads or tails of it.
Every exeperience, every single moment helped me get closer to me.
I’ve tried to mold myself into someone I wasn’t for as long as I can remember to fit it, to be liked, to be loved and to be validated.
Some experiences have shaped me more than others and I don’t regret a single one of them.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t hurt or that I struggled to trust or even believe in the goodness of humanity.
It wasn’t until I started respecting myself, loving myself, and validating myself that whatever need to leave was out the door and whatever was meant to stay, hung around.
I am not afraid of action on the ideas that come to me. I am not afraid to do what is required of me in just about any given situation. I am not afraid to learn and grow and continue to heal the pieces that show me are still a bit cracked.
And I am not afraid to be me every single moment of the day.
You can choose to use your story to stay where you are. You can choose to not do a damn thing about anything.
You can choose to be freaking miserable.
You can choose to give yourself permission to follow that idea you had.
You can choose to let go of the old stories and create new ones, maybe even better ones.
You can choose to be who you have always been by opening the door and allow the world to see you.
Your experiences make you, they don’t break you!