Share Your Story: Rachel Speer

Allison Nazarian Share Your Story

My story is just starting to make sense.

The threads of my early memories are finally weaving their way into the tapestry of my life.  Some threads of my story are still buried so deeply that an odd, unforgiving memory will re-surface when I least expect it.

But then another layer of life will suddenly make sense.  So, that’s why I made that decision.  That’s why I have that unique character trait.

My story is that my real life gets in the way of what I would like my story to be.

My real life was filled with childhood abuse, easily undiscovered because of the frequent moves from town to town, state to state.  Over ten schools, all before age eighteen.  

So upon high school graduation, I fled far, far away from my home.  Only to return at twenty and pause briefly to watch my first parent die.  Then again to flee.  

This time to a kibbutz where I found a place that could have been my story.  But I was too young to appreciate what a gift it was to fit in with people, a gift I have not received since.  

And again, I fled.  Not knowing why, but back to the land of abuse.

This time to finish college and get my unwanted degree in civil engineering.  I always wanted to be a writer but was told I would be a civil engineer.  And I was obedient, so a civil engineer I became.

Upon college graduation, again I fled.  Again, far, far away.

Seven years into my undesired but rather successful civil engineering career, I received the devastating phone call that my mom was going to die.  I moved her in with my husband and me so she could get treatment.  The treatment did not work and thus at thirty-three, I watched my second parent die.

And I desperately wanted to flee.  

Because to me, fleeing is finding a new story.  But I could not as I had a husband, dogs, house to consider.  

So then a few years later, my husband was diagnosed with an incurable, untreatable disease and I was diagnosed as a gene carrier for a deadly disease.  My resolution was easy, it only required me to give up the chance of ever having children.  My husband, however, has no resolution, just living day to day takes most of his effort.

Now, days away from my thirty-eighth birthday, fourteen years into my undesired but rather successful civil engineering career, I am ready to start making sense of my story.  

This time without fleeing.  Because I don’t have to go anywhere to finish weaving my tapestry.

I am ready to make sense of the abuse, death and sickness that has surrounded me.  

I am ready to change to the course of my life, because while I did not have much control over how my story began, I am determined and will make sure to take control of my story.  

Regardless of how scary or difficult it may be.

My story is that I am a survivor.

About Rachel Speer: I’m a civil engineer by day and ‘slice of life’ blogger by night.  Both keep me busy and in front of a computer way more than I should be. I’m an avid wannabe-writer, wannabe-photographer, but full-on participant in life. Rachel’s blog: Totally Ovar It.

Share YOUR Story: Email me your answer to the question “What’s Your Story?” to shareyourstory [at] allisonnazarian [dot] com. Your answer, which I beg that you keep to 650 words or less, can be about a fleeting moment in time, the story of your entire life or anything in-between.