It has been purely by chance, that the AoA teenagers have found a safe way to start doing things in the community, after the trauma of being stalked most of their lives. I just recently realized, without a doubt, that the dad has been stalking us for quite some time. When I realized that he started attending a church that is on my road, about two blocks away, it got real. He lives at least 30 minutes away from us!
The AoA kids both have dealt with social anxiety, and really didn’t like going to fun activities. It occurred to me, that this could very well be a result of being stalked.
I think the AoA kids may have found a way to start becoming more sociable and engaged in the community….costumes! Little AoA (well, 13 years old now), has acquired quite a collection of wigs and costumes. They are mostly inspired by Halloween characters and Disney villains. She has pseudonyms for social media, and makes sure that everything she does is off the beaten path.
A couple years ago, when one of my kiddos came out as transgender, my circles of friends shifted. In hindsight, this has allowed me and the kids to experience more of a feeling of safety, as there is no way the dad would think to look for us in the LGBTQ community🏳️🌈
It is mostly me and Little AoA who socialize and try to find friends and engage in service projects to help others within our friend groups. I have found some of the kindest, most caring people in our new circles. I have embraced people who I never would have known in the life I was living, trying to please others and meet the expectations of society.
The biggest lesson I have learned, is to embrace my authentic self. I have learned to love myself for exactly who I am. I have learned that I am enough, and I don’t have to be perfect in order to be valid and worthy of acceptance. It only took me 55 years🙄. I hope that my offspring embrace their authentic selves earlier than I did! I think they are!