When asked to summarize her life in a six word autobiographical novel Lori Chance just couldn’t do it. Her life has been divided into two separate worlds…two separate universes…two separate six word autobiographical novels.
Lori Chance’s original six word autobiography: Dead Asleep and Hitting the Wall
As a child, Lori’s step-father was abusive…mentally, emotionally and sexually. She found refuse in books and writing in her journal. When Lori’s mother finally left him when Lori was a teenager, Lori thought things would get better. Unfortunately, Lori’s mother married another man who was also controlling and abusive. The pain continued.
When Lori entered college she thought she had found an escape from her abusive world. During that time, Lori met and fell in love with a man. Despite counseling as a result of her abusive youth, Lori thought she had gained the tools to avoid the type of abusive men who had previously intersected her life. Ultimately it turned out Lori inadvertently created the same pattern in her life with which she had grown up. She married a man who was indeed similar to those from her past, and as a result fell into a very dark time of her life. She tried to hold her marriage together for 12 difficult years but it wasn’t meant to be. On May 21, 2009 her divorce became final.
The catalyst of her life’s spiral to a depth she does not want to revisit began in the late spring of 2003. On Tuesday, June 3, Lori’s 49-year-old mother went into the hospital with a ruptured brain aneurysm. She survived but at 27 years old, Lori came face to face with her own mortality. On June 4th, her mother-in-law went into the hospital after having fallen down her stairs. She, too, survived but was laid up most of the summer. On June 5th, Lori’s husband’s father showed up after over a 15 year absence in his life. Lori’s support system essentially disappeared as her husband and his family began to work through their healing process with him.
Emotionally Lori needed someone but there was no one there for her. At the time, her son was three years old and her daughter was only 12 days old. What ensued was a year in which it seemed as if everything Lori touched and had built fell apart and all she could do was watch it crumble. By November of that year she had a moment when she came face to face with her own mortality.
Lori Chance’s six word autobiographical sequel: Jumping Over the Edge and Expanding
Lori remembers a point at which she looked at herself in the mirror and realized she could walk out her door any day and not come home, and she wondered, Would I be proud of the life I’ve lived? The answer was no. So she vowed to take one step each day to create a life she could at least be proud of – whether things worked out or not wasn’t the point. She wanted to know she had at least done her part.
At first she had no idea what she was going to do, so there were days when it was the act of getting out of bed to face the day and try again that she counted as one step forward. She began to take on an attitude of curiosity about herself and her life, and decided that she wouldn't allow fear to stop her. So as opportunities, big and small, came up, she would take them and just keep moving forward. There were days when the steps included something simple like making a phone call, taking a walk to hear her self think, or even asking someone for help. She had to learn the difference between being the one to be responsible for making sure something got done, and being the one who actually did it. She also had to learn how to put herself first in life. Lori had compromised so much for everyone else that she had lost herself. For five minutes each day Lori would write in her journal over lunch. Five minutes turned into ten minutes, and that turned into twenty and so on. As Lori put herself first, everything began to shift.
It was such a crazy time. Lori cannot even remember the first year of her daughter’s life because she was so lost in everything. She would not wish that one anyone. But what she learned, and reclaimed for herself is invaluable.
Lori worked hard over the past few years to create a new and fulfilling life. She has put people in her life who are supportive and kind in ways she has never experienced before. Lori truly feels blessed. At her worst moments she wanted to give up, but through it all she now realizes it has been worth the struggles along the way to be who she is today.
Now Lori is an author. She has a background in life coaching and human development and has taken those skills as well as her life lessons to create Who Am I, a book that outlines a step-by-step approach for women who want that ‘something more’ but have no idea where to start. She is currently working on her second book, which will be a memoir of her life journey.
Read more about Lori on her site: http://www.LoriChance.com
Thank you Lori, for sharing your Story with us.
Our Stories and pictures are the sole copyright of their Authors and may not be reprinted or used without their permission.
© 2009 by Julianne Barclay and Story of My Life