Cindy Stoppa

Cindy Stoppa

 
March 07 2013

Finding My Way

Cindy Stoppa

I grew up in a small rural town, pretty much born and raised in a trailer park. We moved a bit between two schools. I was shy and had a hard time making friends. Around 4th grade I developed acne very bad and was made fun of by my peers. Since my family was dysfunctional with an addicted father and a mother who was controlled and abused, I didn’t know how to fit in at school. In middle school I began listening to music which seemed to fit my moods. I became more and more depressed and my self esteem was shot. I wanted to fit in badly and made friends with older boys who showed interest in me because I was so willing to do anything with them. In high school, I fell into drug addiction, eating disorder (anorexia and bulimia) and began cutting myself. I was put into the psych ward 3 times for attempting suicide (which I was doing to gain attention). The final time, I set a fire so that me and a few others could try to escape. I was charged with arson and sent to a Juvenile correctional facility. I behaved badly there for the first year, then after speaking to my father after trying to escape the prison, I realized he did want me home. Also around that time, 9/11 happened and I realized how precious my family and life was so I decided to try harder my 2nd year. I went to the library of the JCF as much as I could, as it was a great escape from reality and found a book that taught only the sun salutation.

I had never heard of Yoga in my life before that. I began doing this in my cell and it made me feel so much less anxious and more clear headed. I improved my behavior. After I turned 18 in the prison, I began to develop feelings for a corrections officer. I knew it was not appropriate, but I decided to pursue a relationship after I was released. He is much older than me and most people had their doubts about us. I became pregnant quickly and we decided to get married. It was the best decision of my life. We have been married over 10 years and I have never felt better about myself. My husband lets me be free to be myself and over the last 10 years I have done a lot growing and self discovery. I still do yoga and have learned to hoop dance and even pole dance. I love my body and am thankful for the healthy child it created.