She Crawled Into My Bathroom Stall…

She Crawled Into My Bathroom Stall | Sedruola Maruska

We were living in Miami at the time. Which means I was around eight years old.

I raised my hand.

“May I go to the bathroom?”

“Yes, Sedie, go ahead.”

It was a typical day. We were learning. Things were going fine, until I went to the bathroom.

I heard someone come in.

Then, she crawled under the partition, into my stall.

Her name was Sara. She was in my class. We were friends. It’s foggy, I was eight. We only lived in Miami for six months. I didn’t know her well, but she was my friend.

And here was my friend, Sara, standing in front of me, in my bathroom stall, pulling down her pants and showing me her vagina.

“What are you doing?!”

“Show me yours.”

“NO!”

“Come on?!”

“NO!”

I quickly got up, pulled my clothes together and tried to leave the stall.

She tried to kiss me.

“Stop!”

My eight year old self was confused. What happened? Why did she come into my stall? Why was she showing me her vagina? Why did she want to see mine?

Why did I feel scared? Why did I feel ashamed?

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I’ve never told that story before. As a matter of fact, I haven’t thought about that incident in a long time

It came to mind because the other day I was talking to my mom about my son. We were sharing about how open he still seems to be at thirteen.

Then I thought about Sara. About how I never told anyone what happened in that bathroom. How, I felt so ashamed and nervous afterwards.

Looking back, I wonder if Sara ever said anything to anyone either. She and I never talked about it. I didn’t tell on her. I didn’t tell anyone, ever. We moved.

As a mom I’d like to think I can protect my kids from hurt. I want to think that they’ll tell me what’s going on with them, by making sure I give them space to be fully open and honest.

But they’re not going to tell us everything. They’re not always going to say when they feel confused or frustrated. Especially if they feel ashamed or nervous.

They’re going to move on and pretend everything’s fine, or they’ll forget.

What happened with Sara? Did she keep crawling under partitions into stalls? Did she grow into herself and acknowledge that she was gay, or at least curious? Or, did she bury herself and her curiosity deep inside because of confusion?

I’ll never know.

Something I do know, our children will never tell us everything. Because when I think about it, I realize that I didn’t.

We didn’t, we don’t tell everything ourselves.

She Crawled Into My Bathroom Stall | Sedruola Maruska

I could have gone home and told my mom about this little girl that came into my bathroom stall. I didn’t. Which is why I’m not naïve enough to think my kids will tell me.

No matter how safe they feel in talking to me, and we work hard to make our home a safe space, they won’t. What I hope is they’ll learn to process and cope.

Until we’re able to process the reasons we keep ourselves buried, we’re destined to live in darkness. We can’t be upset at our children for not sharing everything with us, when we don’t share everything with ourselves.

Homeschooling my daughter the other day, we worked on a reading comprehension activity. I looked at her work and noticed a couple of wrong answers so I sent her back to review. She reviewed then brought it back. I glanced and started to tell her that what she did was wrong as she started to get emotional.

When I looked closer, I was wrong. I didn’t take the time to look closely, thinking I already knew what I was doing, and I was correcting what she’d done, when it was already correct.

I looked at her teary eyes and said “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”

But I didn’t stop there. I want to empower her to speak up so I said “it’s okay to tell me if I’m wrong. I will be wrong sometimes. Okay? No matter who it is, they can be wrong. If you know you’re right, speak up.”

She nodded, smiled and we moved on. What I’m hoping she’ll learn is, even if she’s not willing to tell me everything, she will speak up for herself and process outwardly if necessary.

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As we mature the extent we allow ourselves to learn and grow is the extent we’ll be able to allow others around us to learn and grow.

We’re not called to live anyone else’s life, even our children’s. What we’re called to do is be and project the best versions of ourselves. That’s how we empower ourselves, our children and our loved ones to be the very best of themselves.

Then, when someone does crawl into their bathroom stall, they’re equipped to handle, process and move beyond that situation.

Now, Where Does Change Happen?

Sedruola Maruska | Personal Development Coach

“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.”

When was the last time you were fully present in the NOW?

I used to hear the idea shared that ‘there’s only now’ but never fully understood it until a few years ago when I read “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.

What is now? It’s this very moment. It’s the time when all things are created because they all begin in the mind. As a personal development coach I enjoy talking about ‘now’ because it’s the fertile ground where the future grows. “NOW” is where personal development happens.

“Now” is ideal attention, focus. It’s being in “the zone” where all that exists, all that matters is the present moment, not the past or future. It’s paying full attention to what you’re doing in the moment you’re doing it.

For example, if you’re eating, eat. If you’re reading, read. It’s the moment of choice for every action or thought. Personal development is a present activity. It’s deciding in each moment and affirming each decision with action.

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If you’re eating and thinking about bills, or what’s on television, then you’re not in a state of now. If you’re reading and not concentrating on the act of reading, then you’re not in the present. Whatever you happen to be doing, if you’re thinking about something else, then you’re not attentive and not in a state of now.

Have you ever been reading but couldn’t remember what you read? Or maybe you kept reading the same page over and over again because you couldn’t seem to grasp what was being said? That’s what not being in the present feels like.

Now, Where Does Change Happen | Sedruola Maruska

When you’re not attentive, not here, your present peace of mind may be distracted by an upcoming event, or something that’s already happened. When you’re working on personal development one of the keys is to always bring your focus back to ‘now’. Always asking “what can I do now to achieve what I want?”

Discover Your Brilliance

If I ask you how you feel, I’m not asking how you felt yesterday or how you think you’ll feel tomorrow. I’m asking how you feel, in this moment. Same as if I ask you what you want. I’m not asking about what you wanted in the past, or even what you want for the future. I’m asking for this moment because knowing and embracing what you want today gives you clarity for creating the future.

Now is all there is. Tomorrow is always beyond your grasp and yesterday is gone forever. It’s the only reality.

A few days ago I woke up with a feeling of complete peace. The day and time were ‘Now’ and being able to enjoy that presence felt great. Being focused on what was happening in each moment allowed the day to unfold as an incredibly productive day.

What do you want? Who are you, now? Let’s get a fresh start there so we can then think about what needs to happen in every “now” so the future can be perfect for you.


Open Letter To My Younger Self

Sedruola Maruska | Personal Development Coach

Hey Lady!

It’s me, your older self.

I’ve missed you. I’ve missed the fire in your soul that brightened up rooms you inhabited. I’ve missed the pick-up-and-go, and I’ve missed my younger self zest!

I say ‘missed’ because after all these years, I’m finally discovering that I buried you, my younger self, in a deep dark place. I’m so sorry.

I was afraid, hurt and so, so ashamed. I felt like you were the problem and didn’t deserve to live full out. I know it’s confusing. You’re wondering why? That’s why I’m writing.

I’m slowly finding you again and I feel terrible that I left you locked up for so long. You need and should have an explanation.

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Man #1

First, I want you to know, your idea that it’s time to find a man is all wrong. You’re young, you’ve got stuff to do, there’s no ‘need’ to find a man.

But I know what’s about to happen so. . . .

Girl, he’s fine. I know! He’s got a warm radiating smile and he knows it. He’s also got eyes that seem to look right through you. Thing is, he doesn’t see you, not really. It only feels like he does cause, you want him too.

He’s good news and bad news. He’s where things start to wobble, beware. Oh, you’ll have fun. You’ll see each other a few times, and it’ll start to look promising.

Then he’ll disappear. What do they call it now? Oh, girl, you’ll get ghosted. Don’t let that rattle you. Yes, I know it’ll feel bad. You’ll be sad. And you’ll wonder what you did, or didn’t do, to make him stay.

You didn’t do anything but be yourself, my younger self. You’re not responsible for decisions others make that don’t include or have anything to do with you.

Everyone’s dealing with their own stuff. You’re okay and there’s more where that came from.

Discover Your Brilliance

Open Letter to My Younger Self | Sedruola Maruska

Man #2

You got ghosted and you’re wondering why. Not only that, you’re panicking. All your girlfriends are getting married and you don’t even have a man. Trust yourself. Don’t be anxious, you’ve got this.

This is where you derail. Where you stop trusting yourself and start trusting someone who doesn’t see you, uses you, and discards you. Don’t go there! This is the one. Not “The One”, just the one that put you in the dungeon.

He’s a doozy. Those eyes. That smile. They get you every time don’t they? He’s not wearing a ring and he’s super helpful. He’s helping you navigate this conference and find your place. Not so bad. Don’t take the number.

I know you, you’re flattered. He’s also a little flustered, it’s cute.

Don’t take the number.

It’s not worth the ending. I’m here, and I see you so clearly and I just want to hug you and say “trust your instincts. You’re right, he’s bad news!”

Don’t throw your instincts away because of this guy. You’ve made it this far, you’re bound to meet someone that won’t be so shady feeling.

Don’t take the number.

Reinventing Yourself: Get A Fresh Start

I Love You

You didn’t deserve to be in the dungeon. I stopped trusting you. I’m sorry. He was a bad decision. We all make bad decisions, but a bad decision doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human.

I felt we weren’t worthy of our bigger dreams. I convinced myself that what we wanted no longer mattered because we weren’t worthy. Looking back I realize now how wrong I was.

We’re all worthy of our dreams. Mistakes happen. They don’t define us. What we do regularly does. Who we are and our worth isn’t dependent on the mistakes we’ve made or failures we’ve had. We are worthy simply because we are.

Somehow I forgot that after our loss. She saved us. I took the safe route and didn’t allow us to be too “big.” I’m happy to say, we’ve turned a corner. I’ve learned a lot and now we’re moving forward in faith, love, hope and joy!

I know we’ve learned a lot along the way. I know all the learning has made us who we are. But it was hard to get past the loss.

For a long time I didn’t know how much I was punishing you, my younger self, for that bad decision.

Now I do.

It’s okay.

We’re okay. We’re taking the world by storm and enjoying being “big!”

In everything, always remember, you’re loved more than you know and you’re totally worthy of all you want.

With love, Me