“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Once upon a day in May a birth took place in Massachusetts. Her parents were besieged with another child. What were they thinking? The first child was a handful. What is it about the 2nd that brings joy and peace? Or maybe not. My family was in the dark for my childhood. Fear, paranoia, anger and not much peace was my norm. There were joyful moments that I can remember, but they were moments where I wasn’t at home. I didn’t have to dread my parents coming home. I could remember this as if it were yesterday.
My story may not be different from others, but my experience of it to me, is what stands it out from others. I guess the bottom line was I really must have wanted to understand suffering so that I would find my light. For in the contrast we often find what we don’t want. I was raised by two very empty people. One empty emotionally and the other empty in just not being available for he was never around and when he was, he was never available. I lost count of how many hundreds or thousands of times I would here “not now, I don’t have time for you. I’m busy. I’m working.”
It’s not that I was taken so early on with sexual abuse, but to be constantly facing the darkness. I learned about lying, cheating, stealing, not forgiving, not trusting and fearing the world is out to get you is pretty much right through my teenage years. It was for me a death of spirit. I wasn’t allowed to burn bright. I was cloaked with a canvas and told it wasn’t ok to be me. It was perhaps a generational thing, or maybe really it was just my family. I was bullied and teased outside the home and in the home I was meant to just not exist. So I hid and painted whenever I could to create an inner world and survive. Painting was magical for me. I could lose myself. I could live in the beautiful colors and know somewhere I soared in that life of vibrancy. It fed me so much life and nourished my aches and pains of living. I am grateful for that. Whatever the reasons, were they my own thoughts or were they conditioned into me. Was it my isolation I lived in or was it that I just wasn’t “normal” enough to fit in.
I can tell you that making sure there isn’t any worth in me created a very wounded path. One that still haunts me. No matter how many bridges I build for my esteem, it seems in the end, they crumble and I get to start again. It wasn’t until I met a very special angel helper when I was 12 years old. He saved my life. He listened to me. He spent every afternoon after school listening to me talk. He kept me here. I was given a chance to breath- finally. Up until then, the shit I walked in consumed me. I lived isolated and fearful of being caught. In high school my dad began interrogating me. Trapped even more, I feared I could not get out. What made my life so wrong? I don’t fully get it. But I just feel my karmic path was for me to get what suffering was in order to have empathy and compassion.
Growing up my father was overbearing, angry, paranoid and not loving. He bought my love with money for me instead of giving me time. I rarely saw him because he was always working. He was a workaholic. He was also what I learned later in life as a “dry” alcoholic. I wasn’t allowed to garden because it would bring rats. I wasn’t allowed to have bird feeders because it would attract rats. I wasn’t allowed to have friends over. In high school after we moved to a house with an alarm system, he would make us turn it on when we were home. He would tell me all the time, “You can’t trust people. No one is really your friend.” What made this even harder was I was really close to my grandma (his mom). She was my connection of love. I would do anything for her. She was the only person I loved. I t ruined me when it became a problem. He forbade me to see her or talk to her. And if I did, he would trap me and interrogate me and make up stories and say “I heard through the grapevine that you did this or that….about my grandmother.” It continued throughout high school and college. I need love, but where, where do I find it? Where do I get it when it’s just nowhere around. My sister beat me up, bribed me to keep quiet about things or just hated me. I watched my dad listen on phone calls, bug the phones, listen behind walls and such. He was what I call an energy vampire. One that sucks the life out of you. And then he’d do VERY generous acts in the community. Things that would make people tell me ALL the time “Oh your dad is so wonderful!” Everyone seemed to love the image he created. But I knew who he was behind those doors. Hitting me with a belt, or dragging me across the floor by my hair if I didn’t behave well. And yet, I looked like I was privileged. We had the “perfect” appearance for the world to say they are a success. We were not allowed to talk at the dinner table. We were not allowed to make any noise on Sunday mornings or we’d get punished. These are all little things that built up big. Or were they really big and I thought it was “normal”. Who am I to say, I was just a kid. Well we know that’s a lie. I had to grow up fast and hard to survive.
Then there’s my mom. The perfect picture of narcissism. The empty emotionless cup. A clueless woman who never really wanted children. A perfect one to allow my dad all the crap he pulled. She wasn’t looking and she wouldn’t have done a thing anyways. As long as she got to spend all his money, feed us and keep a clean house, what more did he need in a wife. I honestly believe my dad believes woman are worthless. So it was with my mom. There wasn’t a way to be seen or heard, so what was the point.
The yelling, the fighting, my sister and my dad’s twisted relationship (as if they had a spiritual marriage). She threw things, hit him, broke doors, it was a war zone. And I wasn’t safe. But I was 11, what did I know? Apparently too much. And all this followed me into college. I was stalked my sophomore year. I had physical health problems, problems with friends I’d make and then they’d dump me. It was a streamline of surviving. A battle with grades and a learning disability that finally was tested because I was a crack in the holes in the school system back then. All could have been caught if someone could have seen what was going on behind the scenes. When I graduated from college, I had my first car accident. Yet another milestone to overcome moving forward. I battled up stream ALWAYS.
What amazes everyone to this day is that I didn’t become what EVERYONE believed I would become; a drug user, a college drop out and worse yet, my dad expected me to marry and make nothing of my life. Be a nothing. How could I have any other destiny. All this and spending my life looking to please the world. SOMEBODY please love me. Somebody please see me. If only.
However, as I grew up, I learned that I was not parented well. That I didn’t learn values and that I was more than who I thought I was. I began to grow and change. It unfolded petal by petal. Gifts here and there. I went through the dark side of my soul (and could it get any worse!) at 27/28 years old. I became depressed again and yet I also was experiencing joyful highs and the roller coaster of my ups and downs yielding my inner grief took flight as I walked a new tight rope we call life.
It was here I began asking questions. I began moving forward in honor of what I was born into. It was here that I met my fate. I made a life altering decision at 17 years of age. I’ll never forget it. It really was the biggest decision of my life, to live or die. I chose to live (or at least what I thought living was). I couldn’t kill myself for 2 reasons. 1) I love trees. The tree people kept me here. I sat in my attic crying one night praying to please end the cycles of abuse in my house. To stop the generations of suffering my family seemed to have been plagued with. My father got this from his father and so on. The emotional abuse HAD to stop. I just couldn’t bear it anymore. 2) I would NOT give my dad the satisfaction of me leaving. I did not want him to win. I had to live.
That anchor/pivotal point in my life changed the compass I was to tread on forever. It was then I became a new person. Yet, it wasn’t for another 10 years for those changes to become real. I needed more suffering apparently. (I’ve had a rich life of stories)….you know the kind where you get in the car accident, move five times in one year, become homeless, your dog runs away and then dies….and then the flash backs of sexual abuse decide to start flooding your mind stream. I don’t need to write a book here for all that. So now another 10 years of healing and more rising up through the flames and the tears. And here I am another 7 years of realizing I need help parenting because of my history, the triggers are far too great at times. My oldest son is my biggest teacher as of yet. He is holding the space for me to “get it mom!” I’m working on it….that’s what this blog is for. I have given birth to a new generation. A healing generation. A generation that will no longer carry the poison, the shame, the abuse and I have to make it right. And here I am with my new commitment of “what would someone who loves themselves do? I’d say is a miracle. I am a miracle. I have always believed i am magical. Even if it was to avoid my life. It has served me as a protection. Now it will serve me even greater. As I continue to face my fears, and receive my life and my light I get to experience WHY I came here. To love. To allow love, to love others, to embrace humanity with compassion, to honor all and be kind and caring and tell anyone who wants to listen that they are important. That they matter. They are here for love to.
I feel this last part (who knows how many more parts there really are) of my journey will keep unfolding in mystery and mastery of love.