This entry will fall under the “things I never talk about” catagory, which is rare.
I talk about everything. From my love life, to my relationships with friends, to being a “working girl”, and more often-my view on where life has taken me. I recount old memories here, elaborate on favorite quotes, and allow myself to get lost in my head. I’d like to think that I’ve talked about everything, but I definitely haven’t, and with good reason.
Last night however, I was drawn into a discussion involving families, and it somehow spiraled into a deep conversation about the effects of my own childhood. I didn’t enter into this with the idea that I would start spilling my guts, but once it got started, it became hard to stop…and the questions kept coming anyway.
My sister graduates in December from nursing school, and I am so proud of that, and extremely excited to sit in the audience and cheer for her. She deserves this, and we’re going to be celebrating with lots of friends and family that day. The one blemish (if you could call it that) would be the guest list to this event, and what it means for ME. Selfish as it sounds, there are some people in this world that I would rather not see under ANY circumstances, and I’m the type of person that would just as soon skip an event to avoid the inevitable meeting. I simply refuse to put myself in situations that will hurt me, and to a fault, I will do whatever it takes to spare myself.
I’ve learned the hard way. Again and again.
ugh. There is no short explanation here.
Growing up, I didn’t know my mother. In my adult life, I still don’t know her, but the difference now is that I don’t want to. She left me with my father when I was two, and I haven’t seen her much since then…nearly twenty three years. Between my parents, there is a lot of anger and hurt, and the conflicting stories of how things “really” happened used to make my head spin when I was younger. She never called on birthdays, she never wrote letters, and I didn’t hear from her during Christmas. Until I was fourteen, I could only remember seeing her four times in my life, and all I knew was that she was someone who hadn’t really wanted me around.
This stemmed from being the only one of the four kids who didn’t live with her, who hadn’t known her, and who could only guess at what kind of life I might have had.
When I was around her, I had an overwhemling sense of belonging. She was smart, she was funny, and she was sorry…I could always see in her eyes that she was sorry. For a time, I wanted to (and did) forgive her. Life just seemed to happen, and not always in her (our) favor, so I wanted what little I could have and what little I knew. Those memories kept my heart from hurting too badly when she didn’t call on my birthday later, or “promised” that my Christmas card was in the mail.
Little by little though, I grew up and out of that stage. Those feelings of forgiveness weren’t feeling so generous as I got older, and I started learning that change is something you do, and she was doing nothing to change what she had done. Simply being sorry wasn’t enough anymore, I needed actions, and they had never happened.
So, over the years my anger has been an ocean. Vast and deep, sometimes stormy, other times calm…but always endless. It has effected my trust in others, my ability to let go, my relationships with friends, and the way I view myself at every angle. The knowledge that a mother could let me go so easily (claiming abuse by the hands of my father…a man she chose to leave me with), without contact for ninety percent of my life, and carrying little to no REAL excuse…it pains me. It reminds me again and again that life circumstances are no excuse for bad behavior, and regardless of who “wanted” me, I can live a full and productive life that is rich with appreciation for what I DO have.
Any way I spin this, it will still amount to one thing: I have some unresolved issues. My childhood was not beautiful, and until a few years ago, I was filled with a lot of pain and sadness. Learning to play the cards I’ve been dealt, that was a gift that I can only thank a higher power for, because without that secret knowledge, I would surely have been lost.
With Becca’s graduation looming so close, I am nervous. It’s two days after my twenty fifth birthday, and if everything goes the way it should (and for her sake, I hope so), the woman whom I resemble more than anyone in the world will be there. I wish that I was strong enough to put the past in a jar, seal it tightly, and throw it into the ocean of mine. That terrifying ocean that I might always be treading in, wondering when my strength will give out, or when the waves will give UP and push me back to shore already. I wish I were that strong, but if twenty five years of life hasn’t done the trick, I don’t know what will.
And that’s it for this years addition of “Things I Never Talk About”.