I think we all have a story in us. Something in life that was difficult, a trauma, something that caused an intense hurt. Some of us have had such horrible events happen in our lives, and we have carried them with us forever. Never knowing how to heal, how to move forward.
I suffer incredible flashbacks, where I see memories as vivid as the day they occurred. Have you ever smelled a perfume or heard a song, and it triggered a memory? I have moments like that all the time. I have recurring nightmares. I get a strange feeling in my stomach on occasion, and it tells me that I will have a familiar dream that night. I have some that are exactly the same. I walk the same path, see the same places, talk to the same people...over and over and over again.
There was a commercial on the TV when I was very young. Some animal PSA thing, and the music that played during it, it made me feel horrible inside. I can recall lions in the commercial, possible something called Wild Kingdom? I dreaded hearing it come on the TV when I was little. It took me to a very unhappy place.
Well, yesterday, 47 years later, didn't that commercial resurface itself. I was cooking in the kitchen, and was stopped in my tracks. I completely froze, and honestly, I felt like I was going to throw up. It hit me like a ton of bricks. When I came to my senses, I ran into the living room talking loudly to myself, trying to drown out the music, and crying at the same time. I tried to talk at as loud as I could. I grabbed the converter off my coffee table and I just began hitting buttons. The channel finally changed, and I felt a sense of relief come over me.
I then sunk into my favourite armchair, wiped my tears, closed my eyes, and tried to calm myself down. I had hoped I would never hear that music again. It took me back to the days before I was placed in Foster care. It brought back fear and sadness in me.
My life growing up was far from normal. It had so much abuse, fear, and anger in it. I learned early on to be on the defense. To learn not to trust people, and to say very little. This was with the hopes of not triggering the constant yelling I lived with. I walked on egg shells daily, and I listened to how I was a failure, a disappointment, among other things. As I got older, the name calling changed to accommodate the stage I was going through.
Many things happened as I grew up. The abuse stayed with me, continued until I was pregnant with my oldest son. Which was 32 years ago. Actually, if I am honest here, it still occurred on occasion up until 3 years ago. I will save those specific stories for another time.
I want to address something really important here. I finally learned how to forgive those who had hurt me over the years. Though, I will never forget all that happened. I am often asked, how is it that I do not hate my mum, after all she has put me through. I love my mum. I do not love what she did to me. I do not love that she allowed her husband to abuse me, but somewhere in her there is a hurt abused woman too. Trapped in a situation she could not get out of, for whatever reasons.
I find that forgiveness is very personal. It is solely for the one who has been hurt, not for the person who did the hurting. I do not forgive those that hurt me to appease them. I do not care how they feel at this point. If they want any form of forgiveness, then they need to own their part, apologize, and ask to be forgiven. Again, though, that would be for them. We all must take some kind of responsibility for all we go through. As a child I had no power, no control of what was happening in my life. As an adult I have choices, and can make decisions that benefit me. We forgive in order to move forward. It can give one strength, allowing for some sense of healing. It is how we let go of what has happened. We forgive the one that caused the pain, and in doing this we release ourselves from carrying it any longer. I forgive my mum and my step father. I pray for them, to find a place in their hearts where they take ownership of all the abuse they created and caused. If they do not, which is more likely than the other scenario, then that is their problem not mine.
I put myself into therapy a few years back. Knowing I needed to deal with a whole lot of emotional baggage, and to lift this weight I had been carrying for all these years. Therapy validated all I had been through. It gave me permission to cry, and to let it all out. I knew I deserved a better life than the one I had been given. A life that had come with constant fear. I then made a choice to forgive the people that hurt me. I also chose to not forget, in order to make sure it never happens again.
I am stronger than I have ever been in my life (you have no idea how awesome it feels to write that!). I have 4 amazing adult children that have given me purpose, hope, love and happiness. I have a granddaughter that looks at me like I am someone special. I have dreams, desires, goals, and I plan on making everyone of them come true.
I look forward to tomorrow.
I had a therapy session today, on the phone. With COVID-19 lingering close by, I, like you, am self isolating. So therapy is on the phone or a virtual session. My therapist asked me how I am coping during this very frightening time. I told her I am doing quite well, considering. I, understandably have the odd moment of loneliness, but I have a roof over my head, food in my fridge, kids that call daily, and pups to cuddle. I am respecting all that is being asked of me, and staying home. I even have a date night, every night via FB messenger.
Nothing we are going through right now could ever be as bad as what I have already been through. At this stage of my life I am quite resilient, and thankful for the life I have.
I will continue to write my Blogs, and share my life events. I thank all of you who are reading what I write, and getting something positive from it.
I feel as though I am meant to write, for my own healing. If someone reads my stories, and learns about themselves, if they make better choices, or help someone possibly like me, then reliving all my pain is so worth it.
If you have had difficulties growing up and find yourself still carrying that burden...ask yourself how would you be able to move forward with a lighter heart.
We all have a lot of time right now to think. Ask yourself if you are holding onto something that is causing you more harm than good. Maybe forgiving someone would be a gift for you. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to not carry that weight with you. Forgiving someone does not mean you have given in to them, and it definitely is not a sign of weakness. It actually is a sign of strength. It speaks volumes about self love and a want to grow and heal.
I wish you that and so much more...