Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Where Are You Going?

As my vacation comes to a close, I'm feeling very introspective.

I came home to Oregon to see family members I hadn't seen in 6+ years ...

Family for me is a difficult and vague term. I did not grow up in a traditional family setting. It was pretty freaking broken. As I grow older, I realize just how broken it really was. I realize why it took me so long to realize my childhood was so fucked - because I'd never drawn the line. The line between childhood to adulthood. I couldn't draw the line because my childhood has haunted me all the way into adulthood.

There have been situations, moments and people in my life in the last year or so who've helped me immensely in closing the doors to my past. In recognizing that the things that happened to me were not actually a result of who I am, or who I was as a child, I was able to change the direction of my life.

Choice is incredible. You can choose to identify with the things that have happened to you, or you can choose to not. I was identifying, and wearing these labels like giant cloaks for the longest time.

Motherless daughter. Abandoned by her father. Discard. Unlovable.

What happens when a child believes bad things happen to them because they're a bad person? They carry this mindset with them into adulthood.

It took a lot of hard hits, and finally moving around the world before I was able to see this.

If only lessons like this could be learned by a book picked up at Barnes and Noble, or a few sessions of therapy. Nope, I needed the punch in the face first hand.

So here I am, heading home after a week of spending time with my family. And I realize many of them still see me with the cloaks I wore for so long. It seems they identify more with what happened to me than I do. Pity. Sadness.

The truth is, no one expected my siblings and I to amount to much of anything.

It's no wonder "going home" is so hard.

The truth is - there is NOTHING FOR ME in the past.

There are people who are proud of their upbringing. Their parents. Their last name. They tell humorous and happy stories in front of the fireplace on Christmas morning. That is not me.

There is only one way out for me - and that's forward. You are not your past or the holes you had to dig your way out of, you are where you are going. 

You choose. 
Your future.
Your life. 

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing. I follow you on IG and that doesn't always give a sense of who someone is.....hugs.

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  2. Awesome post -- I'm sorry for the holes you found yourself in, but so happy and proud that you've found your way to the powerful place of choice and control over your future. It takes a lot of strength to leave lifelong emotions in the past, even (or especially?) if they are toxic and inaccurate (for example, no child is unlovable, it's the adults around them that fail through their own life issues). With the ability to choose your own life comes with the freedom to choose your own family. You don't need to let your biology dictate your life story or the labels that are authentic to you, even if others try to use it to do so -- which it sounds like you've figured out! Best of luck as your continue on your path!

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  3. This post was so timely. I was just talking about this with my therapist last night. Because of my childhood I have a deep well of disappointment and sadness in me that has bled into my adult life. It seems comically Freudian, and yet, here I am. Nothing about the word "family" has ever felt normal to me either. So, I just wanted to say that I hear you, I empathize with you, and I'm right there with you. I can't 100% shake the past because it pops up without my permission, but I can have clearer expectations when it comes to how I will let it effect me.

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  4. Can't even really tell you how much this one hit close to home for me, Courtney. It is the most frustrating thing when your own family won't allow you to grow and change and they hold this seemingly static, immovable view of who you ARE. I've encountered way more than my fair share of that in dealings with my own family. I wish I could tell you that's the end of the journey, but for me, having kids made me relive it all over again. This was probably cause I hadn't fully dealt with it all. I really believe that what you're doing right now, addressing and moving on and reestablishing your own choice in who you identify yourself as - all of that will make you stronger in every area of your life. Particularly if you decide to have kids some day...it'll make you one bad ass, self-aware mom. Not that I'd expect anything less. :)

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  5. Can't even really tell you how much this one hit close to home for me, Courtney. It is the most frustrating thing when your own family won't allow you to grow and change and they hold this seemingly static, immovable view of who you ARE. I've encountered way more than my fair share of that in dealings with my own family. I wish I could tell you that's the end of the journey, but for me, having kids made me relive it all over again. This was probably cause I hadn't fully dealt with it all. I really believe that what you're doing right now, addressing and moving on and reestablishing your own choice in who you identify yourself as - all of that will make you stronger in every area of your life. Particularly if you decide to have kids some day...it'll make you one bad ass, self-aware mom. Not that I'd expect anything less. :)

    ReplyDelete