Oh sometimes, I could just scream. Life has a way of throwing unexpected difficulties at a person when least needed. You can run, you can hide, but unfortunately as you do, you take yourself along.
I ran and I hid until finally I realized I would have to face all of the horrors of life. A funny thing happened when I began, I saw all of the beautiful things I had been missing, I was missing the love I so desired, along with so much of life. I quit running altogether and stood and looked around.
What I found was a peace I had never known, my heart quit aching, I was able to love others as never before.
I became grateful, grateful for all of the disgusting things that had happened to me, grateful for the tragic choices I had made. Grateful for them because they gave me an insight into the world I could not have gained in any other way.
I was sexually abused for the first 14 years of my life, I was physically and emotionally abused for the first 16 years, I continued the cycle by abusing alcohol, marrying abusive men and gravitating toward abusive friends. I had more than one girlfriend that abused me, it wasn’t just the men. After I quit drinking I discovered I was putting myself in the position to be abused.
My anger abated, blaming others stopped, I took control.
Now I live my life in a attitude of forgiveness and gratitude. Selfish still, because to not live this way means I will be in pain once more. I don’t like pain.
I recently went through a horrible experience, I went through it sober and grateful to be. The pain is still with me from this,but is made tolerable because I know I did all I could to assist the situation, I loved my way through it. I forgave myself for not being able to fix it, which was difficult to do. It was years of turmoil, yet today I stand stronger and more confident for it. I was able to be a mother in an appropriate manner, something I felt I had never done in the past. My grandson Henry died in August of this year, he was 4 1/2 years old. he was ill from the time he was born. He was a beautiful child. I was there when he was born, I was there when it was discovered how ill he was, I was there for it all including his last months on Hospice until the end.
During this time I have taken in 3 of my grandchildren as their parents made a bad choice with drugs, I now have a son in prison and a daughter-in-law on the streets. We will be adopting the younger 2 of these children and raising them, they are not quite 3 and 8 years old. A brand new journey for us all. I am grateful for the lessons I learned in my early life,that I got sober to act on them. these children need me to be present, to be compassionate, to remain aware at all times to their pain and help them through it. Recognizing that they are not their parents and deserve to be loved for themselves.
Taking this on would not have been possible for me had I not learned some of the tough lessons I did. These children are in a lot of pain, they act out, I understand and try to always greet it with love and acceptance, validating their feelings and helping them to react appropriately. Lending strength and guidance, sometimes in discipline, the older ones have learned behaviors I am trying help them unlearn. Lies for instance comes to mind. Lying is such a natural protective action, seeming so much easier than the truth. Confrontation is something I still don’t like but don’t fear any longer, making it possible or me to catch these little ones in the act and call them on it. I always remember how much better I felt inside when I discovered honesty, it is my desire to pass it on.
My son that is in prison is healing some, but has a long way to go, I just love him and let him know the kids are safe with me and so is he. there is little else I can do, he must do the work.
I have a younger son who has been mentally ill since he was very young, his is a long story and not mine to tell, I will say that he spent several months in jail recently, after many years of drug and alcohol abuse and many stints in jail or prison. Upon his release this time he has chosen to change his life. he has found a mental health facility that will help him with no money and is providing his medications as well, one of them is $400.00 a month, he is on 5. His label is long and doesn’t really matter here. What does matter is love, compassion and forgiveness are his path to life. I try to show him that in my support.
Now back to Henry. Henry taught me more in his 4 short years than anyone else ever could. He taught me the true meaning of love, for forgiveness, of compassion and of acceptance. I can never explain to you just how he did this, but I know I was one of hundreds that he did this for. His smile was sunshine in the dark of night. His life was hard on mom and dad, they taught me patience, honesty, compassion, love and acceptance.
Do I wish Henry could still be here, on some selfish level yes I do, but the reality is he lived his entire life in pain of one kind or another. It was time for him to go. Will I miss him, the joy on his face when he recognized my voice, the laughter emitted from him when daddy played with him, the joy in his eyes when he heard Adele or Train. The way he calmed when mama sang Twinkle. Oh yes I will miss him.
I am grateful I had such pain early in my life, for if not, I would not have recognized all the joy in my life.
Thank you to Henry, to my troubled boys, my grandchildren and all the rest who have taught me how to love and be loved.
Sometimes yes sometimes; I want to run, but I wont. Where would I go that would be better than where I am?