You Are More Than
For so many years, I have wondered what circumstances have shaped me into the woman, wife, and mother that I am. Questions plagued me for so many years about my upbringing (or lack thereof) from my parents. They divorced before I was born and I can fit all of my memories onto two hands, clearly I don’t have many to help me gauge the experience of having my mother and father around.
When I was twelve years old, my mother sent me to boarding school in new Jersey after a few run-ins of normal teenage trouble. I remember crying, daily, because I just wanted to be home. Unfortunately, my step-father had no desire for me to be around. Processing the thought that a parent could abandon their child, no matter the circumstance, still doesn’t make sense to me. Now that I am a mother, myself, I could not imagine one day without seeing my children. I watch them grow, right before me, and it is the most challenging, yet rewarding, experience that I could ever imagine. So, perhaps, that is why I struggle at thirty-six with understanding how my parents abandoned me; one for a country they called home and another for a man who wasn’t capable of accepting the “baggage” that came along for the ride. Talk about feeling like you’re not wanted and for reasons that just never made sense.
I have kept my feelings of hurt, regret, and abandonment in refuge for such a long time that I have, often, wondered what my purpose is. Why have I been given to two humans who had no desire to fight hard for their only child? Again, maybe it will never make sense to me since I have two beautiful children that I couldn’t imagine life without. So, what happens when you harbor these emotions and keep them bottled in a little corner for so long? A lot of turmoil and loss; a loss of time, relationships, emotions, and friendships. It’s disheartening to wonder why you make the decisions you do and why you cope with adversity in ways that, even you, know aren’t healthy. For years I have had pieces to my life’s puzzle scattered across the floor without the joining pieces to create a sense of completion. I attribute that to both of my parents, for all their secrets and the memories that I was left to try and make sense of.
So at what point does a person accept their lot in life and embrace that some questions will go unanswered forever?
For me, that point is now.
As I sit in my grandfather’s house in Thailand, a transition has begun and I can feel it moving like a thief in the night; stealing all of the regret and confusion that I have stored away. Being able to sit with my father over the past week has afforded clarity that I’ve, subconsciously, been crying out for. I can finally say that I am ready to let go and accept that my circumstances don’t make me. My past circumstances will now die in darkness because there is a light, ready to guide me towards a new lot in life. I, finally, feel like I have the strength and will to move forward. Unfortunately, this will come with decisions that are extremely hard to make as a daughter.
There is a sense of bravery in knowing that my parents made their decisions.
And I don’t have to ask permission to make my own.
Now it’s my turn! It is my turn to be a mother and a woman who doesn’t succumb to weakness and a space for excuses. Do our parents have an impression on who we are as humans, absolutely, but the incredible thing is that we have the availability of self choice. There is a choice that I own, not them. I now choose what direction my life will go in and their words have no rights or ownership in my future. In the past, I would make decisions based on abandonment and the understanding that walking away is OK; the cowardly way. Up to this week, I was imprisoned to a past of an upbringing that taught me that wrong was right, while being chained to circumstances that fed me lies. I didn’t know any better. But I will no longer be a victim of my past; I’ll charge forward in the battle of victory and reign as the victor of my circumstances.