For me, it all started hurting when my parents kicked me out of the house when I was 19. They would probably describe it has me moving out, but they made it clear I was not welcome in their home. They gave me no other option but to submit to their will or leave. So I left. They called me selfish, I was. They called me immature, I was. They called me young and naive, I definitely was. But what they failed to recognize is that I was hurt. I felt like such a bad kid to be leaving my stable family unit, but I couldn’t allow myself to continue to fight people for what was making me happy. I had met my would-be-husband that year, fell in love with him immediately, and my father was not happy about it. I saw a future with this guy but all my dad could see what his emotional issues, coming from a single-parent household. That’s all my dad knew about him, and that was enough to want to violently prevent me from loving who my heart had chosen. I was told it wasn’t God’s will for me to form a relationship with him and that God would not bless me or protect me since I was being disobedient to my father. I chose love over the cage they tried to keep me in, thankfully. It took a lot of strength to tell my parents they were wrong, but I did it because I felt like I knew better. I didn’t fully recognize how we were two puzzle pieces, our broken pieces aligning nearly perfectly. But eight years later, I can tell you, we are star-crossed lovers, soulmates, always meant to be.
I was an open bleeding heart for years. My relationship with my dad and step mom had completely crumbled to the ground. My safe place was now a pit of snakes. My step mom passed within a couple years of our breaking, before we ever got the chance to talk about things. In the wake of her passing, my father reached out to apologize to my husband and I, but we never got to clear things up either when he passed a year and a half after her. Without their existence, I was now bottling up all of my anger, brokenness, and pain. That relationship could never be repaired. So, I imploded. For years. I upheaved my entire life, changed my world view, my morals, my values, changed my career path, changed my hair, my home, my style. The worst part was when I began acting out my anger and becoming dangerous to the people I loved. I acquired bad habits, addictions, obsessions because I wanted to be distracted from my own bullshit. I went on hurting and hurting and hurting for so long that I soon began to get calloused to the ways in which I was now hurting others.
I couldn’t be the mom I wanted because I was so distracted by my own emotions. I couldn’t be the wife I wanted because I was distracted by the lives and problems of my friends. I couldn’t be the creative person I wanted to be because I was distracted by social media and politics. I couldn’t be the healthy person I wanted because I valued pleasure over discipline. I couldn’t be the productive person I wanted because I was consumed with fear.
No one could love me because I hated myself for everything that happened. I abandoned morals, I could see no purpose in existence. I needed there to be a reason for living through all this pain. I sunk into a very deep depression, the lowest I’ve ever been and I continued to hurt and sabotage myself. I think every person deserves a couple years to sort of fall apart and put yourself back to together in a way that can help you survive a human existence. I just wish we didn’t have to hurt ourselves so much to be able to do that. I knew it was my time to start cleaning up my mess when I made a really important mistake that nearly cost me my marriage. Thats when I knew I needed to change. I saw finally that I was now the bad person hurting everyone. My villains were dead, I couldn’t go on blaming them for all the ways in which I was a violent, explosive fuck up.
Realizing I was hurt is not where healing began for me. Realizing how I was now hurting the people I loved in the exact same way I had been hurt was when I began to heal.
In order to change my direction, I had to tap into something no one had ever taught me how to do. I had created a shit hole of misery in my mind and I needed to reprogram the messages I was telling myself everyday. To do that, I changed the content I was consuming, I limited my distractions, I thought, and read and meditated and took long long walks. I talked to myself and my loved ones, I opened up about the scary sides of myself that I didn’t like and I kept exposing my darkness so that I couldn’t be consumed by it.
Healing takes brutal honesty with yourself. It takes a lot to look in the mirror and ask “who am I truly? Is this who I want to be?” it takes a conscious awareness to realize how the world experiences you. Did I like this person? Hell no. But I could not even begin to heal when I hated myself. I could only begin heal when I accepted my broken self the way I am. I became committed to fixing all those cracks and holes and wounds with the salve of self love and gluing myself together with the discipline of being true to myself. Further, I also needed to allow the time, space and solitude to do so. I have to take every day the way it is, no matter what happens or what mood I’m in. I just have to sail the seas.
For a long time I was waiting for something to inspire me to change. I would sit in my miserable emotional home and hope that my depression would pass, or my anxiety would settle. At one point I asked myself.. what am I waiting for? Is that thing or person ever coming? I was waiting for a savior… but I needed to be strong enough to save myself. I had to realize I was heading in the wrong direction and I was the only one with the power to change my life.
Healing has not been easy, or quick, or fun, but its worth it. It’s worth it when I see the relationship I have with my own kids. How we are connected and present and full of love for one another. That could never happen when I was broken, so that is why healing is necessary for me.