Friday, December 26, 2014

Stop reading NOW if the truth hurts!

Over the past few hours, as I swam through a tsunami of emotions, I feel even more determined to continue my journey as I have been. However, I want to give some clarity to those that may not understand my intentions. First of all, I do not blame my parents for the things that I did that caused detrimental consequences for me or those around me. I am 100 percent accountable for my actions. Let me be clear about that. It is and was my responsibility to manage my mental health, my physical health and my life in order to be a fully functionable human. I did not stay in therapy (as I should have), I did not stay on my medications (as I should have), I drank too much, I used sex as a way to meet my need of feeling love and cutting took away much of my pain so I didn't really believe there was anything wrong with me. The bottom line is, I was lucky. I was lucky that I wasn't in prison or dead by the time I was 30.

With that said, my childhood is a different issue. My parents had a responsibility to protect me, to nurture me, to teach me how to be the best human being that I could be. They failed. Period. That does not mean that we didn't have good times. That does not mean that I don't have good memories. That does not mean that I didn't or do not love them. Let's be clear about that. Speaking of memories, I remember NOTHING of the years 6 1/2 - 8ish. I barely remember years 10-13 and I have very few memories of the years 15-17. All the rest in between is garbled and messy, but i do remember both good and bad times.

With that all said, my blog, my story, is mine. I understand that writing about my experiences, may in fact, expose those around me, but I try as much as I can not to detail their involvement or at the very least to state that whatever happened does not necessarily mean how I feel today. I tell my experience of what I did, what happened to me and how I dealt with it, perhaps how I deal with it now.

I don't know if my actions as an adult were because of a chemical imbalance, my environment, my influences or maybe I just made stupid, immature choices. What I do know, is that, today, I base my life on what happens to me as an adult. If a parent calls me unloveable and a loser in my forties (yes, that happened), it hurts. If a parent refers to my half-siblings as her "real" children (yes, that just happened). It hurts. If a parent reacts to something I say about another family member and disregards it as a figment of my imagination, it hurts.

I love my siblings, unconditionally. I know that I have hurt them and I don't expect us to have a relationship beyond what they are comfortable with. However, let's be clear. They have hurt me too. It doesn't mean my pain is greater than theirs or vice versa. It is what it is. More importantly, what I felt in the past is in the past. Writing about it is about writing MY history, nothing else. Today, I care for all of my siblings, whether they speak to me or not. At the end of the day, I don't really care if they hate me, because I love them, I have forgiven both them and myself so my heart is whole in regards to that familial issue.

When it comes to my parents the relationships are more complicated. I will not sugar coat their dysfunction or abuse. However, I am not saying that they are horrible people. I am only saying that as a child, there was some dysfunction and abuse centered around me. As with other people, I gauge my relationship with them based on what they do now. The two examples that I mentioned above, force me to cut out the toxicity because there are still issues within themselves that cause them to say and do things that are not good for my mental health. That does not mean, I don't love them. That does not mean that they aren't good people. It does not mean that we didn't have amazing, beautiful, loving moments when I was a child or even as an adult. It means only that they have or are hurting me today and I have to decide if I want that in my life. I don't. Discontinuing that relationship is, at the very least, a necessity because they don't like what I have to say and I'm not going to stop telling my history. How they deal with that is between them and their God or their therapist.

Finally, it may be obvious that when I write about my parents, I am not speaking about my dad. The reason is because he is the only one that sincerely takes accountability for his role in my life as a child and how his parenting might have affected me as an adult. He is honest about who he is and he doesn't manipulate me by saying one thing and doing another. Most importantly, if I make him mad, disappoint him, hurt him, shock him, etc, he doesn't lay his feelings  on me. I don't know who he talks to about it, but what I do know is that he loves me unconditionally. He may be the only one in my life who ever has, besides my children.

I'm going to continue telling my story. I'm going to continue getting stronger each and every day. I will fall down occasionally. I will want to scream. I still want to hurt myself (but I won' least I'm strong enough today to know that I won't). However, I will not edit my history to make other people happy. I will not pretend that I grew up in some make believe fantasy (I did that already and it doesn't work). And I will not excuse behavior today because someone has to face their own truth. When I (ME) have to be the voice of reason in my circle of parental influences, then something HAS to be wrong because we all know I'm the messiest of us all. Just something to think about for all parents everywhere....