I was once told that my armor and shield hides or keep away parts of myself. I truly didn’t know how to feel about that comment. Me..HIDING! NO WAY! Why would I do any such thing? Sometimes it take one person to say the right words to send you on a quest of reflection and truth. This is my story.
Growing up in a household with one parent with some serious mental help issues and was physically abusive wasn’t a picnic to say the least. Of course I had no idea what all of that meant until much later in life. All I knew was that I needed to survive and make sure my siblings were protected. At a very young age I took on that very daunting task/responsibility. I can’t remember when the first time I got my ass kicked by my mom was, but I remember how I felt. I was scared, confused, hurt and betrayed. It’s hard at that age to understand that the very person that is supposed to love you and protect you is the one kicking you around like a soccer ball.
I never really had the time to ask myself as to why or why us? What I did know was that mom was the monster under the bed and one of us had to make sure we would all survived the night so to speak. This became my mountain and I became an expert climber. I learned to read her moods, her face, the look in her eyes when that switch would go off. That’s when really bad shit would happen. Watching mom being taken away in straight jacket was a normal event in my home. On some level there was a sense of relief when she was gone. I didn’t have to be hyper vigilant and I could finally rest for a while. I knew my siblings would be safe if only for a little while and that to me was everything. Keeping them safe was all I ever thought about and I did whatever it took to make it so.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I truly have “nothing to hide and thing to prove”. (quote is the wisdom of Jessie Elder) I don’t want my past to be my armor, or to stand in the way of connecting with all of you. I learned a long time ago that surrender is the must POWERFUL thing in the world. I remember at 10 years old I surrendered to my life for that time being. There was nothing I could do to change my situation, but I knew that some day it would change. I didn’t know how? I didn’t know when? I just knew it would. All I had to do is surrender and ride it out. So many things happened from the age of 10, to now 52. I could have easily taken the “fuck this shit” road and have a giant size chip on my shoulder and I guess I did for a while. However, that was a suit I was never comfortable in.
At the age of twenty six, I made another choice. I knew that if I didn’t change there was going to be one of two outcomes for me. Death or Jail. I didn’t like either of them. It was easy enough for me to say because of my upbringing this is why I am this way. Or because this happened to me I am the product of that environment. NO! Once I was out of my mother’s house all my choices were my own and I needed to own that. So I chose to live. I chose love, but most importantly I chose me. I have not looked back since. I moved forward with the imagination of a child and the strength of a warrior and made my own path by taking responsibility for my shit, asking forgiveness where it was needed and forgave so that I could breath again.