Friday, March 07, 2008

The gift of our stories

Over the past couple of months, I have felt a lot of emotional shifts taking place in my life, as if some flood gates of awareness are opening up for me. I find that acceptance is becoming more and more a part of my life and my ability to see reality in new and different ways is helping tremendously. During this past week's therapy session I was able to recognize and accept that when my mother slept with my biological father during a brief encounter during their 10 year separation and I was conceived, she was using sex as a way to lure him back into her life to save her from the destitution of trying to raise three children, including two teenagers, on her own. I was also able to acknowledge that my biological father (who I have never had a relationship with and only first spoke to last year at my brother's funeral) was her only concept of what a family could be. They had been raised up in a very, very small mountain town, married when they were still in their teens, and gone on to start and raise a family. I have no doubt that my mother loved him dearly -- but he left the "smallness" of the world, joined the military, got a job driving a truck, and found someone else to love. He moved on, my mother stayed still. I can accept them both for their humanness. And while I had reached some of these conclusions about my biological father a few years ago ... it is only recently that I could begin to recognize that my mother wasn't a martyr who was left and abandoned and saved us all. She was a good woman, who suffered a lot of emotional pain, who knew that her daughter was being sexually abused and did not take the steps to stop it because she was afraid, but that my role in her life was only one part of her whole existence. Today, I can accept that she too had a life and a story and feelings and struggles and that each of my siblings have had their lives affected by our parents, their separation, their divorce and my mother remarrying my abusive stepfather.

A precious friend of mine recently shared some details of a very painful past with me. They were details that despite a year of close conversations, I never took the time to ask for, but that I was very moved by once I heard them. I could feel my heart break and tears flowed as I felt the pain of someone I cared for so dearly. I felt I knew him not as my friend, but as a human being, so much better. A few weeks ago a young woman who is still struggling to find her way into a recovery program shared her story with me. It too was heart-wrenching and filled with moments that made me want to reach out and take the hurt little child inside her and rock it gently to sleep, giving her a reprieve from the pain. I am honored and humbled to have two wonderful sponsees who share their stories with me and give me a broader vision of this disease and of this life. Their stories are sad and beautiful and uniquely theirs.

Each of us has our story that continues to develop one day at a time. I've been so wrapped up in my story and how it has affected me and shaped me, stuck in a world where everything about everything was all about me, all the while feeling like me wasn't worth the life it was wrapped in. I haven't honored my story as one of many, and I haven't honored the stories of others as being one of a kind, special and unique.

I'm thankful for this gift of a spiritual awakening, an opening of my eyes to the people and the world around me. And I'm thankful especially this week for my friend EC for being with me and opening me up in a way I have not been opened ever.

1 comment:

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I'm blessed to have your stories in my life.