Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Damage Is Done

Fill Our Wounds by In-Flight Safety

I don't know about you but every now and then a story with come on the news and affect me in a way that I never expected. I'm not talking about the "feel good" stories that warm your heart or even the "crimes against humanity" stories that make your blood boil. I get those feels too but this is different. Sometimes a news story will bring up all the pain and sorrow of my past and my life and breaks me so hard I have to stop and fix myself...again. 

Right now, I am feeling damaged beyond my ability to repair. And the culprit is the current policy of the government of the United States to rip the children of refugees from their parents arms as they attempt to cross into the country from the Mexican border. The reporters talk to experts who say that the children are traumatized and likely to suffer from P.T.S.D. (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), nightmares, anxiety and emotional stability even later in life. It never goes away. And every time I hear a snippet of this news item (I shut it off quickly) I feel pain. I feel like I am being ripped apart one more time from the last people who really loved me. My mother, my sisters, my brother and yes even my father (who I barely knew). 

This is an intense feeling of detachment. Feeling like I am not like others, like I don't quite fit in the world around me. That I don't belong. Like the bruised apple in the bag that isn't good enough to be taken out, given a little shine against the chest and then looked at admiringly and enjoyed. I spent the majority of my teenage and young adult life believing that I was not worthy in any way of love or to be a child is loved by their parents. 

Overall, I know I've done pretty well for myself (despite the hardships) and there are a few people who helped me to get as far as I did. Shout out to the Laws who stepped in to fill a void because their hearts were so big they had room to love 2 more. There have been others too (friends, extended family) but always you know that they have their own family priorities. It's just not the same. 

I had a mother, father, brother and sisters - past tense. I may love people and consider them like family but they will never have the blood bond or the ability to take the place of my loved ones. My ex-mother-in-law once said to me that I could call her "Mom" because I didn't have one of my own. I was deeply offended and from that day forward she was always referred to as "ex's mom", I never called her by name. That happened 14 years after my Mom died and 30 years ago and it still bothers me. I don't believe that she had any intent to hurt me as she did. Others hurt me, with and without intent. 

World We Know - Crash Parallel

After my Mom and sisters died in 1974 when I was 12 years old, I spent several months in the hospital and when I finally returned home, I was a different person (inside and out). I returned to live in the family home but it wasn't the same, for me it was a house of pain where I struggled for the next 5 years. Those were formative years, teenage years. Years, that for many spawn pleasant memories of friendship, young love, personal growth to look back on in later years. I left that home with resentment, anger, bitterness and a deep craving for love. I bought friends, spent money to be with others. I fell into relationships that weren't only fundamentally wrong for me but were un-healthly emotionally and psychologically. People telling me I was unworthy was all I knew. And when some of those people weren't verbally cruel they did take advantage of my vulnerabilities and kindness of heart. And no I am not saying I am in the running for sainthood. 

I do believe that I had a right to be angry but it didn't have to manifest itself the way it did. There needed to be some counselling to help work through the myriad of emotions and feelings of abandonment, and the anger. There needed to be some way to learn to love my self and know that I was okay. There needs to be someone to listen to the cries of the children. 

I'm not alone in my loss. There are many others who have lost loved ones. Others who have been scarred. Others with crappy teenage experiences. Others who have been bullied at school and at work. Why do I continue to feel the way I do? 

Life after Mom, I was constantly subjected to interactions that told me there was something wrong with me, that I didn't fit in, that I made people uncomfortable. That I wasn't okay. I was judged so they could put me in a place where I could be controlled. It took a tremendous and life-altering toll on my existence. I wasn't successful in school, I was told I was stupid. What career could I possibly have that would keep me hidden. Yes, I was told that my very appearance frightens people and I should do what I can to cover and hide my scars. The Unknown Comic could have been me without the laughs.

The difference then between me and others who suffer but still thrive is support. Primarily unconditional family support and love. If our families can be behind us we will be okay. Someone will be there to help us stand learn to walk and maybe even run again. 

That's what I hope for these children who have been ripped from the arms of their loved ones. That they will be re-united with that unconditional love that will help them understand they weren't left because they weren't good enough. 

Final thoughts: I struggle to understand if all of this makes sense to the average person reading it. I can't do more to fix it. Let this graphic speak for me....

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