I have been in the pit of despair. I have wrestled with depression, anxiety, self-doubt, and confusion. I have been buried so deep that once upon a desperate time, I didn’t want to live anymore. I have been pulled up and down life’s harsh roller coaster so many times that my insides have been tied in knots. I have sat alone in the dark, my arms wrapped around my legs, sobbing uncontrollably, unable to see any light in my future. I have screamed, “WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME? WHAT DID I DO SO WRONG? HOW WILL IT EVER BE ANY DIFFERENT?” But I am here to tell you, all my wonderful and supporting and even hurting friends that I climbed out of that pit, even though sometimes by tooth and nail. It was up to me all along – true, even though unfair. No one else was going to pull me out from the shadowy depths. Yes, they could offer their hand to help or even push me down further but ultimately, I had to fight my way out on my own. I had to want it. I had to be so tired of the darkness that there was no choice but to find my way to the light I couldn’t yet see.
The wedding changed me. I knew it would; I just didn’t know in what way – good or bad. Prior to the wedding, my plan was to walk away completely from my family, all except my son, knowing that by doing so, my son may turn even further away. That was my plan but plans change! During the wedding, I found myself realizing so many things that my brain couldn’t comprehend before, not out of ignorance but out of a pain to great to bear.
With Dave, my son’s father, the way he welcomed me and talked with me – maybe time had changed him some. Maybe I need to let go of the man that hurt me for 18 years and accept the man he is now, the man who could have ignored me but instead chose to welcome me with open arms. I can’t never forgive what he did to me and my son, but I can move forward from where we are now. With my mom who always seemed so cold and accusatory on the phone but in person was kind, in person I saw a remnant of the mother she used to be, maybe I just need to accept that her mind is slipping (this was obvious at the wedding), accept that maybe she isn’t hurting me on purpose after all, that she just doesn’t really know any better. With my son, who treated me well, almost as if nothing had ever happened in a way, but who didn’t respond to a message I sent him after the wedding, maybe I just need to accept that that is how he is. Maybe we will never have the close relationship I long for, maybe he isn’t quite capable of that after everything that happened, after all the outside influence. Maybe my brother, one who abused me so long ago, maybe he is a different man now, maybe I don’t need an apology, maybe I just need an understanding. Maybe I don’t need to like him but still exist as his sister.
This is my realization – I have been wanting to finally let go – I just never realized there was more than one way to do it. Yes, I can let go by walking away; that would be the easy route, right? But would it be? Knowing myself and who I am inside, I never would have found happiness this way, never would have found ME! At the wedding, I realized that I can let go without walking away, I can let go by letting go of the past, letting go of all the pain and hurt – let is drip from my veins and pour back into the earth. Yes, it will always be a part of me but no longer will I let it control me or own me. Instead, I will own it. For me now, letting go means an acceptance of what has been, of who people are, of who I am and of how we all relate to each other.
My sisters will never again be part of my life, of this I am sure. There are certain people that do not deserve to be part of my life. But everyone else who is willing, so shall I be willing. It’s a new start. And I am no fool – I know there will things, words, and actions that will want to eat away at this new me, the old me finally found really, but I think I am in a better place now in which to deal with it. It’s not me – I am a good person – what others do or say is not a reflection of me but rather a reflection of them and what they are going through in their own lives. I can’t erase the pain I have been through or the people who caused it, but I can rise above it and make my own life.
Is it ever so odd to realize that, all this time, I had been fighting myself and the power to change it was in me all along. Sometimes we just need a little push. For me, it was seeing everyone again after all these terrible years. The absence just compounded my mental pain and confusion. It’s amazing how much our own over-stated and over-compensating thoughts can harm us. My sincerest hope is that those of you who are hurting find your little push. I am here for you! I have been to hell and back and my support and understanding are with you! You can do this! It may not seem like it now but please trust me – you are stronger and braver than you know – you just need to find it within you.