I struggle to own my story every day. I struggle to love myself every day.
I was never taught love growing up, only hate, anger, disgust and abuse. I was taught that I am a bad person. That I am evil and not good enough. If I could just be “good” then they wouldn’t have to hit me and be mean to me.
I know now it is complete crap. They weren’t good enough so they hit me. They were evil and angry so they made me feel like a monster. I’m not bad, they are.
Unfortunately, knowing something and really believing it down to the core are two very separate things. I know what happened was wrong and not my fault. I know the voice in my head that tells me I’m not good enough is the voice of my mother. I know she’s not good enough for me.
I believe one day that voice will go away. Some days I can turn it down to just a whisper. Other days certain events seem to trigger it. Any sense of rejection from other people, whether real or imagined can set off that voice like a siren. She wails and screams in my head all of the things she made me feel growing up. And I believe them in that moment. They overwhelm me to a point where I am those words, and those words are me.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out my story. Trying to understand the “why me”. Why was I born to that awful person? Why did I deserve to be torn down piece by piece? What the heck did I ever do to deserve such treatment??
The other day someone told me this, and it really resonated me to the core: “I didn’t start letting go until I stopped looking for the reason. Because what that really was for me was trying to find a flaw in me, the reason I deserved it. Once I accepted that I am no better or worse than anyone else out there I could stop hurting myself. Then I could heal.” She went on to say there isn’t some big cosmic yin and yang, right and wrong, bad and good thing in the world. That just because I don’t beat my pets doesn’t mean that other people don’t. It just means that my pets aren’t abused, and that is worth it, that is the meaning.
I am still wrapping my brain around that. I guess I have been looking for a flaw in myself that made me deserve such cruelty. The problem is, no child deserves cruelty. It just happens. Some kids are born into loving homes with nice parents. Some kids are raised to be broken. Some are raised in broken homes. And yes, there is a difference. You can be raised in a broken home and be healthy.
My partner comes from a one parent family and is the sweetest, kindest person I’ve ever met. Her mom overcame adversity and raised her right. My mother has problems. She is bipolar and married a real jerk. They raised me to be broken. The home wasn’t broken, I had two parents who managed to love my step sister just fine. But I was raised to be broken. I was the scapegoat for their self loathing and hatred. That’s the point, THEIR self loathing and hatred. I didn’t do anything.
It is a difficult line to walk across, understanding that things just happen and it isn’t my fault. Some days that’s easy. Other days it is nearly impossible. There is only one thing I am sure of every single day. I wouldn’t take any of it back.
As difficult as my story has been, as heart wrenching and painful some days are, I am who I am because of my story. I am me because of my experiences and journey. Some way, some how, I will own my story and love myself if it’s the last thing I ever do. I haven’t come this far to quit now. I am a survivor, and I will do what I do best. Survive.
One day I am going to heal from my story and love myself. On that day I will not just survive. I will throw off everything that has weighed me down all of these years. I will stand up; not to fight, but to live. I will live, I will thrive. No matter how many times life burns me down, I will be reborn from the ashes. It’s my story and I will OWN it.