Some birth stories are beautiful, and some are crazy and ridiculous. I submit to you the latter. Some of us have struggled with physical, emotional, and psychological abuses that bleed everywhere at certain points of our life and sometimes the majority. A bit about me: I am a wife, mom, Marine Corp Veteran, business owner, volunteer, jane of all trades, and up-and-coming author. My specialty is dark humor and laughing at inappropriate moments; I blame my family and the Marine Corp; hold on for a weird ride. I have a ridiculous but common issue as more of us step out of the shadows. My story is hilariously strange. My biological grandparents raised me as their own and did not tell me they were not my parents. It’s funny how I never questioned the kids in grade school and middle school when they teased me about my old parents. This meant my siblings were actually my aunts/uncle and mother; my nieces and nephews were my cousins and siblings.
I was a teenager when I found the truth of half of my story, or maybe half of the half. I wasn’t mad or even shocked about finding out about my bio-mom. In fact, Momma J sorta made a silly game out of it. “it’s one of your sisters; guess which one” she worked hard to soften the blow with her silliness and humor. Incidentally, I guessed wrong, probably because I chose the one with the same blonde hair as me; I’m not always the sharpest crayon in the box. I also picked her because she is so cool, and that would have been awesome. I still look up to her. I had long forgiven my b-mom because it strangely didn’t seem like a big deal to me, and still, even today doesn’t bother me. My abandonment issues are deeply rooted in an unhealthy upbringing stemming from multigenerational trauma rather than the decisions she made for me at birth. Sounds fancy, doesn’t it… therapy and a few books? Well… she ended up doing it a second time, and that one is going to take another trip to therapy because, honestly, after everything, I was certainly surprised.
What I do know is that nothing surprises me. NOTHING. Oh, people try as if it’s a dare. I’m like, hmmm, let me tell you about one of the times when there was an argument, and one parent shot at the other… one of the times. Nothing surprises a person anymore when you’re watching cartoons and see multiple cops holding rifles and putting their finger to their lips, motioning to be quiet while peeking through the window. Or jokes about the holes in the screens where the tear gas canisters were tossed in. Events like these are unnerving to the core of a person. It makes adulting hard and inhibits the ability to make decent decisions in times of new crisis. I feel like an accidental magnet for trauma sometimes.
I try to avoid the word victim. It’s not the lens through which I view the world. Nevertheless, it is difficult to maintain internal peace when negativity envelops me so tightly that it smothers me. These things profoundly impact how I think and process the world as I make my way through. On the inside, I never fully enjoy a wonderful moment as somewhere, there is a relentless whisper reminding me that soon the other shoe will, in fact, drop.
I am not a therapist, so don’t misunderstand my purpose here or in the book. The only way I have survived life is the way God has carried me through this mess, some great therapy, and learning to adapt. But, most importantly, even when you are not actively in treatment, or like me, you believe you are a therapy champion, never, and I mean NEVER, think you have all the answers when new traumas come up (hello, MST and other military issues and another story for another time). So please get back in there and call someone; it’s okay. Plus, they have school loans to pay off; consider it a public service. I know we are surrounded by people with good intentions who say beautiful things and have lovely quotes with great intentions; we even do it to ourselves. I’m not saying there is no merit to quotes like “if you woke up this morning, it is a blessing. “Advice like this is good and true. Having people in our lives who want us to focus on positive things is a necessary reminder to be alive and present in the world.
Yet, for me, the anger, sadness, and guilt are rolled into not feeling blessed, loved, or worthy when the triggers of painful memories overwhelm me. It’s hard to heal when we are desperate to be heard yet don’t know how to speak. Nonetheless, healing is possible.