Friday, September 14, 2012
My blog is my therapy. I'm so thankful for it because when I am affected in such an emotional way, as I was tonight, it is a therapeutic exercise for me. And even though I am typically a private person by nature, I don't mind sharing this blog because through this, I have met many others who are like me and with whom I can relate. It is cathartic to write as talking about some things are more difficult than writing about it. Writing is my "safe" place.
So, I went to see this movie tonight, not really knowing much about it except that I thought it was just another cheesy, feel good family movie. I took Jackie with me with the intent of having mother-daughter time with her after me being gone since very early this morning, at an all day seminar and subsequent testing. I knew the movie had something to do with a very controversial topic, abortion, but still, I had no idea just how deep this movie is. Within 5 minutes of the movie, I was shaking trying to control the tears that were trying so desperately to flow. I didn't want to upset Jackie. It was a very painful reminder of where I once was. I wanted to get up and walk out but I was afraid of causing a scene. I asked the person next to me if the movie was going to be like that throughout the movie. She reassured me that it would get better. I hoped so. There were so many parallels to my own life in that movie. Proceed with caution.
I don't want to give too many details of the movie in case any of my readers are still waiting to watch it. I will share, however, that the movie also touches on the topic of suicide, depression, feelings of worthlessness, right away at the beginning of the movie. Abortion is not the immediate topic.
The movie brought back pain of the memory of being told years ago that if abortion was legal back when I was conceived, I would not be here. Mother didn't mean malice by it. I think it was her way of trying to make me (and herself) feel better about the situation in which I was born into. And to top it off, my grandmother even told me that she would have supported Mother's decision to abort me. They also had the "support of" a close family friend who suggested that Mother abort me. For some reason, it never really bothered me that Mother shared her part with me. But to hear my grandmother tell me, it did sort of bother me. Even so, I loved my grandmother and I will always be grateful for her determination to keep Mother and me off of the welfare rolls until Mother married my stepfather, who eventually adopted me.
Even though my stepdad adopted me, it was not a rosy picture of unconditional love. Even though I have forgiven my dad and we have a good relationship now, I don't think the memories of always being reminded that I was not his will ever go away. I felt so unloved, unwanted, worthless for most of my childhood. I felt a profound sense of rejection, not only by my parents, but by my peers at school. Even at church, I never really felt like anybody truly cared about me. I was just a throwaway kid. I never could measure up to my parents' son (biological to both parents). Even though I never gave my parents reason to think that I was going to go out and have illegitimate children and live on welfare, that is what my dad expected of me. I was determined to prove him wrong. I knew my only ticket out of that hell was to get that high school diploma, get a job, and get out as soon as possible. Most of my life has been spent proving people wrong. Oh, speaking of my never measuring up to my parents' son, guess who got the last laugh. Ha! That will have to be for another post for another day.
The movie also brought up the topic of not knowing where one came from and not knowing one belongs in this world. I've struggled with that most of my life. I have always experienced a sense of loss, especially because I have no idea of who my paternal family is. I know nothing about my biological father. Mother has refused to tell me anything other than a possible name. I've always wondered if I have a long-desired sister. Do I have another grandmother and grandfather? I've often wondered if my biological father would have been that loving dad that I so desperately wanted as a little girl. I never felt like I belonged anywhere. At school, at home, at church, with relatives, nowhere. I felt like the black sheep because I knew I was different. I still wonder where my place is in this world but then my children bring me back to reality and make me realize that my place for now is to try and be the best mother I can possibly be to my children, as challenging as they make that happen.
I know my descent into depression and anxiety was partly due to the anger I harbored toward so many people and partly due to the rejection, lack of love, and abuse that I experienced for far too long. I admit that I have sabotaged relationships in the past because of my moodiness and attitude. I had suicidal ideas and at one point, actually became suicidal. However, throughout all of that, I learned who my true friends are because those friends are the ones who stuck with me through thick and thin. They didn't give up on me. I am so grateful for those friends and I especially miss my close friends in Florida. Thank God for Facebook.
Speaking of Facebook, I have written about this before and I'm going to say it again. I have had the privilege (yes, privilege) to become friends with a handful of my childhood bullies thanks to Facebook. These are people who looked me up for the main reason of wanting to apologize for the way I was treated by them. I'm grateful for these newfound friends. In fact, one of my worst bullies has become very special to me as she has been one of my biggest encouragers. (You know who you are).
Now on the topic of abortion, that is a tough one for so many. Personally, I don't support it. However, I have a new perspective on aborting a crisis pregnancy as I found myself with an undesired pregnancy. I had enough stress at the time dealing with 2 children with special needs. How was I going to deal with a 3rd baby when I already felt like a single parent at that time? I was truly in a crisis and the first thought before Tim would find out was to "get rid of it." I was not thinking rationally. I was in panic mode. Regrettably, I shared my fears with an online Bible study group (never really was a Bible study and thankfully no longer part of it) that I was a part of at the time. A couple of the gals were great, though, as they really seemed to be by my "side" as I struggled to break the news to Tim. Another friend was by my side, too, in the physical sense, thankfully. Unfortunately, just as I was finally starting to feel a little excitement about adding another baby to our family, I miscarried. My world fell apart even more. I often experienced guilt over that because of the initial rejection of the life that was within me. Thankfully, my marriage is heading in the right direction again and I still have hope that one day we will adopt a toddler or preschooler. When I was much younger, I never had a desire to actually have children of my own but my heart's desire was to adopt a child who was considered less adoptable than a healthy, white baby. I knew what it was like to not know where I came from and not feel wanted. I just wanted to provide an unwanted (except by me) child some love and a safe home. Only time will tell if that dream becomes reality. It's in God's hands now.
Even though this movie touched heavily on the topic of abortion, it also included a message of forgiveness. I have forgiven my parents. I have forgiven the bullies from my past. (Well, most of them). I think I am fairly forgiving person and am determined to continue to be so. The most difficult thing for me to forgive, though, is... me. I still need lots of work on that area.