The truth is … this time of year, has always been the most difficult time of year for me because of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. The cards, the commercials, the sales, not having anyone to call, everything about it has always been like a dagger in my heart. But this year I began thinking about it and realized I am 54 years old and as some would say a grown ass woman. I have always believed that truth triumphs over lies and light will disperse the darkness. So, that is exactly what I am going to do and stop generations of lies, deceit and manipulation in its tracks.
The truth is … I do not have a relationship with my parents. Most people assume my relationship with my parents is non-existent because I am lesbian. It is true, I am a lesbian, but that is not the reason we are estranged. In fact, my sexual orientation was never discussed. It is not that I was afraid or ashamed to discuss it, it was that our family was so dysfunctional there was never a sane opportunity to have an honest conversation.
The truth is … I have not had a peaceable relationship with my parents since I began living with them full time at 4 years of age and started kindergarten. Prior to that I spent most of my time “visiting” my maternal grandparents. My parents would say this is because they both worked and my grandparents had more time to spend with me. But I was born 9 months and 7 days after my parents were married and they were ill prepared for a child. My mother was not ready to give up being the center of the universe and my father was not ready for his wife to be a mother.
The truth is … as hard as it is to admit this, I grew up in an abusive household. There I said the word … abusive. I have spent my entire life minimizing the abuse of my childhood. Making excuses for both my parents and accepting blame and feeling guilty for their behavior. That stops today.
The truth is … the home I grew up in was violent, controlling, demeaning, manipulative, irrational and for the most part incredibly sad. It is not that anyone intended for it to be that way, but it is what you get when you have one adult who has a personality disorder and the other adult is extremely self-centered.
The truth is … my parents provided very well for me materially. But there was little in the form of warmth, love, kindness or compassion.
The truth is … I am uncertain if my parents love each other. I would like to think they do … but honestly it is so dysfunctional it is hard to tell. Behind closed doors there was a plethora of yelling, throwing things, breaking things, choking, hitting, biting, withholding of sex and many other unhealthy, vile things. After five decades of marriage, I think they are simply tired of the battle and are more comfortable together than apart.
The truth is … as long as I can remember, my parents told me I was their greatest disappointment. They further told me that my friends did not love me and were using me. I never really understood why, and I have heard they told others outside the family a very different story. I never figured out what I could do to make things different. What I could do to be better. What I could do to be more lovable?
The truth is … I have made many, many mistakes in my life. I have not always done my best. I have not always been honest. I have not always acted or reacted in an honorable way. I am a deeply flawed human. I will own every bit of that and more, as long as it is the truth.
The truth is … regardless of my past, my mistakes or any other multitude of circumstances, I am finally content with where I am and who I am. I am happily married. My wife is not only my best friend, she is an equal partner. I have a church home that welcomes my wife and I and allows us to worship freely. I have a safe and peaceful home. I have a small group of intimate friends who support me and love me unconditionally. My life is sweeter and more fulfilling than I ever thought possible.
The truth is … I am making peace with the past. I have accepted what is … well … just is. So, this Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and all the ones yet to come will no longer be spent grieving what never was. I will no longer accept feelings of unworthiness for having biological parents who rejected me.
The truth is … I have so many wonderful people in my life who genuinely and deeply love me. Consequently, I choose not to waste any more precious time grieving two people who chose not to love me or want me in their life. They decided to not share life with me and I am respecting that decision.
The truth is … life is full of twists and turns, up and downs. It is full of unexplained events. Life is entirely too short to live in the past and let the decision of others affect our perception of ourselves. Just as I am worthy of love, consideration and kindness, so are you.
The truth is … detoxing your life is freeing. I cannot for the life of me understand what took me so long.