My steady refusal of gifts and moments of staged harmony (in place of healing, repair, and honest connection) illuminated my unwillingness to bypass necessary mending. An offer to do the work of healing, would have been an admission of pain, caused or felt. Denial of pain, in my family of origin was intended to pose as strength and moral superiority. I no longer buy that. There is a lot of pain.
My mother and sister swiftly informed others of my unreasonable, grudge holding, and hostile abstinence– FOR why would I not bring my young and tender children to sit at a table with people who righteously slandered and diminished their mother, in front of me and to others? Who TF did I think I was– expecting something better? The use of my ex husband was highly anticipated – so very predictable– a betrayal and an emotional assault – the final revelation. Jen Hatmaker points out in Fierce and Full of Fire: Those who love us are never keen on our failure or rejection.
I actually felt the deep knowing, that upon finally meeting in 2015, they (my sister and my ex) would bond easily and surely collude, to put me in my place, and then to establish themselves as both saviours and victims. Always a claim to being one or the other.
The ways in which I experienced the first examples of love and women (my mother, her mother, and my female sibling) made me loathe myself, only slightly more than I did them. That may have been the thing we had in common. We hated me and all of my feelings. When I stopped doing that, we fell all the way apart- for good.
Unsurprisingly, I entered into marriage which mirrored this dynamic—just like home–only home was not a good place for me. I married a man, also with whom I did not feel good or safe and had mistaken for superior and strong, because of this familiar emotional vacancy. That marriage nearly destroyed me and ended up teaching me exactly what I had needed to learn about love and NOT LOVE. I finally understood….that I needed to heal. It was made clear that for me to prioritize healing, would leave me on my own. So be it. My first choice: to heal together. My second choice: to do it on my own.
Good God–I can not even imagine how much harder life would have been, without the privilege of having been born into a body which was thin and not black.
I continue working on myself one day at a time. Unlearning things I never even knew I thought or believed about people, god, love, connection, kindness, worthiness, privilege, shame, guilt, oppression, trauma, cycles of abuse, parenting, authority, responsibility, trust, truth, honesty, dignity, humanity, peace, justice, freedom, responsibility, honor, and integrity. I am a work in progress.Much Love,
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