Wednesday, October 8, 2014

You Can't Go Home Again, Part I

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Certain things are, whether we want them to be or not, irreversible.  Though we may step into what we perceive to be the same river throughout a single week, month or summer the water that flows past us is not the same water.  And thus the river isn't the same river.  Yesterday is gone and the moments that pass into the past do not often reappear to allow us to improve upon less than stellar first impressions.  Change is all around us and is truly the only real constant in our life experience.

The deep personal growth I have undergone these last sixteen months would likely not have happened if I had not made a number of choices that are not necessarily easily reversible, if at all.  I could cease to pursue my regular exercise regimen.  I could stop consistently meeting with my therapist.  I could stop writing my blog.  But I am not going to.  I like the person I am becoming as a result of the changes I have made.

Decisively confronting your family of origin about longstanding issues which have never been resolved in a thorough and healthy way is another decision whose consequences cannot be reversed.  I gave up hoping that my paternal family of origin would ever really listen to me regarding the pain, chaos, abuse and deceit I was subjected to in my formative years.  I walked away from my family of origin.  It was one of the most painful choices I have ever made.  There were some days in the last fifteen months when I felt I was a fool to be so 'bold'.  But then I would allow myself to pause and ponder what I experienced.  And I would consistently find myself feeling disgusted and saddened by the burden of trauma I experienced.

The anger I had been carrying around since my adolescence was immense.  It was a burden.  It was highly unjust.  And it affected so much of my life.  I am still working through it now.  I can still be reactive when I experience immense stress or a situation that reminds me of some of my own childhood.  But I am so much better off than I was.  My anger was making me sick.

My journey of distancing myself and moving on was made more challenging by the fact that my family of origin is comprised of a number of people who are practicing Catholics.  For a long time I struggled to reconcile what I experienced in my childhood with the fact that my family members (my father and his siblings) identify as Christians and thus supposedly follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.  I do not recall Jesus advocating avoiding those who have experienced injustice.  To my knowledge Jesus did not recommend refusing to listen to those who are in pain.  I do not handle hypocritical human behavior well.  For a long time I tried to tolerate my discomfort which was a natural consequence of the gulf of difference I perceived between my family's actions and their self-identification as Catholics.


I am sending a card to my (biological) mother today.  As those of you who have followed my blog since its inception likely already know my birthmother lives in Germany.  She returned to Germany about thirty-two years ago after a second episode of what was diagnosed as schizophrenia left her extremely ill and therefore also highly vulnerable.  Her life was never the same after her illness initially consumed her before the age of thirty.  My life was also never again the same once she became seriously ill.

I originally bought the card I am sending out today back in July of this year.  I had intended it to be a birthday card for my mother.  She was born in July.  Here it is October and I am finally sending out the card.  I feel a bit bad that I procrastinated for such a long time.

Tomorrow I will continue with the theme I introduced in this piece today.

If you live in a climate where the leaves are already turning get outdoors and enjoy the autumn colors.  They won't be around too long!

Post Script

Fifty Day Challenge, Day #13

My healthy activities for today:

  • I went to the YMCA and did my shoulder exercises
  • I spent time engaging in a fun art activity as a volunteer for Free Arts Minnesota
  • I remained loyal to writing my blog

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I invite you to accompany me as I document my own journey of healing. My blog is designed to offer inspiration and solace to others. If you find it of value I welcome you to share it with others. Aloha!