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I lost my voice between the age of 30 to 35. For 5 whole years, I watched myself self destruct and did nothing. I would be lying if I told you I didn’t know any better. I clearly made a lot of decisions with a sound mind but a faint heart.
Around the age of 26, give or take, my Mother started experiencing severe depression. She had to undergo two surgeries for carpal tunnel in her wrist. I remember her starting off always anxious. Then, anxious, gradually became fearful and paranoid. To be honest, I’m sure there was so much going on at this time in my Mother’s life but we didn’t ask many questions. Along with my Brother’s, we did what was necessary to care for her. I can only speak about this now because I clearly can relate to her experience. She had recently endured a second painful divorce, had to downgraded her home and she constantly stressed about losing her job.
I remember feeling the need to be her. She wasn’t herself and she needed me to take charge of things. I don’t know why I did these things to myself. My Brothers and I are always a team. I didn’t need to take on so much. She had lost so much weight we had to get her new clothes. I remember she would go on random rants about things in her past. It was difficult. My Brother’s and I stayed solid. It’s easy for us to operate together. It was the first time we saw our Mother vulnerable. All we wanted was for her to survive.
Looking back at it I’m now asking myself I had made a life decision thatI’ve always felt an imbalance. Something has always felt missing to me. It’s hard for me to find gratification in things within me.
My first breakthrough came, when I became witness to how real depression was. I began to get physically sick. Yet, I wasn’t sick. I would go to the doctor and have all the signs of a sickly person. They would find nothing. It was deep.
It was time I had allowed my mind and body to reconnect and find the perfect harmony to love again. I deserved my own love. This required a transformation of bold actions. Many actions of which have ended in a whole divorce, lost friends and new, wait, scratch that, dope friends, a return of a sibling bond, a new business and the release of control over my life.
It was an incident between my Mom and I that transformed my thoughts about how I perceived her. Our bond had changed. She had become a human being right in front of my eyes and it changed me. I started living for image and approval. I wanted to become the woman my Mom was supposed to be. I started to live for her to see me and go back to being just my Mom. I would begin to do this in all my relationships. I would mold myself into what I felt was wanted of me.
When I got married, I was in love. But, not more in love with the level of respect I would be given by my Mom with getting married. She would see me again and I would be freed. It was not too long after, “I do”, the battle between my mind and body began. They started throwing blows fresh out the gate. I only wanted to make her proud. My physical transformation started within the first year. I miscarried our planned child and gained 25 pounds that allegedly was happy weight. But, I can’t recall. The second year, I started smoking joints in the bathroom and having munch fest in the bed late at night. Oh, and gained another 10 pounds. Things were beginning to weigh in on me.
By year 3, I couldn’t recognize myself. My body was defeated and my mind had full control. I became a robot. By year 4, I got pregnant and cried. You know how this goes. He’s here and I love him but I wasn’t happy with where I was. I couldn’t stand up for myself so how could I raise another child. I was already failing my daughter. Here’s when my first bold move came in. Everyday, after work, when I arrive home, I would have a few minutes of alone time. I started using that time to be me. I would sit there and cry, laugh, smoke a joint, talk to a friend. Whatever I wanted to do for those 5-10 minutes. Those 5-10 minutes became therapy for me. I slowly started to want more of it. My marriage was out the door almost immediately, yet I stayed. I couldn’t get my time back, nor did I want it.
I believe it was necessary for my journey but I could no longer allow it to take more of my lifetime. I also realized, I had to begin living for myself and not for my Mom. A woman who has lived her life fully and has always been proud of me. It was the trauma that caused me to transition into an appeasing person. It’s time that I transform back into my original form. In the process of healing myself I grew aware that this transformation needed to happen the entire household. I had to make a radical move in order for new doors to appear and for me to walk through. I also understood that we all weren’t going to be walking down the same hallways anymore.
The family I built for the past 5 years needed to be separated in order for healing to begin. The day my ex Husband moved out was the day I started to look familiar yet my spirit was giving no leg room for growth. I still felt imbalanced. I started reading different books on trauma and realized my children needed to heal. My marriage had caused trauma and I didn’t want my children to heal 20 -30 years later. I wanted to help them heal now. We could heal together.
My daughter, who is now 12, had developed a familiar complex of approval and perfection. It terrified me to know that I had actually become the exact person I fought so hard not to be. I was everything I was not. I had to stop pretending and show her exactly who her Mother was. A person. I was in a vulnerable place in my life and I wanted to be vulnerable. So, I offered her a seat at the healing table. I pulled out the seat right next to mine so we could support each other throughout our lifetime. We sit across from each other and pass the condiments of life back and forth because we learn from one another. I’ve learned so much about her just by being myself. We allow one another to be accepting of who we are. We eat together. I often tell her she has the best version of me because I fully see myself and I’m pretty legit dope.
But, if it wasn’t for that 5-10 minutes of self care each day, my Daughter would have continuously served me, instead of sitting next to me at the table. My journey to identifying with myself is meant to be lifetime commitment. It’s a commitment that is meant to allow people to sit at your table and support each dish that passes your way. They are all there to help evolve your pallet and break bread with you. It had been years since I had a table guest. I’m usually the server at most of my friends table and it was time that I sat down and indulge in their offerings to me. Ive become so transparent with myself that people see me. They recognize the same greatness I’ve seen within them and I too now see. My happiness is me. I don’t have to create any logic to realize that my happiness is simply being me. I would have never thought a small amount of time could be the start of a new life. Transforming your mind is powerful. It’s a healthy journey to true life happiness. Serve me up!
I love every bit of this, you’ve grown into this fabulous women. This is a beautiful testimony of truth and, I’m here for all of it! I miss your mom so much but I know she is proud of you.