So my original “About Me” draft was five paragraphs of details about my sordid childhood and all the demons I have battled in my adulthood from having grown up in an environment of addiction, abuse, denial, hypocrisy, emotional vacuity…and generally not having ever felt truly loved by my parents.
Obviously, I did not publish that draft for a reason. The reason being, this blog is about LETTING GO of the victim mentality. More importantly, I honestly don’t want to give the people who never loved me the satisfaction of finding this blog, reading it, and thinking I am now devoting my life to dwelling on THEM. I don’t mean this in a vindictive way. Truly, I have made peace with all that they did to me when I was a defenseless minor. I forgive them and wish them well. But I know with absolute certainty that my life is my own now, and it can only proceed without them in it. To protect the child I was, I respectfully bade them farewell six years ago and asked them to never contact me again. The holes in my heart, created by the absolute emotional neglect of the two people who I yearned to SEE me and LOVE what they SAW, but never did, have since been covered by scar tissue, which now protects me from reliving the darkest moments of those frightening days of my youth. Were those two people — the people who gave me life 38 years ago — to re-enter my beautiful life today, I know FOR SURE that the scar tissue would quiver and break apart, and the blood would seep out, and my four children and husband — the five most pristinely beautiful and precious gifts of my life — would suffer from having their mother and wife be broken up again to that darkness.
Sometimes, the mere presence of a person can conjure up feelings from the past that are not worth having conjured up.
That is why my parents are erased from my life.
That is why this “About Me” page will not be a five page dissertation about why I am a victim, why my biological parents are awful. They are not awful. They are human beings. They did not know how to love their children properly. I wish for them a mindful and happy life, wherein they can walk along a beach and enjoy a sunset and feel the presence of something Greater than us ALL in their hearts. They just must know that they and I cannot coexist in the same space during this lifetime on this earth. That is the end of my focusing on THEM.
THE FACTS “ABOUT ME” as I am presently (meaning: minus my victim story):
-38 year-old woman
-Mother of 4
-Wife of 14 years
-Graduate of the University of Notre Dame ’96
-Former yoga teacher; daily yoga practitioner (it’s as essential to my spiritual health as tooth-brushing is to my dental health)
-half Sicilian; a quarter Norwegian; a quarter Danish; 100% American; native Virginian; transplanted Oregonian (current habitant of Portland)
-Lover of words, especially when strung together in a sentence that sounds melodious on the tongue, while simultaneously communicates a notion about life that I have felt intuitively but myself have never been able to articulate…
-therefore, a lover and admirer of literary greats (especially Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Roth, Updike, Franzen…
-Lover of food and cooking, especially vegetables and fish and flavors from Sicily
-Abuser of food when the monkey mind takes me over (or as Eckhart Tolle calls it, “the pain body”)
-Spiritually drawn to Nature and nonjudgmental philosophies, such as Zen Buddhism
-Lapsed Roman Catholic, as of 2007 (inculcated from birth with the dogma…freed to question it without a filter the year after my fourth child was born, which happened to be the only year in my life up until then that I repeatedly missed going to Mass on Sunday…which allowed me the space to step back and consider, “Do I really believe what this religion teaches?,” at which point I realized I had only been ‘believing’ out of fear)
-Periodic struggler with the demon of mild DEPRESSION
-Student of MANY — including Alice Miller, Eckhart Tolle, Daniel Siegel, John Bradshaw, John Kabat-Zinn, Thich Naht-Hanh, Tara Brach — all of whom have been my surrogate parents since my ‘Awakening,” when I left the darkness of my childhood behind forever and became focused on forming a new identity to pass on to my children (one minus the victim mentality, the demons, the legacy that could have doomed me to repeat the sins of my predecessors)
There are likely a thousand more bullet-points I could write about WHO I AM. But I want to get on with the business of this blog, which is not self-seeking, I assure you. I will make no money off this blog. I refuse to. I am writing this to make a PROMISE to the WORLD and to MYSELF that I will stay HONEST. I will not fall back into mindless behaviors, into listening to my ego, which SO wants to pull me into judging others, judging myself, and being DISTRACTED by worldly concerns. It wants to lure me to those demons of my past. AND I WILL NOT LET IT.
This blog is my manifesto. You readers can hold me to it.
In the process, I will – hopefully – reach a young person or two…or three…or a thousand (one can hope…), who feels helpless and hopeless, just as I once did. Whom I can guide to work through the demons of their past, so that they, too, can lock them up for good in a vessel and throw that vessel out to sea forever, where it can sink, ceremoniously, honorably (because, remember, this isn’t about blaming, about hurting, about denying…it is about honoring with firm resolution to let go of the dark forces that hold us down, that are no more) into that dark hole that contains ALL THAT IS OVER FOREVER. THE PAST. LET IT GO. If you don’t know how, read this blog. Each day, I will sit before the computer and take twenty mindful breaths before writing, thinking as I do of the lost teenage girl I once was — the girl who felt unloved, suicidal, hopeless; who never in a million years could have imagined someday, at middle-age, having such a rich life FULL OF LOVE, as I do now.
If you are a teenager like I was. Read this blog. I will help you. At fifteen, I would have given my right arm to read the words of someone who had once felt as I did — like the only answer was checking out — who now lived a life full of light and hope.
It is possible.