I was not born this way. Broken. Depressed. Wounded. Destroyed. I was not born sick or defective or hurt or despicable. I was born whole. I was born beautiful. Sweet. Filled with awe, hope, innocence, joy, laughter. I don’t remember ever being that way, mind you. But I can see it in pictures of myself when I was a little child. A baby. A tot. I was innocent. I was a blank page waiting for my parents to write on my soul.
They were supposed to write positive and nurturing things.
Instead, they wrote with the hand of abuse. They wrote with rejection and anger. They taught me fear and terror, insecurity and confusion. They taught me that I was worthless, that I didn’t matter, my needs didn’t matter, my heart didn’t matter. I was nothing and they wrote that message with indelible markers deep in the core of my being. They hit. They scorned. They mocked. They demeaned. They neglected. They scoffed. They centered their lives around their own needs and mine were not even in the picture. Then my father started the sexual abuse. It escalated over time and he wrote that on my soul for at least 10 years…the bulk of my childhood. Between them, my parents stole my life from me. Writing with ugly abuse and anger. By the time I escaped their grasp as a devastated 17 year old girl, there wasn’t much left of me.
I wonder at times what I would have been like if I had not been destroyed by my parents. Who would that little girl have become if she wasn’t always trying to simply make it to the point where most kids start out. Would I have found love? Had children? Contributed to society in an amazing and positive way? Surely, I wouldn’t have come to this point in my life filled with regrets, completely alone and isolated, on the brink of homelessness because of unemployment and debt, have attempted suicide, be fighting an eating disorder, all while feeling completely worthless and hating myself…and that’s after years and years of counseling. Surely, I would have arrived at this point in better condition. With something to show for my life. With some hope for enjoying my senior years. With something left to live for.
Sadly, I will likely never know what I was born to be. My life has been spent trying to pick up the millions of pieces of my soul and put them into some semblance of order so I could at least appear to be normal. So I wouldn’t make small children cry on sight. I’ve learned to laugh at the right times…usually. And to not laugh at the wrong times…mostly. I can smile when in intense emotional pain. I so rarely cry, it should be a national holiday when I do. But it has cost me. All the energy that is required to hold myself together has limited possibilities. Most days, it’s all I can do to get through the day. If I am lucky enough to get through the day, that is. I don’t think this is how I was born or what I was born to be. I hope not. Though I guess it doesn’t matter at this point. The damage has been done.
I look at those pictures of me as a child and wonder. Who were you? Who could you have become if you had been given love and nurture? If you had been protected? I wasn’t born a monster. I wasn’t born deformed inside. It took a lot of slaps and abuse and fists and yelling and demeaning to destroy me. It took a lot of neglect and rejection and lack of concern and rebukes and screaming to break me. Although I had high hopes of finding wholeness and recovering, the years have not been kind. Life has not been easy. Things have not gone my way. And as a result, I’ve become like Humpty Dumpty…all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn’t put him back together again.
So it is for me. And though I was not born this way, this is what I have become. The deficiencies are countless…and there are simply too many to overcome. Wounded, hopeless, destroyed, depressed, unhappy, broken. From a princess child to a old, ugly hag. From tiny dancer to one without dreams or aspirations. From everything to nothingness…my soul is an empty, gaping black hole. One that nothing can fill. Because there are simply far too many holes in my heart. Each and every one cruelly, repeatedly, punched there by my parents.