I am living proof. Semi-comatose, numb to the core, exhausted “living” proof that the foundation laid in infancy and reinforced in childhood will forever survive. Having hardened into place, no amount of effort or labor will dislodge it. Or mar its surface. Or change its form. What is experienced when the personality is unformed will become theory. Theory proven time and time again becomes belief. Belief that is unchallenged becomes truth. Thus tried and tested, it becomes an unshakable foundation upon which the life of that child is built. Even if it is woven through with lies and inaccuracies, once accepted and adopted, it will stand.
The odd thing in this is, the mind may even realize and acknowledge the conclusions that construct the foundation aren’t logical and must, therefore, not be trusted. The brain can process and recognize the inaccuracies, but it can’t think away the unshakable beliefs of the heart and soul. Those matters are so deep and close to the beginning of life, it seems as if they have always been. And therefore, always will be. No amount of countering will transform or fracture it. Once it becomes a part of who we are, it is who we are for the rest of our lives.
Let me give you an example.
Having been told I am nothing, treated as if I am not a person, having been used, unloved and unvalued during my entire childhood, I learned I was worthless, defective, unlovable, existing only to meet the needs of others. I met and married – twice – men who did not love or value me. I was never able to please them, an unforgivable failure for one who is required to fulfill desires and dreams. Nor could I live up to their expectations. So, the lessons of my childhood became the experiences of my adulthood. Belief hardened to steel. It is this belief that lies at the core of my soul to this very day. Decades later. In spite of the fact I have attempted to challenge and change it, at great expense and with much effort, it remains. When I am awake in the middle of the dark night, alone, empty and without hope, I cannot deny I still do not know I am a human being. And yet I believe with an unshakable certainly I am not one who possesses even one iota of worth.
Living proof that foundations haphazardly laid by uncaring, abusive hands will prevail. Beyond reason. Throughout time. Until death does us part.
Living proof that everything can change, but nothing changes.
The dichotomy that exists is this: That durable, that unshakable, unmovable bedrock is broken. Crumbling. And it fractures all that stands upon it.
It is fragile. Delicate. Has been pieced together pebble by pebble, stone by stone. Imperfect. Unpredictable. Fragile, because all that is built upon it is but a house of cards. Waiting to fall. Threatening to topple with every shift and shaking from all the cracks that run beneath and throughout. And every crevice and crater is full to overflowing with crushing pain.
The pain and wounding hold that unstable foundation in place. This impenetrable, erratic, wobbling foundation, cruelly fashioned by abusive and neglectful parents is immovable. It is tough. It is weak. It is unbending.
I am living proof that what has been laid beneath our feet and put into place within the heart when the heart was vulnerable and needy will shape the course of our life. We cannot go against the current, walk off the path, nor disregard the direction we have been thrust. We can try. But it will pull us back, smacking us back into line. It reminds us that we are foolish to believe we can rise above, idiotic to hope for a better future, unwise to long for something that wasn’t woven into that unrelenting belief system that was tested and proven and upon which we were shattered time and time again.
I am living proof. The hands that form us, they form us for life. We never forget the feel of those harsh hands upon us. Every slap. Every touch. Every time they destroy us and consume more of our fading innocence. We become what they make us. Clay on the potter’s wheel. Created, thrown away and shattered, learning our place, learning who we are and who we are not. We learn and as we learn, layer upon layer of “reality” is built beneath our feet. And though we attempt to unmake what has been made, though we put all we have into tearing it apart, this fragile, unbending foundation placed beneath us remains. Holds us in place; holds us back. Reminding us from where we have come.
Always reminding us from where we have come.
Living proof. I bear witness to their unholy craftsmanship. It prevails. It will affect me until I finally leave the foundation behind. And step outside of time.