Friends, Family and Coming Home
by Sheri S
This post is about the ultimate healing journal. It is about reacquainting with old friends and family thought to be lost forever and making a few new friends along the way.
First the confession: I was emotionally abused by a parent until the age of 40. Unfortunately, there was a lot of damage done. How can a grown woman be emotionally abused by a parent? The answer is simple: conditioning. I was conditioned to believe I was never good enough, that I shouldn’t shine too brightly and that I was only valuable when I was handing over money or whatever the demands were. The fallout from all this has been both devastating and elating. Why the extreme? Because I have my freedom, freedom to know I made the right choice by walking away, the freedom of knowing I am good enough and I deserve whatever it is I please. Devastating because my parent is very good at manipulating and she has focused on 2 of my grown kids for awhile now. She has managed to drive a very deep wedge between myself and one of them. The other just wants to believe that if she doesn’t choose between us everything will be okay.
I don’t judge either one of them, I am living, breathing proof of how deeply this kind of abuse can affect your choices and who you surround yourself with. It’s a very difficult choice to make, to decide that you would rather not have a parent in your life but I waited a really long time, set boundaries, set deadlines and nothing worked. So the healthiest thing for me to do was to simply walk away and hope that one day my 2 children decide to do the same.
I have been reconnecting with family that removed my parent from their lives a long time ago. I have talked to a couple of them for hours on the phone, crying, laughing, getting caught up but most of all: I finally can say I have family that I can count on. Not one of them want anything from me, they just want me. That is very powerful and moving. That knowledge has strengthened my relationships at home with my son and my partner. It is amazing how freely people will give love, if you let them. If you let down your guard and take a chance on the right people, instead of hoping for something from the wrong people.
I have also reconnected with a very old friend. I met Joanne in grade 7, which made us both 12. We stayed friends for a very long time, we grew together, had kids together, got married together but then time and changes got in the way. So now we are communicating a lot and it is a profound friendship for me, she knows exactly what I’ve been through, she watched it happen to me. My parent always viewed anyone, including my friends, as a threat to their power and control. So I am very lucky that Joanne chose to see through all of that and focus on me as a person and not a part of a dysfunctional family. Joanne has a very beautiful and she is a very pretty person, although she can’t see that but I do and that is what matters. I can be her personal cheering section when she needs it.
I have 3 other friends that I could not do without, these ladies have had an enormous impact on my life. They encouraged me to teach and to not give up. Just like Joanne, they won’t let me falter and offer to hold me up when I need it because they know I would do the same for them.
I miss my girls more than I can verbalize. Things feel the same but I am hoping that they will feel better again. They both deserve happiness, joy and love. They both deserve a family. I look forward to things feeling different and whole. I hope they remember all the nights we read together and how special that time was. I hope that when they feel alone, they remember they can come home.
When I started going to yoga, I was in pain. I guess that’s why a lot of people seek out spiritual meaning, it is because of the pain they feel inside. Sometimes it’s physical, sometimes emotional. And at times it is both. Through meditation, reiki, yoga, writing and recently reconnecting, I don’t feel the same pain. I don’t feel the same loss. I have gained so much more than I ever imagined.
Now what is feel is hope, joy and peace. I wish the same to all of you.