I’m holding my own. It feels like it’s important to say that.
It has been a very, very rough week. The sort of week that only comes once in a while, but I am holding my own. It was a hard choice to hit publish on Sunday. But my family, both sides of it, have made a specialty in keeping secrets.
Years ago, when I wound up under the care of a psychologist for a bit, one of the things that she made me do was talk openly about what happened to me as a child, she made me blow open the doors and talk about it. Stop hiding it. It seems to be a universal truth that when we keep secrets, those secrets can keep haunting us. They keep making us pay for the sins of others. Secrets have a way of re-victimizing us.
Finally, over the last few days, I have gathered up the threads of who I am. Oh, the garment has a hole in it. I thought it was true that my father loved me even if my mother didn’t, and the actual truth is that they were two deeply ill people. I don’t know that they are capable of loving in any real way. It helped when Aunt Debby, who has known me all of my life told me this.
But I thought about who I am. Not where I came from or who I was, but who I am now. I can’t make my parents love me. I can’t make them be proud of me. I can live my life in a way that I am proud of me, that I love me, and that out of those choices, others are proud of me, others love me.
I will always wish that things had been different. I will always wish that things had been other than they are. I will always wish that my parents could without reserve, without qualification say that they loved me, that they were proud of who I was.
But, I know who I am. And I can look at it objectively and say that every reasonable person would look at me and be proud of how I turned out.