I am enrolled in a month-long “Journey of the Heart” yoga and meditation workshops. One of our journaling questions was, “how have you made yourself a victim in the past?” I had no idea how to answer this, I asked my wife and she brought up my life in Clarksville. I sat there and thought about it and she is right, I was a victim to my own environment and myself. I did not belong. I had lots of friends, but they were bar friends, they did not know my inner thoughts and my soul. They were friends that if they needed something I would help but they were not there for me. Yes, there was a couple of friends that knew I was cutting and in a dark place but they didn’t know how to help me. My relationships back then were brutal, I pushed people away and they just didn’t get me. I was in a fog for so many years, I had no idea who I was and the environment around me was bleak.
Since my dad was in the military, we moved around so much. I would have acquaintances but friendships did not survive the moves. It was rough for me and my two older sisters. When we finally settled into the last PCS (army jargon for Permanent Change of Station), I made friends, but I was so lost. In my other blog I wrote that my parents did not talk to me about my changing body and what not. I learned everything from my friends and tv, which is sad. Anyways, I graduated high school and was hanging around a not so good crowd of friends and starting working at a bar, and what do they sell at the bar? Alcohol. I was working two jobs, so I was always busy, no time to rest and eat…which did not help my anxiety. I would work the first job, go to the bar and work and drink, and drink till the sun came up and then I would have to hurry and go back to my first job. I had no one to talk to about my anxiety, I walked around the earth under a dark cloud for YEARS.
My family was no help, I feel like I did not belong. Still today, I do not feel like I belong with them. I have not talked to my parents in months, one sister in over six years and for the other sister, it has been about two years. It breaks my heart that I will never get to know my niece and nephew but we have a relationship with my other niece and nephew and we are so thankful for that. I feel like my parents didn’t teach me anything about life, how is that fair to a child? How are they supposed to grow? I am not going to blame them for failing as parents but no child should go through that. I hold a lot of grief over my family, I feel like they never cared to learn about me. To learn my feelings and emotions. Just writing that breaks my heart and I am holding back tears.
So many children grow up having no parents, and I had two that were basically non-existent. I am not saying I do not love them because I do, but I wish things were different. We had good times but our family never connected the way a family should. Do you know that my family and my wife’s family have NEVER met? Well, I know you do not know that but it blows my mind. My parents live 9 hours from us and my wife’s family lives 5 hours. They will never be in the same room together. NEVER. Why? Cause my family is very introverted, especially my dad. When I wanted to sleep at my friends house, I would have to beg and even then it was mostly “No” and when people would come over, my dad would not open the door. It was the craziest thing I have ever seen. And let’s face it, they can say they love my wife till they are blue in the face but deep down, I think this it not what they wanted for me, but they do not decide what I do with my life and who I love.
When I met my wife back in 2008, I was so scared to let her in but since we met on Myspace, yes…Myspace, the old Facebook. We talking on messenger and I was able to finally tell someone how I really felt. I was able to hide behind a computer and not worry about her facial expressions and just hope she would answer back. She did and with no judgment. You see, my wife was going through a lot with her family. A lot of grief. Her mom abandoned her for being gay and her siblings followed suit. My wife and I were basically floating in the wide ocean with no one around, that is how we felt and sometimes still feel. But one thing is for sure, we belong to each other! Our lives together has changed me, I finally feel like I can be myself and not be scared.
I found this quote by Brene Brown:
“The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.”
I know I have grown over the past two years and this past year, I started yoga at a awesome place where it is very welcoming and I feel safe to be myself. I have been encouraged to listen to my body and respect it, something that everyone needs. Words of wisdom and compassion from every teacher makes you feel motivated and secure. I am learning to love my body and love myself more and more.
As far as my family goes, I need to learn to let it go. I do not want to be in pain and have heartache for something I can not control. We have made new family, and thankfully they live across the street. Sometimes, I wish they were our parents but, we are so blessed to have them in our life.
Finally, I belong.
Keep Moving Forward
Much Love – WBC