Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Hole in My Heart

I wonder sometimes when I see survivors say they are so scarred from what happened to them that they will never heal. Maybe it's a form of denial that kicks in because I want to believe it's possible to completely recover from childhood abuse. I understand that despite all the odds I have an innate faith that some how, some way I can be "normal," whatever that means. I guess it's that combination that drives me to bristle at the prospect that total healing is not possible.

Then there are those other days when the hole in my heart is so apparent there just is no way to deny its existence. Not every bump in the road leads to that awareness, only those closest to my heart. Then I am painfully aware of those things lacking in my life and the fact they will just never be there no matter how much I would like them to be. I cannot change what makes those things what they are. There's no magic wand to take away the pain and turn me into another person with a more loved history.

Yesterday I attended a memorial service. For me those kinds of events push lots of buttons. It doesn't matter if the family is genuinely loving or as dysfunctional as my family of origin, the purpose of the function is fraught with triggers. Had I been on a even keel before I went I probably would have fared better but I was already listing from a realization that has been stalking me for a while. The end result is that vivid awareness of the gaping hole in my heart. Now I must deal with it.

It doesn't matter that I know I could never succeed in making my mother love me because it never really had to do with me that she couldn't. It doesn't matter that I have no control over how my daughter feels for the same reasons. The sadness I feel over not having what I long for is overwhelming. Sometimes I wonder if it's just part of the human condition to not feel whole and I am yearning for something that will never be.

As usual I will turn my attention to those things I love. I know that will make me feel better. The horses always ease my pain and give me purpose. Still it saddens me that some people get their purpose in life from their families but others like me only wonder about such things. What would it be like to have a loving family? Would I be able to recognize it, if I did?

The realization that I must let go of yet another unrealistic expectation is hurtful. I know it is the only way to attain healing from this latest injury so I am prepared to make the journey. I know the heaviness I feel is part of that process and I must go through it. Still the weight of the pain is far too familiar and I am tired.

Another part of this process will be rebuilding some walls that I had let myself tear down. I understand now relinquishing those protections made me vulnerable. Evidently that was the plan and I have paid for my foolishness. I guess I'm still trying to figure out how I got sucked into this game in which breaking my heart was the prize. I thought I'd learned enough to avoid such catastrophes......evidently I was very, very wrong.

At this stage of the journey my eyes are wide open. I may not understand entirely how I got trapped but I understand enough to get myself out of this mess. I also understand enough to know the extent of my pain is what separates me from those who can knowingly do harm to others so I guess I'll embrace the pain as a good thing. While my life may not be as I wish sometimes, my heart will always be in the right place. When It's all said and done, that is what matters most to me so I guess I'm on the right track. I need to remind myself of that maybe that will bring some much need relief to this journey.


English Rider said...

The last paragraph is the most important. Be glad that you are who you are. Your deep down goodness shines through.

TinaM said...

The sadness is overwhelming... I wish I had something beautiful and comforting to say, but I really don't... I have no idea how to help you out of whatever has happened or how to make you feel better.

Just know that you are right, your heart is good and that's what matters.

You are strong and have come this far, you will get through this hard time.

Best Wishes

Ethereal Highway said...

Yes, your good heart really does matter. And I think the way you care for Lindsay is a good purpose, too. She got sick and you take care of her and help her and you do not leave. You are her mother and you did not leave her emotionally. This is a real live changing of where you came from. You give Lindsay something that you never got and that would not have been available to you had you had the misfortune of becoming so ill as she did. This is the kind of thing that changes the world, whether we realize it or not.

TinaM said...

I gave you an award, because this is a blog of substance if I EVER saw one!

I hope all is well!

Ivory said...

I think healing is in the heart of the beholder. you will never forget what happened to you, but you will learn to cope with it. For some, that is enough. Good luck on your journey. :)

Donna said...

We all cope and sometimes we cope better than others. Our frailty and willingness to question is what makes us survivors. I will never know what normal is, what a mother's love really feels like or live a day without a hole in my heart. But I will live another day. You are strong and you are loved.