Monday, May 19, 2014. Maybe people who are born in a safe and secure enough early attachment environment just naturally develop into who they are so they then go out and continue to live a life that is their own. Maybe such people never need to stop and wonder WHOSE life they are living.
Whose life? How might it be possible to live someone else’s life?
Well, if I just look at the first 18 years of my life I can wonder if all I actually accomplished was to survive my abusive mother’s life. My life of terror was certainly no kind of life I would have chosen for myself. And then, coming out of that childhood into adulthood — did I even know enough to know I was a self (“had a self”) that was suddenly “free” to go off and live the life of my choosing?
Those kinds of choices, I would tender, stem directly from an entire long series beginning at birth in which a person has been able to have some kind of say about how their feelings, needs, decisions, choices affect their daily lives. These patterns – or the lack of them – directly affect how one’s nervous system and brain develop. The older I get the more I understand how hard making informed decisions and choices for myself in my life actually is given that I never was able to build a body-brain that knew a single darn thing about being the master of my own fate.
“Thunderstruck.” Heck of a saying. I suppose the sound waves from lightning does actually create hits although it is the lightning itself that we speak of as hitting things. I vaguely woke this morning to the sound of massive rumbling over my apartment building. “Good. Hello.” And I went back to sleep.
I don’t know whether or not the first thought I had so clearly in my mind when I finally crawled into my day well after the thunders had left was in part created within me by that outside storm: “I am trying to live someone else’s life here.”
I am surprised only that this thought took this long to get through to me. For a person who grew from birth knowing clearly who they were such a thought might never need to appear to them. I need this thought. It is exactly accurate for me.
When my daughter expresses her wish that grandma (me) be a part of her young sons’ lives she knows what she is talking about. How I heard and interpreted what she said – and then acted upon what I thought – has evidently been all tangled up in the fact that I have always had an extremely difficult time actually defining who I am – let alone “whose” life I am living.
Trying to fit in where I don’t belong? Oh, I’ve done that!! I did not belong to Mother’s insane abusive madness by any other factor than the fact that I was born to her and nobody rescued me from her.
From the moment I left home I tried to fit in. As I scan over the distant horizon of my adult life I see that in all cases except my move down to southeastern Arizona in November of 1999 I was, in fact, trying to fit into other people’s scenes. Blah blah blah – long stories later — when I heard “be a part of your grandson’s life” I found no other way to do that other than essentially give up everything familiar to me as my own life and move into what is, to me, hostile territory. Sterile territory for my soul.
Sure, I like the hundreds of refugees from around the world that live in the area where I do, can deal with, cope with, survive — and for many of those actual refugees be extremely and forever grateful for the chance to live here.
I have so “been there done that” refugee thing. This morning it is ever more clear to me, “I don’t have to live that life anymore.”
True, the poverty of my life did not allow me to visit up here without moving here although the $3000 plus that family gave to get me up here would have bought a lot of plane tickets for me to travel back and forth to see these little boys. But things didn’t work out that way.
The questions I wrestle with here now have to do with whether or not I can endure another horrible winter here — or if I will choose to (based on what information within?). Where is the money to get me and my belongs out of here – to transplant me back where I came from and evidently belong? Will I have to yet again give up nearly everything I own? I know I will have to go through another bout of homelessness before I could resettle down there.
None of this has much significance in the grand scheme of life on the planet — except that it means something to me because this is MY LIFE. It is the only life I will ever have on this planet. I wish it was not always so difficult for me to navigate around decisions and choices, but it is. My brain, altered through severe trauma during critical early developmental stages, simply processes all information it receives — differently.
In many significant ways raising children does take a sacrifice of one’s own life for theirs’. “Being a part of” my grandson’s life — past this year I did choose to dedicate to caring for the youngest week days until after his 2nd birthday – does not necessitate that I continue to “live someone else’s life here” for any longer than necessary. Something about this thought coming to me today broke through an inner gridlock that has kept me trapped within miserable unending circles of doubt, confusion, and lack of direction. I still don’t have all my answers, all my solutions. But I think I made an important leap back onto the track of MY own life.
Here is our first book out in ebook format. A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job – I think we will have to find an alternative!). Click here to view or purchase –
It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge. Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site