Sink Or Swim
Are we destined to be like them? Living life in the shadows of a toxic birth parent.
Four half siblings, born to the same woman. A woman incapable of being a mother with abusive, narcissistic, and sociopathic behaviors.. all observed to be passed down from her mother. Will this cycle continue or can it be broken? Each of our stories so different.
What a fun card in life to be dealt. Growing up in the shadows of extreme toxicity filled with secrets and so many unanswered questions. With every stage of your life, people watching to see if you'll be "just like her". The chances are likely but not certainty. Two choices.. black or white... Blame your bad behavior and choices on the life you were handed so that you can always spiral down with an excuse of "I didn't know any better because she didn't love me".
Or... Will you grow to be absolute opposite because you want to ensure your children never have to question "will they be there?".
It took me nearly 30 years to realize keeping everything locked in a box and buried so deep, did nothing but slowly creep to the surface time and time again.
My #1 goal in life was to beat that cycle. To strive to be the best mother I could be. Everything I did, at any given moment was always of the best intentions for them. I wanted to shield them from any type of hurt that I possibly could, just as one would think a mother should. During this time, that box just wouldn't stay buried. I tried so hard focusing on swimming and hiding my depression and anxiety, that I actually sank. The depression would take me over and I'd make sure to hide that with a mask. Because for goodness sake! Here I am trying to not be her. I had to be perfect so they would not see the real inside. The inside of me that was boiling with hurt, sadness, and an uncertainty of who I was.
Depression and anxiety won. Although, I did not want to face it. I was too consumed at reaching for perfection, that I couldn't see myself drowning.... And in the meantime, I would unintentionally take everyone I love right down with me. No one, especially on the outside ever knew. That's how we're raised, right? To keep everything tucked and folded inside so neatly because the world doesn't care for "real".
I failed.... In so many ways and on top of that, one of my babies DIED. Right in my arms. I could not protect him. I could do nothing except watch him drift away helplessly while praying it was me instead of him. In reality, no one was at fault. It was one of those cards again. The worst that any parent could ever receive. There was no sense to be made of this tragedy. I felt as if life was standing back, pointing, and laughing at me.
It wasn't until the day that I just so happened to be sitting in church that the "lesson" caught my ears. It was something like... "Why things happen to people". It was actually much more moving than I can even make it sound... A little something like, there really is no answer but God will take that story of someone and shed light for others in their darkest times. To help....
During the darkest of the darkest, God is weeping with us and using others to help carry our burdens until our strength is back up. Someone's story may be part of someone's hope.
Before losing Ezra, I did actually come to terms that I couldn't keep running from who I could've been destined to be. Accepting the fact that she is "sick" and there will always be questions unanswered.
After losing our baby boy, that box that I tried so hard to keep buried, just exploded.
The mask of perfection, I couldn't even try to continue wearing. I had to let go. I had to medically seek help. I had to find and continue to keep positive and therapeutic activities in my life... Being in nature... Creating and teaching art.
Once I finally accepted that closed box just needed to be open, I could live the best for the ones that I love. Integrity -- that word is different to me these days. It's being the same person on the outside, that you are on the inside and .... for me... It is accepting that perfection is nonsense, facing my trials and hurts instead of keeping them buried because I know that I will explode, accepting help, and as always... Accepting that I will always be broken. Some days I can carry that well... Some not so much but knowing I'm not alone is somewhat of a relief. I am here always giving y'all "too much information" for you to know that you are not alone as well.
Whatever cycle you feel that you may be destined for, you can break.
Life can be so weird to us. When we give ourselves grace, quit asking why, let go, and find what makes our souls happy, we can then be on the path to being the one that our loved ones so desperately need for us to be...
You may wonder why I write these things on my art website.. My reasons are... These parts of my life are what my art is made of. I am a soul that feels so deeply. It can can be a curse. Without art and teaching art to amazing people like you, I would be more of a mess than I am. I want you to know... You are never alone!! Art can also be the hope in your beautifully broken story.