Sunday, August 8, 2010

I've Learned From The Best

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I remember as a child wondering if everyone hurt as much as I did. It wasn't that I had such an unhappy childhood, it was that I took on the sorrow of others. The pain was palpable, throbbing around me, and I absorbed it all, as if it were my own. I was deeply attached to my mother, watching her every move, and aware of every change of mood. My father would come sweeping in brimming with charm, or was thankfully absent. My mother was either playful and attentive or somewhat distant and sleepy. The sure signs of a deep depression that I have come to recognize in myself. She wanted nothing more than to have a family unlike the one in which she had grown up. In and out of foster homes, with an abusive father, and a mother who had abandoned her and her siblings, she longed for safety and stability. She found herself in a marriage that was filled with infidelity and loneliness. When my father became involved with drugs, and began to bring them into the house, she wanted out. She feared for our safety. I don't know how she found the strength to leave. She didn't drive, and hadn't worked outside the home in years. She didn't have more than a high school education. I remember the morning she told my brother and I that they were getting a divorce, as I lay on the shag carpet, crayons lined up above my coloring book. It was a strange relief of sorts, although I didn't fully understand. I felt my mother's resolve that this was the right decision for all of us, and it was. It was an abrupt change of lifestyle; from private to public schools, and checkbooks to food stamps, but we had each other. It's been an adventure, just as she said it would be, and throughout the struggles, I've had much joy. I think of how far we've come, the obstacles, the wonderful interventions, like my step dad, who changed our lives, and I see how amazing and good life can be. I see my life now, stumbling over the trauma, picking myself up, and fighting to survive. I've learned from the best.


Paula said...

Dear Angela, plenty of hugs. You are brave, courageous and self inspiring. Keep up the good work. You can be proud of yourself. Love from my heart to yours

Anonymous said...

Very nice words about you mother!!!

It sounds as if she has always had your best interest in mind. Yes, I am sure she made the right decision for her "family" at the time. One never knows if those decisions are the right ones. But there is always other opprotunities for you down the road. Stay the course.

Keep fighting those demons and you also will win with the help of your husband, your kids and the rest of your family.

May God please you and yours.

Just Be Real said...

Here listening dear one. ((((Angela)))

Sunny said...

I LOVE this to the nth degree! I really wish I could use it in my class for my students who have similar situations.

I could use it later on when I have them doing memoirs and reflections and after they get to know me a little bit. Would you mind if I did?

My goal is to let them read "real" writing...not just things from books. Let me know...I will leave it anonymous or say, "a friend of mine wrote this," if you want. :)

LOVE it!!!

Angela said...

Theresa, Of course you can use it! I'm glad that you like it, and I would be honored to be able to help out in your class:)