A couple days ago, someone told me that I'm ashamed of my past. After giving them the blank stare and the side eye and another blank stare, I made sure to say that that statement is simply not true.
I used to be embarrassed by my upbringing and my past when I was a school-aged child. Child. And then again when I was a young adult in college, still trying to figure things out and trying to find some purpose in this world.
Now I'm a grown woman in my thirties. With a child. And a growing career. And a successful side hustle.
Now I know that I was not responsible for my upbringing. I didn't have a hand in the cards that were dealt to me. I didn't do anything to have the upbringing like I did. I was born into it.
So I have a biological mother who was addicted to drugs? So what. So I have a father who was incarcerated for most of my life? Okay. Shit happens.
So I was taken away from my mother and placed into foster care? Then I was removed from that foster home and placed into another foster home. I was abused... mentally, emotionally, and physically. So what. These things happen.
So I figured out how to get good grades in school and earn a scholarship to college only to find my adult-self in a similar situation of abuse and manipulation and hopelessness with Aiden's other parent? So what. Life cycles happen. Mistakes happen.
And in life, we stumble and fall. And sometimes we have to crawl before we learn to walk and before we learn to run. Sometimes we get stuck and sometimes it's very hard to get unstuck. And that's exactly what I had to do to get out of the abusive relationship with my ex.
Stumble. Fall. Crawl. Get unstuck. Walk. Get a little more hope. Run. Run faster. Never look back.
Are the scars still there? Yes. But I'm healed. Do I still have trouble trusting folks and not being so damn guarded all the time? Yes. But I'm still healed. Is it hard for me to form healthy attachments to people? Sometimes. Is it mentally and emotionally exhausting for me to try to re-program my brain to bond with folks and open up to folks? Of course! Do I have to make a conscious effort to parent Aiden so that he'll grow up to trust folks and form healthy relationships with them? Yes, of course! It's a process. Every. Single. Day.
I was not responsible for my upbringing. I was not responsible for the cards dealt to me. That wasn't my doing. I have nothing to be ashamed of.
After all, I played the hell out of the cards that were dealt to me.
And even though I still have work to do...
And even though the scars are still there....
And even though I still have learning and loving and trusting to do...
I am healed. I'm learning that love wins. Always.
And I'm doing the damn thing.