I have already alluded several times to having had some difficulties in 2012. But the truth is, I have had some continuing difficulties for a very long time. Like since childhood. I have been plagued by guilt, shame, a sense of failure, and a need to hide for pretty much my whole life. There are reasons for this.
My Dad had a problem with drinking. And his body had a problem with drinking. Serious kidney problems, along with multiple car accidents kept me up way too late many nights. A large part of my childhood was spent dealing with the fall-out of these issues. It was important that I not let anyone know what was going on in our home.
|I was two years old here...still innocent and unaware.|
Having friends sleep over was not always easy. My dad never came home the day of my 15th birthday, and we had family and friends waiting to celebrate. So we celebrated without him.
In between the drinking times, we made wonderful, happy memories. He lived, LIVED, to fish, and we spent many a happy hour out on the water in the boat. We traveled a lot to see friends, and we went out to eat every weekend. When things were good, we had some really happy, fun times. But as I grew up, the bad times started to come a lot closer together. Then, one night, just a few days after my 16th birthday, my mom woke me up and we left. And we never went back.
I learned to just deal with it. As time has gone by, I have made peace with my past, and I have fully forgiven my Dad for the pain he caused. He was in great pain himself, and I can see that now. I wish I could talk to him now, tell him how to get help. Unfortunately, he died as a result of one of those car accidents when I was 18 years old. He never knew any of my children. And they never knew him.
|1981- I was 13 years old...no longer innocent and unaware.|
Daddy's eyes were red from crying in this picture, because I
had just won the junior division of my school's beauty pageant.
Unfortunately, once a child learns to deal with life in this way, it is hard to break. Living in hiding; living in fear of being found out; the guilt of wondering if it was my fault; seeing a parent out of control; dealing with your parents' adultery; living with grandparents because of your parents' divorce...that is an awful lot to expect of a child.
Those bad habits have stuck with me. I feel enormous guilt over things I can't control. I wake up in the morning, and before I can get out of bed, I feel the crushing weight of despair settling on me. Some days are just a doggone struggle. Depression is an ever-present shadow, just waiting in the wings to jump on me.
And honestly, I've Had Enough. That's right. I've had it.
So I have decided to make 2013 my Year of Healing. It's time to restore my mental and emotional health to soundness; time to be made whole emotionally and spiritually; time to be freed from false guilt. In short, it is time to learn how to be free.
Now, I realize that this post might make some people very uncomfortable. But the problem is, I have lived my whole life being very careful not to make anyone uncomfortable. I'm going to start living for God, and not the opinions of others. People pleasing has to go out the window. Hiding who I really am just so I don't rock the boat is not going to happen anymore. I may say or do things that shock some people.
But I have lived 45 years putting on a pretty face, and it's time to take off the mask. This year of healing has just begun for me, and I have already seen progress. This is the first post of what I hope will be many this year. As I learn how to "heal and be real", I will be sharing on here in the hopes of helping some other woman who has been hiding.
Satan works best in the dark. I am ready to live in the light.
Who wants to join me?