Some pain just doesn’t heal over time. For me, the pain of my childhood abuse and neglect from my mom seems like a disease that no matter how hard I try to forget or to move on, it still comes back to haunt me over and over again. The physical abuse holds no power on me anymore, but the emotional abuse still lingers there and affect my behaviors in so many unnoticeable ways.
I’m a forty-five-year-old woman that runs my own business, have my own family, but often feel hopeless to deal with this pain. It just doesn’t go away! The symptoms are constantly worrying about doing something wrong, low self-esteem which makes me feel like I am not good enough to reach my big goals or deserve to live my wild dream life, becoming a workaholic to avoid insecurity, constant feeling stressed, having a hard time to relax or feel safe, and struggling with close/intimate relationships which I feel like I have to be perfect so they will love me.
Since I was damaged as a child, I have enough reasons to be sad and blame everything on my mom, right? Absolutely NOT! I am not that powerless little girl anymore. I know I need to find a way to heal and free myself. In the past few years, I have done a lot of work on myself. I have reached the level that I understand why she did what she did, but I just simply can’t forgive her. I understand she treated me as of how she was treated when she has grown up. That was all she knew how to treat a daughter. I understand with very little food, clothes, and other resources, the culture favored the boys so girls get whatever left. She did what she thought was right to take care of the most important person, my older brother so he can carry out our family name. But I disagree with her choice. So I have stuck there for about one year now.
A few weeks ago, after my regular gym class, I took the yoga class right after. I always see yoga as my treat to myself because I just love the mind, body, and spirit connections. I was laying on my yoga mat clearing out my mind after a long working day. The joy of being alive and doing what I love came to me. I said in my head “Thank you God for giving me this life so I can enjoy everything this life has to offer.” I can feel my smile on my face even with my eyes closed. “I love you, God!” My inner dialogue continues.
Then a question suddenly came to my head. “If I can say “I love you” to God, should I say the same thing to my actual parents? They were the ones who gave me this body and raised up, right?” For my dad, we never had a very close relationship. He never stood up for me when my mom was treating me like I was trash, but he never really hurt me intentionally either. So the answer is, YES! I love him. Although I have never said that to him and he never said that to me either. Or maybe since he had passed away when I was in high school, it is easier to forgive someone has long gone. What about my mom? My thoughts were like, THERE IS NO WAY! I HATE her and I will never say I LOVE YOU to her! I can feel my breath became fast and the anger started to rise. So I tell myself, I understand her and I want to forgive her. But the anger just kept rising up. Suddenly, another question came to my head. ” Would she die for me if my life was in danger at this moment?” My answer was YES without any hesitation. I was shocked and my tears came to my eyes. So my heart knows she LOVES me! My whole life I was longing for her love! But, I forgot how she fought with strangers who had treated me badly in the public. I had forgotten she was the one who stayed with me and held me tight when the horse carriage crashed (when I was very little). My dad jumped off the carriage but she chose to stay!
My tears were running over my face when I was laying on my yoga mat. But my heart was so happy and I knew I finally found the answer and set myself free. She had said sorry and told me she cared about me. At the time I didn’t believe her, but now I do! She wasn’t the typical loving mom figure and she probably never will be. But she loves me, and that is all I need to know! When I got home, I called her and she was so surprised and happy to chat with me. I didn’t tell her that I LOVE her. That may scare her and she will worry about something being wrong. Lol! But in my heart, I have said it many times to her. I am still struggling with the idea of telling her verbally, but I have planned to do it on Mother’s Day this year! Lol, she will cry!
I am free! I have finally overcome the pain of my childhood abuse and neglect!
Photo credit: Grace Liang/Jada Grandy
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