The second beginning:
an introduction to my journey of healing from a shattered past of abuse
Main Entry: hope
Part of Speech: verb
Definition: long for, dream about
Synonyms: anticipate, aspire, assume, await, be sure of, believe, cherish, contemplate, count on, deem likely, depend on, desire, expect, feel confident, foresee, hang in, have faith, hold, keep fingers crossed, knock on wood, look at sunny side, look forward to, pray, presume, promise oneself, rely, suppose, surmise, suspect, sweat it, sweat it out, sweat*, take heart, think to, trust, watch for, wish
“Hope” thaseurus.com, dictonary.com LLC, 2017, Web, 26 May, 2017
My entire life I have lived in a valley surrounded by mountains with no way out. The voices of the world above me are carried by the wind with gusts of laughter and the tail end of conversations that die out on my ears. I have been abandoned in this gulch by my first love, the most important love in the life of any human infant.
Crying out to the voices above has become fruitless so the tears stop. This infant is now considered a good and happy baby. But, one can wonder what the voices would think if they could see the valley in which this child lives. Her body is useless at this stage, barely discovering how to manipulate her own hands. But the mind is strong. It is her foundation to which her entire life will be built, and it is sturdy.
The valley to which she was abandoned is not her end, her mind did not leave her exposed to the elements. Instead, it created a world of its own to cradle the fragile body until it was strong enough to crawl, walk and eventually run; to one day grow strong enough to build steps that would allow her to rise up to greet the voices. To become a part of the world above.
With each word written or typed I am building my staircase. I’m not sure how close I am to the top, but i’ll keep going. Who knows what will greet me at the top of my mountain, or if anything will greet me at all. Who knows, I might even want to go back down the stairs to the valley that has been my cradle since birth. But, only after the top has been seen and the mountains conquered.
I was diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder at the age of 11 when I finally entered treatment after my father’s suicide. Since then I have had the entire DSMV thrown at me.
There came a point, at the age of 19, when I threw that stupid book out the window. I was tired of living in a box created by voices on the wind. So began my journey of self discovery.
I do not live by my diagnoses. They do not own me. But, to save time; actually, to save myself from having to come up with a million cheesy and poetic metaphors, I will use the correct terminology.
My childhood RAD diagnosis has morphed into lord knows what, insecure or avoidant attachment? All I know right now is the primal part of my brain lived in that valley described above since birth. As an adult I love people by nature but hate them by nurture.
Even for an adult RAD, there is hope. I was born with a mustard seed of hope in my heart and if nothing else survived my infancy and childhood, hope did. So, at 32 and with 4 children of my own what other choice did I have but to guide that hope? No, not just guide it, to plant it in soil and let it grow. Give it a voice because even a plant can sing if you know how to listen.
I gave birth to my oldest at 17 alone and in foster care. I had chosen to keep him and eventually aged out of the system and he was placed into my custody.
Teenage pregnancy is hard. For most girls in my situation it could been seen as an impossible situation; My sons father was an alcoholic drug addict, my mother psychotic, and I had been bounced around between family since the death of my father. I only followed my mom to arkansas from texas to be with my siblings.
But, I never saw my oldest in that light. I saw life in my belly, felt life; hope for his future. I will admit that I did see him as someone that would rescue me, and boy did he. He is my first step in what would eventually become my staircase leading me to the top of my mountain.
Giving birth is funny. Not funny haha, but funny as in mindblowing; for me anyway. I loved giving birth, it was more addictive to my deprived brain than crack. Something happened to me in those short hours before each of my children were born. I taped into something primal.
The closer a woman gets to delivering the more she shuts down. Voices become dull echoes that are barely audible and the optic nerve stops processing pictures to the brain. All she is left with are basic, animalistic senses. Her mind is in control as its most basic level. This moment is when magic can happen, if you’re in need of that kind of magic. It is like a gap in space and time where the soul of a person is in limbo. In that moment, despite giving birth, my brain also recognized an opportunity to gain more steps for its staircase. Pretty badass, huh?!
By tapping into my primal self I was able to begin healing at a primal level. Giving birth to my children was also my rebirth. And thus, my journey began.
I recognized what was happening with the birth of my second son, a little late but nonetheless. I did everything humanly possible to give my children a solid foundation and in doing so I was also rebuilding my own foundation. I did not parent my infants based on any one fad such as crunchy or whatever stupid word people want to label themselves with. Nope, I listened to my gut. My instincts are my biggest ally.
I never put my babies down. They were held constantly and I responded to every whimper. They nursed as they saw fit and my fat butt made a permanent indent on our couch. My babies slept in my arms from day one, put in a carrier on my chest when out and about and I knew their language before they learned to talk.
I have had so many people tell me I lose myself in my kids and it always makes me laugh; its an inside joke with myself. I don’t lose myself in my kids, they are the reason I ever discovered who I was!
Finally, if you made it this far congratulations, you have read a lot! Beware: that was just the introduction.
Eventually, as my voice rises I hope to offer a safe place for other people’s voice. But, all in due time.