I am the proud product of a broken family.
A broken family that didn’t start out that way. A broken family that did NOT want to end that way.
My parents met at work. They fell in love. They adventured. They experienced. They planned a family. And they were finally expecting their first born (hint: me).
My father started having endless migraines. Diagnosis – brain tumor.
I was 2 weeks old. My mom – a brand new mom alone, her husband sick. My dad – decided it was time to remove the tumor. I don’t blame him. He wanted to be a father and see me grow up.
And the dream of having a happy family – changed in one surgery.
Brain’s are a tricky thing to cut into. One cut too long, or too deep, or in the wrong spot – and a life is instantly changed.
(Side effects of brain surgery include: Problems with speech, memory, muscle weakness, balance, vision, coordination, and other functions source)
Oh, and Personality Changes.
Not necessarily good ones at that.
So when my paternal Grandmother passed away when I was 12, I saw an opening to escape.
But escape what?
From what I was told, and from the shiniest memories that have made it thru, my childhood was full of being spoiled and all the things I could ever want.
My mom always got me what I wanted, and then more. You name the tourist spot (in Oregon and Washington)- My dad took me.
I self-discovered a long time ago that I blacked out 93% of my childhood – right up until Christmas Break of my 12th year.
It was just like any other weekend with my father. I don’t know what changed for me this time.
My father was deep asleep as per usual. I snuck a corded phone in to my bedroom at my Dad’s house, called my Papa to come rescue me, grabbed my closest belongings that could fit in 1 bag, and quietly escaped as my father slept.
We drove away. I never looked back.
I was free.
Shortly thereafter, I remember the police coming. Just like clockwork. And I remember telling them that I no longer wanted to see my father again.
I don’t know what I said right that time, or why they finally took my side. Supposedly I have been told it was because I was of an age (12) where I could decide if I wanted to see my sperm donor or not.
I never did again. At least – not of my own desire.
He passed away 5 years ago. I don’t even know if he has a burial plot or is cremated or was just buried with all the other poor folks in a paper thin pine coffin.
But for 17yrs, up until he passed away, I lived in a constant state of fear.
I put my entire life on lockdown. I didn’t want him to find me. I held my breath every time we drove by his hometown on the way to and from the beach.
I spent many moments questioning myself and my reasons for denying this man time with his only daughter.
I spent many moments wondering if I made a horrible decision.
I spent many moments telling myself that I was spoiled, rotten, ungrateful. That I was lazy and lacking the ability for others to love me.
Believing that I deserved my constant self-imposed guilt trip, and should always remember that I consciously chose to lose half my family because I never wanted to see my father again. I deserved whatever I got.
I never had the “correct” words. Or the evidence. Or the feeling that someone believed me.
So I just….gave up.
I locked it all away. The memories I did remember. The milestones that didn’t actually matter. Anything that caused pain and anger – thrown in to a box, locked away, and hidden.
And for the next 17 years – only the anger and pain and guilt and inability to love myself, remained.
People thought I was crazy. How could I not remember my childhood that supposedly was so full of living and experiencing.
But something finally changed this past February. My soul awoke. As my passions were shaken loose – a locked boxed was uncovered.
A very distinct locked box. I knew what was in it. The only one of its kind in existence. It was buried there for a reason.
I tossed it aside. Hoping to bury it again soon.
But, as per usual, my spiritual guides have other plans for me.
So, 21 years later – 12-18 years of hidden memories are beginning to slowly revealing themselves.
21 years later, and I am finally ready to listen, and understand.