33 Days of Truth: Day 2
This is my second day of 33 Days of Truth, a personal growth challenge I’m doing for my 33rd birthday. My goal is to share something every day that is honest, vulnerable, and authentic about myself and my life… for, uh, 33 days. 😉
Kind of a scary goal, and yet it’s already super inspiring me. I’m so excited that I couldn’t stop thinking about things to write and therefore couldn’t sleep. It’s currently 2am. What the hell. I love it. 😃
I’m just going to dive right in, straight out of the gate, and open up about trust wounds.
Some of what I talk about here may become fodder for other posts, should I feel moved by the muse to elaborate on any of them specifically later on. We’ll see. Meanwhile, I’ll touch on some of the major experiences that have hurt my overall ability to trust in people, myself, society, and life generally.
Ah, yes. The big D. Divorce. It is to trust wounds what milk is to cereal.
Ok now I’ve said that and given myself a chuckle, I honestly don’t think that is true. I think it is so much more damaging for a couple to stay married and miserable (or just mediocre) together than it is to go their separate ways to be examples of happier, healthier people for their children.
It wasn’t my parents’ divorce that hurt me, per se. I actually took that rather in stride. It all happened somewhat gradually. Dad moved out, they were separated; the divorce paperwork wasn’t finalized until some years later. There was another woman involved, but that wasn’t entirely the issue either. Well not for me, anyway! She was kind of like the big sister I didn’t have. For my parents, it was simply a final straw. They were two people who married too young and didn’t know how to handle each other. They were fundamentally different. They each needed to do a lot of growing up. Thank goodness they parted. But thank goodness they were together, long enough to give birth to me and four of my super rad siblings. And, thank goodness, my parents have stayed friends.
But I digress. I was talking about trust wounds.
To be ten years old and experience the dismantling of your family unit is inevitably going to have an impact. The hardest part of the situation was when we moved away, with my dad remaining in California while my mom U-hauled us kids up to Washington state, to live on the property they had originally invested in together. At the time it was the best place to land. She had been laid off from her job and also received an eviction notice. Welp, time to go live in the woods! (With five young kids. Dang I admire her tenacity so much!)
Gradually, in the back of my mind, I began to weave a story together of what had happened. Resentment and confusion crept quietly in. Why didn’t my dad choose to relocate with us? As an adult I came to understand that he carried a lot more emotional pain from the distance from us kids than I ever did. However, it did create a rift in my relationship with him, which was something I was not able to heal until many years later. Because, as it turned out, there was still a long, painful journey ahead for us…
I was 17 years old when my dad went to prison. But I felt like I was still ten, losing him over again. In one of the worst ways possible. It was a lot like having him die. And having a part of me die too. In fact, I’ve always described that moment the judge said “Guilty” as feeling like a bullet went through my heart. Fucking intense.
I won’t go into the details of the accusation here. I will say however that the verdict (and trial) was bulls*** in very possible way. My dad was innocent, and wrongfully convicted. Which is perhaps the hardest part. He did not deserve that, did not belong in prison. He was a long-haired hippie with a heart of gold. I admire him more than I can possibly express for getting through that, and coming out the other side with his heart still open.
Mom and us kids came down from Washington to support him in the final trial, and I even testified in front of the court. I remember sitting down in the hard wooden chair behind the witness stand, only to be told to get back up for the oath swearing. Ask I stood, my v-neck blouse got caught on the microphone. It was a sickeningly awkward moment. I was mortified. The attorney then asked me questions that I was briefed on beforehand. In my nervous state, I accidentally began to say things before he posed the specific question meant to prompt the information in sequence. My botched delivery made me feel like I’d exposed our rehearsal to the jury, so that it didn’t come across as genuine. I carried my blunder like weight.
Outside of the court, in the hotel where my family stayed, I locked myself in the bathroom for privacy and secretly did energy work. Eyes closed, breathing deeply, and sitting still in meditation, I envisioned my dad and my family surrounded with light. I tingled with it, the feeling of a positive outcome, and the relief and joy of having that dark cloud hanging over our heads clear away, seeing at last the blue skies of my dad’s freedom. I invested all my faith in the truth setting him free.
Needless to say, I have some hella trust issues with our country’s “justice” system. (And maybe also some with energy work.) 😐
The experience gripped me and my family in an emotional lockdown for the entire decade that my dad spent behind bars. This, all by it’s big fat horrible self, was the thing probably most responsible for me shutting down my heart and being unable to connect emotionally with others far into my twenties. Which leads me to being…
This is a sticky one. There is a lot to unpack. I have much to say on intimacy and relationships, and my chronic lack thereof.
The whole dad in prison thing choked me up at a time when I should have been able to blossom forward into adulthood. That said, it was not the sole reason I didn’t meet my match. In the beginning, it was a consciously chosen and highly intentional path. Early on in my teens, I grew strong and clear about the kind of connection I wanted to have with a partner, yet all I saw were the kinds of connections that I didn’t want. But, that didn’t stop me from looking around every corner with hopeful, eager eyes, imagining that someone special would show up around the next turn.
That is, until he did; or at least I started thinking maybe he did, but it was right when this maybe guy met and fell in love with someone else. They ended up getting married, and are together to this day. Yay! (Not being sarcastic but… also being sarcastic.)
After that, I had a couple of guys I was really into show interest and then in both cases, they went totally dark on me. Eventually I recovered from those hot potato drops. And then suddenly, unexpectedly, finally, at last, after so many years, I met the man of my dreams. All around, everything I was looking for in a person.
And, wouldn’t you know it… He was already married. (God the irony. Alanis called that shit!)
We were just friends, and it stayed that way. There were feelings on both sides but neither of us wanted to mess with that. We didn’t want to do anything to compromise his vows. (Morals! Yay.) Alas, he, also, is still married.
(I think maybe I have trust issues with marriage? Hm.)
I’m sure I’ll get more into this relationships topic later in the 33 Days. For the time being, I’ll conclude with noting a personal truth, that having an expectant heart get disappointed over and over again is really tiresome, and quite atrophying to the trust muscles. Rather… Disheartening. There’s a bullseye word choice.
Ok, what else? (Is there anything else? Haha…)
I could keep going but it’s nearly 4:30 in the morning now! Wow that went fast. I’m not even tired. Every post I do for the challenge better not be as mentally caffeinating or time-involved as this. As fun as being feverishly inspired feels, I need sleep. Thank goodness it’s the weekend! There is a nap in my near future for sure.
Until tomorrow. xo