This time of the year is always really, really hard for me.
Last year, I really got it out in this post.
I got a lot of flack for it, by people who think I should "move on" or "get over it."
I have a bit of a news flash for you. When something serious changes in your life, especially as a young child, it takes a lot of time and effort to process and work through.
Basically, for me at 14, it was like a death.
You don't just "bounce" back (yes, that is a movie quote). You CAN'T pretend like it didn't seriously wound your heart or change who you are as a person.
At this point, this year, I think I can claim to be much better. I spent my anniversary driving around old familiar places. My grandmother does not like the word, but I have my own personal definition.
I found closure.
Yes, I was deeply wounded.
They have changed me, made me who I am today.
And, I have accepted myself for who I am.
The wounds have scarred over, for the most part, and I have found a reason to keep my heart alive still. I have finally reached the point of accepting that I live here. That I will be in the United States for the rest of my life, except for occasional itching-feet-vacations.
Yeah, for those who did not know I have hated being here for years.
I am also moving on as far as blaming. I blamed a lot of people for what happened, and mostly myself. I was young and I felt that I could have changed things if only I was better, or done more, or tried harder....or something.
But it had nothing to do with me. Like a pawn in a chess game, I was at the mercy of everything else and could not do much.
I have stopped blaming myself.
When something happens that deeply affects you, it is part of your history. Part of your unique story. Part of your fingerprint. Hiding these things is like hiding an elephant with pink toenails in a cherry tree. People can tell it is there, but they do not have an explanation. Especially, with the people who care about you, hiding things or pretending is a bad idea, and could damage or completely ruin your relationship.
I have begun to talk about what I have been through.
Talking is a healthy thing. Most people are not mind readers.
Lastly, I have been allowing the possibility of forgiveness. Yes, very bad decisions lead to years of pain, dysfunction, and stupid crap. It caused way too much chaos in the lives of hundreds of people. Yes, hundreds!! Every person affects other people, who in turn affect others. No one can repair the damage without humility and sincere honesty. I cannot repent of anything that I have not done. But I can free the other person from the place of anger, resentment, and fear in which I have imprisoned them. They have been pushed far enough away that they cannot cause me pain. I free them to work before God with all their serious problems.
I let go.
And now I wait with open hands.