In Your Language

Sunday, July 6, 2014

My Cause

 I woke up this morning to this fundraising promotion. There was no hesitation on whether or not I would participate. If I were bringing in income, I would have donated more. I'm premeditating what my future income will fund: college educations for my children, a wedding that we have  yet to have, and more donations to causes that are important to me.
I've mentioned Jessie Hogsett before in a post called Response to Baby Moved to Tears. I believe I also suffered from this detachment with my adoptive family. I remember having separation anxiety when I was 13. If you ask me, that is extremely old to have such strong feelings towards being left by your parents. 

I don't talk about my ugly young adult stage that much because its, well, ugly. I should rephrase that. My inward existence as a young adult was ugly. On the outside, I was too busy playing musical instruments, writing and studying. But on the inside, I was reeling. I felt neglected and like a non-person in my own home. 

When I went off to college the first time, I started having horrible nightmares, insomnia and a relapse with an eating disorder. All of that led to what I refer to as a mental breakdown. I was a useless mess. I stopped taking my family's phone calls and I decided that I couldn't be healthy AND be in relationship with them. I'm not saying it's all their fault, but I still maintain that I did the right thing for me knowing that I was the only one who was looking out for me.

When my mother came to campus to confront me, she assumed the worst in me. She thought I was pregnant and on drugs. That was far from the truth. I knew at that moment that she didn't know me after 15 years of being "her daughter." I was struggling to make sense of the crap I went through without villainizing my parents whom I was supposed to go back home to over the summer. I just couldn't go back home. And- I never did go back "home." 

I knew that I had nothing going on with my adoptive father after an incident that is burned into my head. I was going to see this therapist when I was around 13 or 14. She kept talking to me like an idiot about her tea and rice. She was not very "culturally competent" and I picked up on it right away. ["Cultural competence" is a theme in my Human Services program.] 
My dumb teenage mouth told her how I'd tried to kill myself by taking a whole bottle of sleeping pills. I remember that day. My parents had no idea that I was "out." But, God intervened and pulled me out of that "sleep." I was disappointed and that was why I told my therapist. 

She was legally bound to tell my parents since I was a minor. That particular session, my father was picking me up. She told him that I had made an attempt on my life. All he could muster to say to me (in the most disgusted and unloving voice) was "How dare you do that to our family!" 

I couldn't handle that response on top of the numerous times he told me I should be "thankful," "grateful," and everything else speaking to the fact that he didn't think I deserved the parenting he was providing for me. I was emotionally done with them in that phase of my life. I knew I couldn't survive with that attitude from my parents. 

This was after I had nursed him to health after open heart surgery. I worked for my mother so she could have her dream flower shop. I dutifully mothered my mother the way she always begged me to fawn over her. I was emotionally dead

All that to say, I can identify with WHY children would act the way they do when they suffer from Reactive Attachment Disorder.  I have a personal philosophy that I openly share on my blog. I don't think that people will illness on themselves. I firmly believe that people would get better if they had the right support. I firmly believe that people don't want to hurt others, but are deficient in healthy social teaching. I firmly believe that people would do better if they knew better because people ultimately care about how they are perceived. It touches them in the "I, me" place which is so sensitive to labels. 

Getting back to Jessie and his GoFundMe enterprise, I was willing to share some of my "uglies" just to point to the fact that I am okay today because of the work I did on myself, very much the same way Jessie did for himself. But we, as humans, cannot assume that everyone can do this for themselves. I, but for the grace of God, would still be a useless, ignorant, well meaning fool in this world without his perpetual intervention in my life. 

Jessie wants to usher troubled kids through the long process of healing. It's not for the faint of heart. I know, because of the parent experience I'm having with my stepsons. It's difficult. It's facing your own beasts so that you can help a child face theirs. It is not pleasant "in the moment," but the future fruit (and Heavenly Fruit) is priceless. 

So, even if you decide not to donate, please try to do one little thing for your fellow human being today. All of those little gestures make a difference. Just like I talked about my young neighbor recently, I offer and say all the best things I can say when she is around. I can't stop thinking that maybe I am that one person who can help her decide to fight adolescence one more day, to feel significant in her blended family, to believe in her potential and self worth.   

Just to restate: I am OKAY today. I still have bad days. But, I am proactive and I know God loves me. That is really all it takes for me anymore. I go to counseling, I read, I sing, I write, I love on my family: I basically do all the things I need to keep me healthy. I'm in a phase in my life where I am open to reconnecting with my adoptive mother. You can keep me in your thoughts and prayers, but please don't "worry" about me. =) 


AND, Love your neighbor. 

Please leave a comment if you donated or share a nice thing you did for a fellow human being. I will link to it in my "Hope Forum." Thank you. Many Blessings to you~

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