Honouring people is easy. Celebrating people is easy. What’s not easy is coming to terms that sometimes the people we love are in so much pain that they cause us a great deal of pain. AND what’s very difficult is focusing on self-care to honour and celebrate me.
In the last 2 years, I’ve written over 2.5 million words. Looking back, my words have been coming to terms with a family dynamic that I was refusing to accept. A family filled with fear and control… a family dealing with multigenerational abuse. A family sprinkled with unhealthy cycles making it virtually impossible to demonstrate love.
It’s been over a year of no contact with my biological father. It’s been a few months of no contact with my biological mother. Also a few months of no contact with my biological brother. When I started my journey to peace, I thought that it was just confronting ‘disharmony’ between me and my father. Through the process, I had to accept the truth about my entire family. In simple terms, my family is defined as “My father holds the gun, my mother has the bullets, my brother whispers JUST DO IT.” The pain of this dynamic still stings but it’s no longer debilitating. Most days, I can acknowledge that they are responsible for their own pain and to be allowed in my world, they need to come at me correct. Other days, I soften and think that I can love them so much that they will be inspired to love me back.
Maintaining healthy boundaries with people dedicated to misunderstanding me has been one of my biggest challenges. Welcome to domestic violence. Welcome to invisible wounds.
Today is Father’s Day. When I sit in silence and observe thoughts cropping up, or sensations in my body… it’s peaceful. My mind does not automatically go to thinking about my family. My mind isn’t drifting to old cycles. It’s present. It’s fully present. Yesterday, I had a conversation with a dear friend, an insensitive comment was made about ‘family is family.’ A comment that I do not entertain or accept. A comment that dishonours my existence and dismisses my pain. I can acknowledge that the words were said in ignorance but still something that does not bring me closer to my higher self, so space is created. Awareness that the person is still struggling with their own pain. Awareness that their truth is not my truth. Awareness that comments like this pull me into an emotional state. Awareness that I’m my emotions rather than the awareness behind my emotions. This is an opportunity for self-care.
And so today, am I upset? In pain? Mourning a family that no longer exists? Naw… Today, I’m celebrating life. I’m honouring my resilience. I’m creating space to celebrate my existence. I love that I’m passionate about life. I love that I don’t always know when to give up. I love that my love is so strong that I still see the potential in others. I love that I have remained soft through hard times. Mostly, I love that my world is filled with people that help me celebrate nuances about me that I don’t always recognise. Yesterday, another dear friend commented that he is glad that I’m honest with him. Even though sometimes my honesty is hurtful, it’s better to be slapped with a truth than to be comforted with a lie. Yesterday, another friend trusted me with a delicate moment. His vulnerability and trust in me was unexpected. People that see my heart. People that respect my mind. People that honour various layers of me.
Two years ago, people sent me messages on Father’s Day “Hey Jess, how are you? I saw your dad, tell him I said hi!” or “I know you come home for the summer, are you in town, let’s catch up?” Last year, messages were along the lines of “family is family” or “All families have their share of dysfunction. It’s not a big deal.” This year, I’ve been receiving messages from others honouring me. Messages like “Hey Girl! I know that holidays can sometimes be triggering. Just wanted to send you love! I hope the weekend continues to be filled with light, love and calm vibes <3” or “Jess!!! What is my favourite love bug doing for the weekend? What’s your self-care plan of action?”
And just like that, I’m in a space that honours that the pain of another could have ended my life but it didn’t. He didn’t pull the trigger. He was capable but didn’t. Trauma is part of my life but does not define me. Processing my pain and finding peace is most certainly something to honour and celebrate.
I’m glad I was born. I’m glad I exist. I’m glad I’m here…
#FathersDay #DomesticViolence #TraumaRecovery #SelfCare #Resilience #Family