Archive for June, 2010

Tattered Rags

We all inherit a story.  Sometimes the story is just what we wanted and it feels like a comfortable robe or warm blanket. Other times it feels like a straight jacket. After reading one of my favorite authors I realize that mine feels most like tattered rags that have been heaped upon me. I have kept them on because I didn’t know any better and because I thought they were mine.

The abuse I suffered is not my story it is my mothers, her mothers. The neglect I endured is not my story it belongs to a community who only knew how to fail its members. The abandonment I wept for is not my story it is the story of a father who lost his dear mother just as he was beginning a family of his own.

So much of what I have carried around as MY STORY really isn’t which explains why I have been so reticent to share it, to discuss it, to OWN IT.

When I meet new people I do not want to discuss my past, my history, to me it is just a bunch of horrible things that tarnish any connection I could have with this person. Worse by sharing that story I tend to draw into my personal life those who resonate most strongly with it and while that is great for those who need to hear it and my triumph over it most of the time I have attracted “Abusive Neglectful Abandoner’s”

I am not proud of MY STORY either. It never gives me satisfaction to realize that DESPITE all that has occurred in my life I am a well adjusted relatively sane individual. I simply cannot embrace that truth in the same manner as it looks to the outside world, as a major triumph. Today, I finally understand why that is.

IT IS NOT MY STORY; It never was.

All that identifying with the story I was handed has done is distracted me from my own story. The one I should be Living, the one i should be Telling. I have spent so much time overwhelmed by what are admittedly horrid circumstances and situations, that I never took the opportunity to live my life. I have substituted truly living for being a voyeur of my own life. From an early age I spent my own free time buried in books, substituting what I read for what I wanted to do. During those formative years I was too busy surviving to even contemplate thriving, in the later years I simply recreated my early existence. Over the last bit I have been wandering in circles trying to find meaning in a story that was never mine to begin with.

I suppose that some may read this and feel that I have simply found a way to ignore the past with a delusion. Perhaps. ( that is what all of us do whether we realize it or not, some people call it re-framing…..). However in my innards I know that there is a difference.  Just like I know the difference from the definition and clinical explanation of forgiveness and the actual reality of forgiveness.

From this point I must create my story. one that does make me proud, one that inspires me. I must throw off these tattered rags to find the emperors new clothes I know are underneath.

May I live in interesting times!


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