I need to apologize.
I’m a fraud.
I have compartmentalized my life because there was a safe part and a not-so-safe part. I couldn’t cope with the dangerous part, so I lived it and pretended it didn’t exist outside of those specific timeframes in which I would enter it. I hope that makes sense.
I didn’t consciously decide to forget half of my life, but I would push it out of my mind each time it would come up, and I would pretend that I was immune from its effects.
The last six months have taught me that I need to accept and embrace who I really am and stop living the lie I’ve been telling everyone in my life, including myself.
Here’s the lie I’ve been telling myself: Your story is just a story that happened in the past, but your life now is unaffected by it. You don’t need to share it because it doesn’t really hold any weight.
Here’s the truth: My story really happened. It happened to me when I couldn’t control it. My story isn’t a story, it’s reality and it has had a profound impact on me. I do need to share it because if I take my own advice in my book, Release, when you give voice to your story, Satan doesn’t have the leg he used to stand on. He doesn’t have free reign over your thoughts and feelings anymore when you get things out in the open. I need to share it because it’s not about me, it’s about what God has done with this mess and how beautiful He has made it.
Last year, God had me choose my word for the year as “Release.” He called me to release a bunch of different areas in my life including my expectations, my tears, and my story. I had thought about my story on and off over the last few months and kept pushing it to the back of my mind. I didn’t want to dwell on the past and didn’t want to admit that I was vulnerable.
My heart breaks for the little girl who was sitting on the front porch watching the minutes pass by waiting for a mother who would never show up.
I cry for the little girl who was so confused because she wanted so badly to be with her fun, biological mom, but who instinctively knew danger lurked around the corner and couldn’t wait to go back to the safety of her home.
I feel her tension, fear and constant surveying for the unexpected.
My momma-heart aches for my parents who had to peel me off of my biological mother as I would scream and cry because I thought I wanted to be with her.
Even as I give voice to those feelings I am uncomfortable and want to close the computer screen. I do not want to admit I was ever vulnerable. I do not want to admit that I “let” things happen to me that were negative and did nothing to stop them. I don’t want someone to think of me as “that poor little thing.” I don’t want to feel the filth that has touched my life. It’s dirty, ugly, nasty, and gross.
If I admit that my story really happened, then I admit that I needed help. I admit that I couldn’t fix it on my own. I couldn’t help myself. I was weak and I am weak for letting it affect me. I admit that the filth and trash of those “made-for-tv-movies” has touched my life. Instead of being outside and “above” that behavior, I was smack dab in the middle of it. You can’t live a white-picket-fence kind of life with a past like that.I can’t pretend I have it all together when I can’t piece together a sanitized story. Click To Tweet
I can’t live as if I’m unaffected by my past when I have random panic attacks and anxiety episodes.
I can’t act like all is well when I react and respond to my husband and children negatively because of something that triggers fear in my brain.
Admittedly, I’m so angry that I even have this mess as part of my life. I wish that I was just miraculously born to my parents who raised me and they were all I ever knew. That would have been a scandal in and of itself as my parents were 56 when they got me! I don’t want to have been a charity case.
I’m upset that my normal life I had with my parents was periodically interrupted by stuff that muddied my white-picket-fence ideal.
I’m tired of having to explain two mothers. I’m resentful that I even had to do that back when I was little because by calling my biological mom a “mother” seems to be too much of an honor. I had to pay homage to this “other mother” who was never around. Why couldn’t I have just my mom and my dad? Why did I have to bestow honor upon this other woman as my mother, and yet she caused more grief than anything else?
But God, in His timing and gentle mercy has led me to the rock that is higher than I so I can see and experience His goodness in the land of the living. He has erased all bitterness, anger and deep resentment. He has healed wounds only He could heal. I’m nervous yet excited to share this story with you as we move forward over the next few weeks and months. God has made that part of my life beautiful in its own way.
I’m sharing this story with you because my biological mother and co-founder of But.God.Period., Joni Stanchfield, just finished the first book in the series: Hazel’s Adventures: Living with Grandma. This book series is modeled after my life. Each book will address a few of the issues and questions I had growing up. As an example: how to think about a mom who doesn’t show up to an important function, or how to deal with people always asking where your “real mom” is. It’s a lot for a kid. This book will be available soon! If you’d like to get on the waiting list for when it comes out, you can CLICK HERE.