Time to Heal - a journey
Families are made up of many different forms, each family having a dynamic impact which differs from the previous generation, all promising to never do what was done to them. My Journey into family is one that I must share.
Growing up was a difficult challenge, we lived in a very militant house ruled with religion and a single father. At the time I saw my life as one sided, and how I felt ripped off. Growing up within a single parent house, tossed around from one province to another while feeling my life had little value.
My mom, relied on the comforts of substances that only adults would partake in, while my father found his in the written word. On one hand, unlimited freedom, or some might say, lack of parenting, while the other was like walking on glass. Neither occurred in the same house as my parents divorced while I was still in diapers. I am the youngest of five children.
We all had one thing in common to a fault - the lack of tack when speaking our mind. From the time I was a young age I knew that our family was very different and people judged us, yet no one ever stepped up to suggest a solution. Sure there were people who gave food, or support in other ways, but no one knew how to stop the rollercoaster of events. I suppose it was all part of the process and all necessary. But there were moments that I longed for something better. I longed to feel loved.
My parents loved us the best they knew how, but it wasn't very nurturing to say the least. While in my mother's care, my brothers were in and out of foster homes, while my sister was forced to tend to my needs, eventually leading to her leaving school all together. And eventually she was caring for all five of us, once we were landed in my father's care.
It had been five long years without a mother and on my tenth birthday while on my way to gym class, I stood face to face with a woman I did not recognize: it was my mother! I still remember the look in her eyes, when she asked if I knew who she was... It wasn't long before I remembered and leaped into her arms. Not a dry eye was in sight, as I recall my teachers last words to my mother “ that little girl really needs her mother”. Later I learned that it was my many years of disturbing letters, all containing fear for her salvation, landing her soul custody of me. I left my father's house that day - reluctantly as I worried about my brothers and sisters. But it was not long before everyone left my father's house.
My brother Paul, was five years older than myself, but certainly not the wiser. He seemed to find himself in the back seat of a police car more often than not..
As time went on, we all still struggled with anger and resentment for a life filled with abuse of one kind or another. Paul seemed most affected by the haunting of his childhood, spending most of his life in and out of trouble with the law - everything from misdemeanors, to his current life sentence for murder.
After his sentencing, my views on life changed. No longer did I look at my family with the same judgement or expectations of what could have been. In its place, grew compassion and understanding that there was more than just my life of misery, but generations of heartache and disappointment.
Over the next few years, I watched my strong independent mother, fall into the depths of more depression, as addictions took over a life filled with regret as though some way she was responsible for the choices of her son.
My father had struggles all his own: changing many lives around him for the better by running a farm where he rehabilitated criminals who society turned their backs on. Ironic isn't it?
But everything we experience in this lifetime prepares us for the next chapter in our own journey.
Sadness filled my heart as I watched my parents struggle with blame in their own ways, not knowing how to help anyone, including myself. Slowly, as the news spread like wild fire through the media, each of my siblings dealt with the pain of it all in the only way that worked for them. As for myself, I needed to understand it all, so I attended all the trials and court proceedings hoping that it would somehow answer all my questions. Instead, in its place this added a completely new set of issues.
Our family slowly drifted apart, each feeling that the other held some responsibility in some strange warped perception of the truth. But in reality no one was to blame and the sad truth was that everyone including my brother was a victim in some way or another.
Years passed me by as I watched my children grow, and my parents aging from a safe distance. While my siblings all had families of their own, we all lived our own lives. Sometimes I think it was easier apart than to be together, as the pain of losing our brother would become real or the fact that we all struggled to keep our heads above the ocean tides of a haunting past that sat silently in the shadows.
After leaving my husband and my grown children, I decided to return to the place where I grew up and face some painful memories. By doing so it didn't seem to hold the same power over me as it once did. It was twenty five years since I last called this place home, so familiar yet new at the same time.
Life is never what it seems and one thing I have learned is that it's not time that heals a person, it's love. You can't make peace with others if you are at war with yourself, nor can you attract the love that you desire, if you deem yourself unworthy.
The only emotion truly worthy of us is love and it can't change the world, but it can however change the world around us. Now in my early forties, I look at my family with pride and a sense of profound love words cannot explain. To watch my family come through a life others would have given up on, to continue to change lives and enrich others, truly, is a miracle.
Now we may not be rich with material things, but the freedom to enjoy all the beauty that surrounds us without expectations and to take each moment and really be in that moment is more than most people can ask for. Not a day goes by that I am not grateful for all that I am and for all that I have. I am truly blessed.
By Maryne Hachey. She currently has two articles published in Doreen Virtue's books "Saved by an Angel" and "Archangel Gabriel". Her poetry, essays, juvenile adventure fantasies, picture books and insights are awaiting publishing. Meet her at http://www.marynehachey.com and http://www.facebook.com/maryne.hachey.1