Dedication: To my mum and dad - my greatest teachers.
We live our lifes from moment to moment, from breath to breath.
Somethings we hold our breath to make the moment last but at times we hold it, close our eyes and beg for the moment to pass.
It is like being under water where time stands still and sounds goes away but when you emerge to the surface the intensity of life comes right back. There are the temporarily escapes by numbing of feelings but on the other side the world demands your presents but every moment becomes an opportunity for a fresh start.
For whatever reason we live similar lifes. We are born, we grow and in the end we die.
What sets us apart is not our wealth or our families, nor is it the degrees or friends we have. How we decide to live the life, with what we have been given and what we do when life hurts us, is what defines us. Every moment we get the choice to choose our thoughts, our reactions and what we do next. For us being here is really a miracle, so do we hold our breath or do we decide to breath fully, even when life is challenging us?
In the moments of the ugly uncomfortable truth we rarely look glamorous or in control. It is often a spinning feeling were we feel like trowing up, beg for mercy and look for the strength to hold on. With tears running down our cheeks painting our faces like a war zone. On our hands and knees, we try to crawl out in the light where we hope to again find our way back to comfort and certainty.
Having hope and knowing that this moment to shall pass is what have made me survive in the storms of my life. I have had times where I would numb myself or refuse to take the actions needed for me to live a life in my own greatness. Here is a story of a few moments that helped defined me.
I grew up in a family that from the outside must have looked pretty perfect but behind the walls another movie unfolded. My parents love each other and me very much. That is one thing they always let me know even-though at times I would have my doubts looking at their actions. They were both beautiful people but had their own issues. These issues were dealt with through large alcohol consumption, smoking cigarets and other entertainment methods, leaving little or no room for the attention of a child. My parents got divorced when I was 5 years old and I moved with my mum which would shape my life and self beliefs in a way, I could never have imagined.
I always knew my family wasn’t like other families and when I was about 7 or 8 I found out why. My mum would fall asleep on the couch every night with no way of me waking her and she would talk so strangely sometimes or there would be weeks were she couldn’t get out of bed at all. My mum was an alcoholic and I quickly learnt that staying out of her way was a smart choice.
The problem with these choices we make as children, is we believe they will serve us through life. I now know that its not the case. A belief I made and was successful when I was 6 years old, has not been serving me well the last 20 years or more.
Eventually when I was around 12 years old I realised that I would never be free to live my own life unless I left my mums place. I loved my mum dearly but taking care of her had become my after school activity while being in school was my free time. Therefore my dad and I agreed for me to move in with him and his new family who I loved. It was like being part of a real “normal” family, something I felt I had never tried before. We lived together for about 3 years which was some of the best years of my life. In the mean time my mum had gone to rehab and was sober, life was finally feeling right.
Then things started to fall apart. First my dad and his wife divorced and she moved out so it was just my dad and I. He was super depressed and I became the one he unloaded on. Then later that year, being 15 years old, we received some more bad news. It was a Sunday night and we had been out all day when the doorbell rang. When I opened the door I saw that it was two policemen standing outside. Dad told me to go to my room and as I had gotten very good at being easy and invisible I followed his order. About 10 min later dad came to my room with tears in his eyes. At this point I started to get worried. He cried and hugged me. I didn’t understand. He looked at me and between the tears he sad “Darling your mum is dead”. What? When? How? Why? NO! I dont believe it! It cant be true. I was in total shock! Your parents are not suppose to die – ever. It all became a bit of a blur after that but at the same time an inside willpower started bubbling. I knew this was a start of a era and my life would never be the same again. I now was known as the girl with the dead mother. Over night people didn’t know how to talk to me and some kept their distance.
All my life I had fought to be normal or like everybody else, making sure I flew under the radar and stayed out of trouble. No matter what I seemed to do life had other plans with me. It wanted me to be different and different I felt for sure.
Now why am I telling you this story? Cause this was one of my many defining moments. A moment I have relived over and over again. It taught me that life is fragile and you better be grateful for what you got. It also gave me the strength to understand my own power and how to see an oppotunity in every moment. I found that I no longer had the chains of my mums alcoholism around my wrists so in some way I got my freedom. I had never shared with anyone what I had experienced at my mums in the 10 years I lived with her but now that she was not here anymore I realised I didn’t have to protect her so I started sharing my story. Finally sharing the experiences I had carried all on my own and letting go of the shame was elaborating as taking a breath of fresh air – I no longer had to carry any more secret. I make a promise to myself and that was never to keep a secret like that every again.
I decided shortly after my mum passed that I needed to come clean with my school class about what had happened as I had lied to them about so many things as I couldn’t tell the truth. less than 4 weeks after my mum died I stood up front of my class and teachers sharing my story. I has an outsider, remember I liked to fly under the radar so no one had expected this from me. I spoke for two hours sharing with my classmates what alcoholism really is like and how it is growing up in a home where that wins over love. I had been part of this class for close to 10 years and people were shocked and sad but most of all deeply moved by my honesty and rawness. The connection we made that day and the memory of us walking as one out of school that day, guess my classmates way to express what they felt, has never left me. It is what has driven me to keep sharing my story and every time I share it I feel a deep connection. Maybe I was meant to be different or to have a challenging life so I could tell my story to empower others to share theres. One thing I know is that life will keep pushing you to step into your real power until the day you give in or the pain avoiding it become to big. It took me a long time to understand you can escape your past or your destiny but you can embarrass it and make it your fuel.
I hope this story can inspire you to look at the moments that have defined you and open up to the possibility of how you can impact this world with all the wonderful talents you already have.