I recently celebrated my 53rd birthday. I cannot ever remember a birthday that had so much to celebrate about. It was filled with an endless list of gifts of kindness, love, and joy. To be seen and heard is the highest compliment l can receive. I have been seeking a balanced state of equanimity.
A few weeks prior to my birthday I had the sudden realization of my "right to exist" as a human being. To claim it without any apologies. It seemed like an odd realization fraught with delusion and denial. An energy within seemed to fill in the empty spaces of my mind that claimed I could not exist.
The day after my birthday I remembered a dream where I was in my hometown in a play where I could not remember my lines and my mother and family of origin saying nothing and watching me struggle to find my lines and my way. I woke up in state of grief.
I kept feeling this feeling and wondered out loud what this was tied to or if it had any implications on my current behavior. With the help of my therapist and utilizing EMDR we found the belief that held the immense grief.
The hidden, subconscious belief was that I had no right to "exist" outside the family of origin and the shame I felt as a child to be amongst them was part of my DNA. A large family headed by a pedophile and his wife of an extreme form of religion. A complex maze of behaviors based on sin and authority.
What we discovered is the shame that I felt as a child was a "correct" feeling and that I no longer as an adult needed to feel to take "part" in their idea of "family" or feel the shame of not being part it.
Bewildering in its simplicity.
I discovered that by extracting myself from them has led me to the state of Being I had on my birthday. The right to exist without shame from my family of origin.
My birth mother sent me a postcard a few days later prior to my therapy session. She now sends postcards so I cannot send them back or I can plainly see what she has written. It reminded me of the shame of my younger years. As if to say, "You are part of this shame no matter how long and far you travel away from us".
You could safely argue it's a Happy Birthday card from a well intentioned mother. I don't see it that way anymore. I asked for space and she repeatedly keeps walking over boundaries I have put firmly in place. A thinly veiled expression of, "How dare you" as she would often say.
Now it's a gentle reminder of my choice to leave and exist without shame had been a correct choice and my journey to sanity. To forge a path of existence away from the cycle of abuse and define and live in a space of freedom.
To this I say.
Happy Birthday Carl