It is a challenge in itself to be born and raised in poor conditions, now add to that parents that are emotionally unavailable and abuse substances, those are my grandparents- my mom’s parents. As if that wasn’t enough add to that more trauma stemming from sexual abuse, I could go on but in short that has been my mother’s life. I was born to a woman with that amount of trauma and no counseling who immigrated to the United States alone and later gave birth to me alone. This is what I chose to come into, my spiritual contract, this was just the beginning of my life.As life would have it my mother would choose an emotionally unavailable man to mate with because that is what she was accustomed to. Her father, an alcoholic, would hit my grandmother and take all the money that she’d work hard for. These are the types of scenarios my mother was accustomed to; she was witness to and experienced a lot of violence in her life- she herself would eventually become violent as well. As a child I was witness and sometimes in the middle of physical fights between my parents- I’d try to separate them.
Having to grow up in a hostile environment with a mother who would be raging angry I learned how to detect slight movements and sounds that would warn me of impending stress and possible danger to my body. There would be times when I would get severely beaten by my mother, especially as a rebellious teenager with pent up emotional trauma- I, just like my mother, experienced molestation as a child. Because of this type of treatment I wasn’t close to my mother, she was also emotionally unavailable. It wasn’t until much later that I’d learn of generational trauma and how it’s passed down until it gets healed.
As I embarked on the healing journey, I wanted to learn more about, and understand, the adults in my life-my parents. I began asking them questions about their life and their experiences, it is then when I was able to understand the behavior behind each one of them-it made perfect sense, none of what they experienced was healthy, so it was only logical that they behaved the way in which they did. It was a miracle that they were still somehow functioning in the world and able to hold down jobs to support three children. My mother, however, did have a couple of moments in a mental hospital. Although I was able to have a greater understanding of her behavior, and compassion, it wasn’t enough to change the relationship I had with her- that would require a lot more healing and change on my part.
I’ve visited my mother’s country of origin off and on for several years, my most recent trip has made me become more aware of the kind of society she grew up in, it’s as if I were to travel back in time. The way people interact, the type of conversations, the things they find important all differ from what I am accustomed to. The environment that one grows up in truly does affect an individual-the collective consciousness makes a difference. It is the reason why some people are picky when choosing where they live.
I now have a deeper understanding of the individual who gave birth to me, my relationship with her has changed throughout the years as I’ve not only matured but also healed from all the abuse that I experienced not only by her hands but others. I am at peace with all that has occurred and am grateful, there is no resentment on my part, I only wish that she finds peace within herself just as I have. Being human and undertaking the task of being a parent is one that I can only have respect for since I have no children, I only know what it’s like to be human and that alone is a challenge in itself. It is the reason why I practice kindness more frequently than judgment because I have seen great suffering and I have also seen what trauma can do to a person. We truly don’t know what another person may be experiencing when they lash out, all we can do is -to the best of our ability-be kind, and depending on the experience, set clear boundaries to stop the cycle of pain. In my life experience kindness and love have helped me more than anything else, please be kind to yourselves, we are only human.