Just a warning, this was typed up om my phone so the quality is probably bad.
As much as I live by my conviction to live my life out loud, there is still so much I keep quiet about. I think its mostly a pride issue, to only speak of things I’m certain of. But, it’s also out of respect for my older kids. Their story is not mine to tell, it’s theirs. I want so bad to share their lives because they are such powerful people, but if im honest, would I be sharing because of how proud I am or to validate myself as a mother?
Most don’t know that Christian moved back home a few weeks ago, even fewer people know why I sent him to live with my papa to begin with. That’s not my story to tell, but I am going to share my take on a few things (keep reading, this will be long winded, but there is a point).
I’ve fought an internal battle for most of my life, one between God and I. I can remember conversations with God as far back as 4 or 5, demanding things of him. Demanding to know why, struggling to understand things, and fighting him tooth and nail for the few things in life I cherished. As I type this I’m remembering a very specific event, it was the first time I took God on. My nanny was my world and I can’t remember if this conversation was before or after her heart attack.
My mom laid me down for a nap one afternoon and I remember being overwhelmed with a paralyzing fear that I would loose my nanny. The sense was so strong I snuck out of bead and got the first thing I could find to threaten God with. A kids red, plastic garden tool. I demanded black hair (hindsight is 20/20, I wanted the exact opposite of my white hair because even at that age I knew how jealous my mom was of my hair) but the venom spewed when I demaned that he not take nanny from me.
30 years later, with young and grown kids of my own, I can almost scratch the surface on how God took that conversation. If hope came to me, willing to fight me in order to keep someone she cherished close to her, how could I deny her that? God did not deny me either, I had nanny well into my 30s. My older kids were able to experience her love the same way I did. My grandparents supported me like they supported my mother, by always being there to help with the kids. That kind of support was lost on my mom and aunts, for reasons of their own, but my limited knowledge lead me to conclude it was because they expected it. They didn’t experience the flip side of the coin.
I, on the other hand, experienced the flip side. I did not have the stability of concrete parents to rely on. My dad took his own life and my mom found us somewhere to go in the limo after his service. But, my life always circled back to nanny and papa. They were the ones to pull Christian and I out of foster care before I turned 18 and aged out.
(Im getting to my point, I promise).
A few years ago I got a call from a nosy aunt wanting to know about the fall out between my brother and I. Despite not having contact with any of them for years, I was still riding their rumor train. I entertained her despite knowing how pointless it was, and only took one thing away from the conversation. She talked about her abuse from childhood, how nanny and papa hurt them.
I remember cutting her off and saying, “your hurt is so powerful your willing to taint the image of the only person I ever had in my life? Your experiences with them were not my experiences, I will not let you take nannys memory away from me”.
She responded with, “but you don’t know how badly she talked about you!”
Something in me clicked with that, and to this day it’s an understanding I don’t even know I understand.
I replied, “yes, I do know. Everything she said to others I found out about from either her when she was mad at me or people like you trying to destroy my image of her”
And that was the end of it, my aunt and I have not spoken since.
I knew why my nanny did and said the things she did, but I also knew without a doubt of her devotion to me. I understood projection. I knew her wrath was not directed at me, but towards herself for perceived failures she would confide in me. I also understood she was my cornerstone in childhood and carried my traumas as her own, and I would carry this projected pain for her in return. The failures she felt by not being able to protect my mom and aunts.
Finally, the point to my rambling.
At 37 I feel a lot older. I’m still young but feel as if things have come full circle and the battle with God I’ve had my entire life, the need to understand, has been quieted with the patience only time can give. What I do know is our society is dying. I don’t know if there is a word for the collective soul of a people, but whatever it is, we are experiencing a soul death, together.
We shut down for many reasons. Fear, hurt, insecurity etc. And instead of trying to find a way out of the foxhole we dug to survive this collective, spiritual battle, we adapt. We build an entire life within a tiny foxhole. Imagine it. Cooking, sleeping, relieving ourselves all in the same spot. It’s safe, yes, but unsanitary.
This will be hard to understand, and its the only reason I care about keeping my fb from getting restricted. I documented my entire journey with amazon on there. It’s weird how such a menial job of 9 months can contain 37 years of life lessons and retraining, but such is life. Amazon was me crawling out of my foxhole.
Most people never come out of theirs, but im not most people I reckon. But I’m also not alone here. A lot of us do. We come out of the false safety the foxhole presents knowing we will be shot at (metaphorically speaking, obviously) and that we are going to have to fight our way to safe ground, but it’s not the fear of the battle that drives us forward nor the fear of the lies the foxhole holds over us. It’s the vision we have of the safe haven. It’s a hope that we don’t have to stay in a miserable hole in the ground hiding from a war that eventually finds us all anyway. We are running towards a promise and I got a glimpse of that promise the day I took God on and demanded he let me keep nanny. She represented so much more to me then a grandmother loving on her grand daughter.
Our society is like the germs cultivated in the petri dish of a foxhole. It is not the fear itself that keeps us in place or makes us sick, it is what those fears cultivate in our lives and the lives of generations that come after us.
Christian left for Texas almost 2 years ago and it broke my mama heart into a million little pieces. But he left with a very dangerous ideology and I had to choose: the ideology (foxhole) I was raised with or this new, more terrifying ideology. A few weeks ago he announced he was coming home. I asked very few questions and accepted the fact he was still on a path of discovery (he’s only 19) and said come on. The conversations we have had has led me to conclude he still holds on to his beliefs (which is fine) but they are no longer beliefs fueled with anger and hurt. The 2 years he was in Texas he discovered a piece of himself and he came home when he found it.