Post a picture was today’s prompt so here is one with story time included.
I met my bio dad at what I thought was the age of 12. What I remember from this day is that my mom took me to her friends house in downtown Vancouver for a bbq. Of course there was drinking involved, as the day wore on the drunker she got. We were sitting at a picnic table in the backyard and she blurts out “Gord is your father.” He was sitting across from us at the table.
I knew my step dad had adopted me, but I wasn’t expecting this kind of introduction to my bio dad. I didn’t know how to react. after this initial meet I wasn’t sure how to continue a relationship with this man. It was all very awkward for me. He had bought me a Christmas gift and a birthday gift but I didn’t call him or try hard to know him. My mom later told me he stopped trying because of my lack of effort.
I never saw my bio dad again for over 25 years.
Fast forward to meeting my father a couple of years ago and going on a camping trip with him. It was my first time re-meeting my aunt and uncle. While camping my aunt gave me this picture. She said I was 9 and it was the last time they saw me. They didn’t know the bad side of my mother, they didn’t know about my step dad molesting me and they didn’t know the hell I had lived through.
I sat in all of this and wondered why I thought I was 12 all these years when I had met my father when in fact I was 9. Where did those 3 years go? I wonder what my timeline actually looks like as a child. I have minimal memories of my childhood. Maybe a dozen prominent memories but up until I was 14 it is either a blur or a complete blank. Trauma changes us. It changes the way our brains work.
I know now how I am different from others because of my ptsd and I am much easier on myself thanks to being aware and willing to learn.
If I could go back to this day and tell my younger self something it would go something like this.
You are strong, and everything that has happened to you is not your fault. You are beautiful and meant for great things. You are not your mother and you are not defined by what you have gone through. Stand tall always and never back down from your gut instincts. You will grow up one day into a beautiful woman and you will make a difference, but first you will be thrown some curveballs; you just need to learn to catch the fastballs and not be afraid of them. You are important!
So to anyone that has gone through trauma, you are enough! It was not your fault but what you choose to do with it now is. You can either sit in it or get up and move away from it.
Stay Strong everyone. We need you here!