Thursday, February 3, 2011
So here we are, another Thursday. I had debated not even writing a Thoughtful Thursday post today but I decided it would be in my best interest to just do it. See in a few days I'm turning 40...yep the big 4 0! I figure what better time to set a few things straight and get this crap off my mind!
As I find myself approaching 40 I can't help but remember back to past birthdays and what a disappointment most of them were. I never even had a birthday party until I was 12 years old in foster care and since my Big Bro #3 was born just 4 days before me, generally I never even got to celebrate on my day...it was always on his. I remember being so jealous and upset that he got to celebrate on his special day but mine was barely recognized because everyone had already wished me my happy birthday days before it happened. That's why, when I went into foster care and my foster mother planned my very first ever birthday party I was elated! My day, my own day and I didn't have to share it with anyone! It was AWESOME!
This is me that day with my best friend of the time Angel, I know the photo got messed up and all, but the memory of that day keeps that photo looking great in my eyes. This was taken outside the ice skating rink where my foster mother took us after we had cake and stuff.
But before that birthday there had been many unhappy birthdays, no presents, maybe a cake if I was lucky. The one thing I could count on was my birthday beating, everyone called it a birthday spanking but it was not fun, it was not good and it was something I would never do to my child. You got one hit for every year of your life and then one to start you out for the next year...one to grow on they called it, I hated and dreaded the birthday spankings. I would get chased around by the entire family until I was caught, then I would be forcefully held down so that I couldn't get away. They would all take turns "spanking" me, making sure they used the most force they could. I would cry and cry and cry and I often had trouble sitting down afterward. My bottom would be so red and so sore that I couldn't sit down or lie on my back without pain. It was torture...so glad my family isn't around me now that I'm turning 40!
One thing I do remember quite clearly though....I remember thinking I would NEVER make it to 40. I honestly thought I would be lucky to see my next birthday, say nothing about 40 where I would be free of the torture, free of the pain, free of the life I had to live. I never dreamed I would be able to be here, a mother of a wonderful child, a wife to a tolerant husband, a woman looking at her 40th birthday! Even in that photo up there, I had no clue what life was going to hand me, I feared getting sent back and that would be my one and only birthday party ever. I had been in foster care for less than a year and everyone wanted me to visit with that evil egg donor they liked to call my mother so that we could grow a bond and build a relationship...the last thing I wanted to do. I didn't know I could survive to 40, I didn't know it was possible to get this far.
As I sit here now, pouring out my heart on the internet for others to see, I think WOW, when I was in that photo the internet was unheard of. I wrote in a journal and hid it in various spots so that no one (especially Sissy) could read it. I hid my emotions, I hid my thoughts, I hid everything possible so that I would not get hurt. I feared life, I feared the people around me, I feared my own shadow. And now here I am, turning 40 and I'm still scared of a lot of things, still scared of meeting new people, still scared to let my heart open to others. BUT I'm not as scared as I used to be, not that timid little girl that hid in the corner in hopes that no one would notice me. If I were to see those school bullies who taunted me because I was weird...I would probably let them have a piece of my mind. I would stand up for myself because it's not my fault that I am who I am...I'm me because I was beaten down by an evil tyrant that everyone called my mother. I may be weird, but I am still a human being. Their taunting made me stronger in the end, the beatings taught me to survive, the life I had to survive rather than live, it made me who I am.
I am a caring person who thinks of others, I believe in treating others the way I wish I was treated. I believe in raising a child who knows how to cry and knows how to feel. I believe in being a good neighbor and paying attention to those around me. I believe that many of the kids who grew up around me might have been abused too and so they taunted and teased because it made them feel better and because I was an easy target. I believe they may have actually grown up and felt badly about how they treated me...I don't know if it's true but I want to believe it to be true because I like to try to believe that there is good in most people. I even believe that once, a long time ago, my evil egg donor was a good person. She lost her way, became bitter about life and instead of looking at the world like I do, she chose to be the bully forever. She chose to let whatever happened to her eat away at her. She chose to make herself feel better by making those smaller than her (her children) feel worse. She was a bully, plain and simple. I refuse to be like her, I will not be a bully and I will be a better person than that. I choose to take my stories and make them something useful, something good, hopefully something that can help others who have to simply survive.
I am turning 40 in a few days, and when I do I will live for the day, I choose to realize that I no longer need to simply survive.
Have a great weekend everyone. I'm off snowboarding with my boys for my birthday, it's going to be a great time. Take time to smell the (I would says roses but how about snowflakes given the recent weather lol) and take the time to LIVE....don't just simply survive...because living life is so much more fun than just surviving it!