I never give my childhood baggage credit. I feel like most people could trump my past ten fold. Love always superseded hate and I never found myself without a roof over my head. However, being a child of the late 80’s, born into a middle income family in South Orange County, the shit end of the stick still reared its ugly head. Normalcy was court ordered rules from birth til emancipation. It was children’s homes and manipulation. It was fractured promises from my first breath to what some days I hoped to be my last. As a child I was a pawn on the chess board of life, weak but useful. A game, I still don’t know how to win. My presumption was always that the majority of people I interact with daily may have actually had it worse. It was never about having the saddest story; it was always about being the most righteous victor. I always swore I would never let the damage from my past effect any part of my future self. Unfortunately, some things in life are unstoppable; like the unwanted advances of an awkward crush or growing up to be a biological combination of two people you dreaded most.
My parents had one job. All of their hard work, life experiences, and decisions led them to me; another human being in dire need of learning how to, well, be. I was my father’s second blessing; mom’s third, but even with the difference in practice, they were both deemed fit for parenting. What I learned of my mother through the years was that she would be full of the same passion I would later in life wish I never acquired. It was the genetic curse that would lead to my most basic fear; being alone. I gave them just a few years of happiness, but by the age of two my parents split harder than pea soup. I don’t know who left who. Even if I did, I’d question if that was the truth. There were files, upon boxes, upon cabinets of official documents that pointed fingers and delegated blame. At the end of the day, all I really knew was that mom loved me to literal death and dad, well, he was the funniest man I’d ever have the pleasure of knowing. No matter how much I love them today, they were my yesterday, and they’re really screwing with tomorrow.
“It isn’t where you came from, it’s where you’re going, who you are.” people would always say. What you’re telling me is, my past holds no substance; that ounces don’t make pounds and cells don’t make people? Memories are literally the architecture of my being. Every step I have taken, premeditated or otherwise directed has led me to exactly where I am today. Of course deciphering whether to blame future me’s lack of success on past me’s structure keeps me on a constant journey to prove the world around me wrong. Side note: It’s taking longer than anticipated.
A stranger once told me that I was a baggage claim of negativity. Pain that wasn’t mine, circling my life with absent owners. I laughed. She wasn’t certified to diagnose me. I wasn’t guaranteed to listen, but whatever she saw in my eyes she knew I was trapped and what I saw in hers, I couldn’t ignore. These were not my burdens to bear, but they were all given to me to hold. They were there, and they were steadfast even among my daily optimism. It made me question all I knew about becoming a better me. It sold me on the idea that no matter WHAT I accomplished, WHO I was, was a failure. Every day I’m at war with pessimism, constantly removing myself only to be frantically added back in. Since the day I was born my purpose driven life had been purposely driven straight into the ground.
I bet you’re thinking the same thing my therapist told me for 15 years. Get over it. If it were that simple, a lot of people would be out of jobs and I’d already be married with four kids, making their lives a living hell. My paper weighted pain has always kept me from moving forward fluidly. I pause with abandonment issues and essentially eat men alive because marriage from what I’ve seen, isn’t sacred…it’s an emotional and financial bloodbath. The greatest obstacle I may ever have to overcome will be taking responsibility for who I am today. But, I can’t help but feel it in my DNA. The inadequacy and helplessness I felt as a child ring loudly as I fail at every relationship I attempt. It’s silly to say that it’s Mom’s fault, or even Dad’s, but broken homes leave broken hearts and broken hearts build broken minds, and a broken mind is a broken soul leading a broken life. If I expect any kind of love in my future to last, forget SuperMAN, I need SuperGLUE.