I came into this world unwanted.
Or, at least, that’s how it has felt.
When your parents essentially abandon you – it can feel as if they wished you had never been born.
They were young. Teenagers to be more specific, who weren’t ready to be the parents to the one child they had inadvertently created, let alone the second one who came along a mere 11 months later.
I don’t think the facts of my parents choices really resonated with me until I became a parent myself. And to this day, as a grown woman, it is more devastating each time I think of it.
No child should feel that kind of pain. No adult should have to carry it around with them for their entire life. And yet…
Now don’t get me wrong, I was loved and I was cared for by remarkable family members and friends who picked up where my parents left me behind, and I am so thankful for their selflessness. But there really was no way to replace the emptiness that comes with a life without your parents, especially when it’s a conscious decision on their part.
Unfortunately, I spent many of my younger years feeling as if I were a burden to my extended family, but now, as a parent – I know there was no other way that they could let my life be. They had to step in and be there, as best as they could. And their love and commitment saved me.
I’m not sure I would want to have my life go any other way, if I’m being completely honest, and I didn’t realize this until I came across a clip from Oprah’s Master Class where she said …
“Had I not been raised in an environment where I came unwanted, and people had to take care of me, I would not have the passion, compassion, empathy, sympathy, caring, care, understanding – that I do for other people, who were not wanted. That’s all part of my journey, to get to be who am I and where I am.”
~Oprah, Master Class – The Upside of Hard Times
It was then that I had, at the risk of sound “Oprah cliche'” – My Aha! Moment.
I guess, deep down, I always knew that I was better for my struggles.
I was better for not having two dysfunctional people care for me throughout my youth but, I didn’t really find a sense of peace with that fact until I listened to Oprah make this statement.
It’s not to say I don’t feel pain over the circumstances of my life, and the fact that neither of the two people who brought me into this world wanted me enough to overcome their own weakness and selfish nature – but, I’m more at peace with it now.
And…I actually feel a sense of sympathy for my parents. Because, they are living with their own emotional burdens – things that they obviously have never really come to terms with. Things that drove them to make that unimaginable choice to leave their child. It is sad to me that they are living their lives in a way that is lacking honesty for their mistakes and the resolve to do better so they can enjoy their lives and I wish that they had the strength to overcome.
So, while I am still heartbroken – I am O.K.
I’m a better person because I struggled.
What has shaped you in your life?