I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard, “Crystal, you’re just a mess.” And I’ve thought it more than I’ve heard it. It’s one of those poisonous tapes that plays in my head, of the same genre as the tapes that say I’m fat and ugly, that I am nothing but wasted potential, the tapes that destroy an otherwise peaceful existance.
While I may have mess-like tendencies, in fairness, my adult life is the aftermath of a hurricane of a childhood. I am not one to blame my problems on my childhood; that is not the purpose of pointing it out. But in light of the storm that is my internal identity, the outside appearances are a light gust of wind.
I learned at a very early age that I was expendable and unwanted. I did, and do have, stablizing influences, but the main message was that I was just a little, inconvenient person to be shuffled to and fro, to be passed back and forth between hands that claimed to want me one moment, and gladly gave me back the next.
I am a fully formed adult now, with an almost fully formed emotional inteligence, so I understand that my mother was sick and under the influence of all manner of drugs, and was recovering from a disaster of a childhood herself. And that my father made choices he wish he could take back, but choices are non-refundable. I am even aware that both would love to have now the parent-child relationship that we all missed out on when I was an actual child.
But I am no longer a child, and as much as intelectually I would love to give in and just play that daughter role, it is just far too late. I have never felt like anyone’s daughter, and I probably never will.
If they happened to read this, which they won’t, the above would probably hurt the feelings of my adoptive parents. God knows they tried, in their imperfect way. But by the time I officially became their daughter, and as much as I truly love them, it was too late for me. There was no storybook moment, made for tv movie epiphany, in which I felt like I was finally part of a family.
I have often pondered how my brother and I became so very different, living under the same roof, in the same environment. And I don’t mean in the normal way that siblings are different. My brother and I are strangers with same last name. His frame of reference for being is so diametrically opposed, that I don’t understand how he arrives at decisions. He is very much THEM and I am very much OTHER. The difference is that he gave in. He was somebody’s son. He is their son.
So, in the moments that I shut off the poisonous tapes, I come to myself in a dark wood, for I know the true way is lost, and has always been lost. I look for my guide through Hell, and no one comes. I face the shewolf alone.
It’s a wonder sometimes that I can face the storm at all. The sense of childhood abandonment has ultimately lead to a sense of divine abandonment. God doesn’t send me a guide through Hell, because he doesn’t love me anymore than my parents did. And because I never learned to be a daughter to my parents, I will never know how to be his daughter.
There will be no sleeping savior for me to awaken in the midst of the storm. He has always been quite busy calming other storms to have time for mine.