We are many stories.
My little family is shattered due to my actions with regard to my addiction to alcohol and its requisite behaviors.
My life has been one of extraordinary privilege. Amazing parents, I am conceived and birthed in Japan and physically carried for two years by a young mama-san named Totsui. I never walk during that time ~ yet I am held, always. Later my primary socialization is in Germany ~ beautiful Germany.
My father, a United States national record-setting swimmer and speaker of seven languages, retires from the United States Army. He is a writer who lived during the Great Depression in the writers’ colony of Paris. His bloodline is Irish and he is a self-taught intellect who travels the world as a nuclear war expert and presents “peace through preparedness” as head of North Florida Civil Defense. (This is the name used prior to Federal Emergency Management Agency, also known as FEMA.)
My mother is trained to play and write for each instrument in a symphony orchestra. A former beauty queen and in the first United States Women’s Army Corp, she possesses perfect pitch, is elegant, and stunning. She has been a synchronized swimmer at Weeki Wachee in Florida. She has the voice of an angel.
The other side of this finely sharpened sword is dull, notched, misshapen, and uneven…and shockingly twisted. Disfigured even today, yes, by my own torched memory and soul.
It is my belief that our secrets can and will destroy us. Her secrets involved being First Nation Cherokee at a time when it was considered a scandal, coping with severe mental illnesses with tendencies toward extreme violence, and addictions to alcohol and prescription drugs.
There are daily episodes of sometimes extreme violence. These occur when I am alone with my mother. One memory at the age of ten, I am pushed up against a wall watching and listening to the clacking of a gurney covered in blood with my mother under a sheet. I clean the dripping blood from the ceiling and walls. She has attempted suicide.
At twelve years of age I testify in a court of law so I might live with my father at the completion of what has become their dissolution of marriage.
Four years later a dear aunt with the American Embassy flies in to take me to spend two years in Hong Kong with her. Instead, I drop out of high school and announce on Christmas Day that I am pregnant.
While I will fight mightily for your right to decide whether or not to birth, I believe children do not ask to be born. After numerous options, some illegal, I choose to keep my precious child. By the time I reach 21 I birth three incredible children ~ and, devastated, bury one.
How can it be? Here I am twirling on a planet in a galaxy experiencing one/one trillionth of all that is developing. So, do I surrender? Thank my higher power for this opportunity? Even for this merest most exquisitely deadening experience? It is all I have. All that I am. All that I hope to become.
The heart is simply two question marks facing each other. It is hollow. Empty.
What it love? Is it ownership? Is it a ponderous responsibility? Has my higher power given me this capability to know love in its purest form ~ as a child cradling her stunning children in the midst of a drug-infested commune full of mental illness and violence? There is a repeat of severe violence, drugs, and alcohol. I remember thinking, “Oh. This hurts. I must be home.”
It is my belief, even though life patterns modeled for me were different, that my deepest dirt-filled ditch of bloodied sketches and sounds, that there were and are wise, tragically gorgeous gifts handed down to me by my biological mother. If I can continue the quest, I will look to them, remember them, and align them with my heart.
A dear friend, Jenny, shares over tea this very morning (January 10, 2018 10:13am):
“If you could just let go of your children’s opinions of the family splintering and hurt you have caused…they are in their prime and have full rich lives
which don’t appear to include you.
And that is okay.
We must give wings to our children ~ so they can rise up and start anew.
In many types of recovery, we begin again.
We know this each day, we begin again, dearest Fawn. So, just do it. Give it all to your higher power. Rise up.”
Just do it.