to heal the wounds of family


my heart was shattered. today it is a mosaic.

breaking open my heart of glass just to heal, so that i could live, has not been easy.

albeit my healing journey is years of work and counseling therapy, it is also woven in w phases of different experiences to help me process the deeply impactful traumas related to my mother. from vinyasa flow, running a half marathon, bow hunting, dancing at pow wows, hiking Diamond Head State Park, crying through weights at 24 hour fitness, quietly attempting to golf, quiet walks in the Japanese garden, visits to New York and DC for the museum culture, Philadelphia to sit and listen to Buddha at the exhibits, visits to Chicago for deep dish pizza, N. Cackalackee for soul food, nights out in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico for aunty wisdom, New Zealand, and up to the high mountain tops to the epicenter of the Nimiipuu universe or dips into Lake Powell… every trip and adventure was a part of my healing.

healing has been years of work after learning my siblings and i survived toxic and dysfunctional parenting that was not normal. i think of all the times i busied myself at work and signed up for every traveling gig i could just to escape the emotional noise. heaven knows i have visited every city i wanted to visit and buried my pains along the way. it was always in the loudest places i had a god sighting.

as many times as New York has whispered my name i returned each time only to listen to my ancestor. other moments of healing occurred when my kids left for summer break to their grandmas. as a single mom co-parenting was always at the forefront of working together to make sure the kids got to know their family. if there is one thing my little mom taught me is to never hold my kids back from their biological family.

she taught me to respect my childrens time w their other side of the family. as i look back there was one summer where i actually had to go and get them. after that summer, they knew my mama bear instinct would never hesitate to do that again.

as i reflected, i learned how to go out for dinner alone and ppl watched at the piano bar. other times i traveled intentionally to a new destination just to experience waking up in a city i had always dreamed of visiting and eating (tasting) food i never tried.

healing the wounds of family is heartbreaking. its troubling on days when i hear ppl say their mom or dad did a, b, c or x, y, z. as the child of an alcoholic mother we had some good times. we had years of family dinners and Saturday cleaning days, but there was always alcohol.

at Christmas we celebrated w midnight mass and mom loved her spiced eggnog or merlot. wine seemed to be the bougie exception and became fancier w guests who mostly consisted of Aunties.

you see, my parents were never the cookie cutter parents. they tried but the behavioral ghosts always creeped in on them and it was always that pinche bottle or can of whatever they used to drown out their sorrows.

today, i find it triggering when i want to drink a glass of Huckleberry Lemonade… at 8 am! when i’m tested of my own will it is the hardest.

all it takes is remembering what it was like to experience angry and domestically violent parents. the silent but deadly stares and intentional swings, the menacing words to the put downs, all of those happened and they shaped my mind on who or what i did not want to become.

however, as fate would have it, one day, i found myself becoming my mom. when she replied “you’re just like your father” in my mind i answered back, “is he too bold?”

the quest and seeds she planted to learn about who my father was is when she let those words out. to this day i understand i was born out of love and hate. my mothers love for an emotionally unavailable man and a my fathers hate for women who reminded him of his mother.

it’s so weird today when i listen to their early years. my mom was swooned by this handsome looking man. he is a Sagittarius and she a Leo. these fiery spirited young lovers talked about living in a home and my dad promised her a house w a white picket fence like what’s outside my garden today.

Pops also promised her a cutlas supreme and a trip back home to Idaho. Moms never got those things and has lived bitterly since.

it’s strange when parents don’t want to talk about what they experienced. somehow thinking they are protecting their children. i learned it’s ego wanting to protect their inner being again. again you ask? well, yes.

you see ego is notorious for high jacking stuff regularly when we live in fight flight or fawn mode. ego tells us no, don’t say anything. don’t do this, or that. remain silent and let them be. thinking it will keep you safe. it’s not always the same.

as im learning, ego can sometimes prevent healing. while healing allows us to go in and dig deeper, ego tells us it’s going to hurt or upset them. “Stay safe and just be quiet.” funny thing is healing don’t work that way.

healing will literally challenge you to get to the core and root cause of the pain and cut it out. healing as i have stated requires courage, and a willingness to sit through what might or may have hurt our inner being.

whether it is our inner being or inner child, ego prefers to avoid pain at all costs.

for what it’s worth i am seeking a better way as i continue to uncover hidden truths about my parents and the lies they spun to make us children believe they were doing the work. it’s not easy to sit through, but i manage.

in dealing w all of it, and i have been holding up through prayer and find sweat is where i go to release.

i have found, what used to help me requires more work and something new. it is why i am always up for a new adventure.

a new town or city, a new route, intentionally getting lost and finding new roads, new stores, new clothes <— (sometimes from thrift shopping) in the city, and new foods. the dream is to have a partner to travel with to enjoy these beautiful new things.

idk what to do somedays because i have been affected by my parents in such a way that my dismissive-anxious avoidant attachment issues pop up.

in order to heal the wounds of family i have been working clear and intentional to first heal myself. it’s pretty much all that matters in this moment and i learned not to feel bad or guilty about it.

when i wake in the early morning hours and find myself praying to the holy ppl, i remember my mom who gave me life and thank them. i know i was given this world, i didn’t make it.

i am but a woman w a prayer.

nothing more, nothing less.

as i look to talking god to the west, i remember what our older sister stated so peacefully.

*she is né’ne’ or shaadi (older sister).

she not only knows mom the best, she has guided us at times reminding us the safest place to be was away from mom.

as i close, i want to share, healing from family wounds and toxic dysfunction has been a journey indeed. the part that gets me is how critical it is to long term health and longevity. .

there’s something funny, but not, when it comes to midlife and aging parents. somehow the tables turn and the reality influences major growth factors.

growing through forgiveness has been bittersweet. while i am unlearning it’s been helping me to become a better human. it hurts tho. it hurts heavy and somedays all i can say is Thank you hinuuywat and proceed to try and get some sleep.

Categories Indigenous

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