Dysfunctional Love...(02/19)

Updated: May 8, 2019

My father was at the back attending to his crops that he proudly grew himself. Mum was downstairs preparing lunch. I could imagine it would have been something from dad's mini' British-back-garden-farm for sure. Her presence always made the house feel warm. I peeked through the bathroom door to see if the coast was clear. The mailman had just posted the letters through the door unnoticeable to mum's hearing. I galloped to get it longing for some good news at last and there it was; my results letter. I tiptoed back down the hall and monkeyed up the next two flights of stairs to my bedroom. I knew if mum saw me, she would ask what's wrong and at that moment I felt inconsolable. However, I now held in my hands a new hope.

I passed every single subject except for one. It wasn't submitted; so I failed. The letter departed from my fingers and glided through the air before landing on the floor. I felt nothing; no emotions, no thoughts, not even a breath- every thing was just still... until I suddenly broke. I just heard that voice in my head 'You're never gonna make it to the end of uni, you're just a broken, bitter girl'. Disappointment surged through me until I snapped. I became angry. I dragged myself together and headed for the shop. A bottle of vodka and two cans of red-bull would follow me back home. My tears kept flowing as exhaustion covered me. How could I be more of a failure than this? I felt like nothing and I just wanted to go to sleep. I was tired. Depressingly I picked up my writing pad and I began to write...

Dad always kept his medicines in the wooden cupboard he built beside their bed. I went in search of some paracetamol for a headache. I took one of the three boxes and returned to my room. Along with my drink I took two tablets. I continued writing; a letter to mum. I couldn't express myself verbally so I'd write. My heart just kept on breaking and I remember looking at the tablets as if they were sweets. The music from my speakers felt alive in my body and in less than two hours, I had finished the three packets. One by one, I overdosed on my emotions until the last rounded poison was inside of me...

I woke up in hospital with needles tied to me on a drip. The devastation that I saw on my mother's face, I will never forget. For three days I was drained of the paracetamol in my system. It was the most excruciating experience I've ever encountered both physically and mentally. I was throwing up even when I felt like there was nothing left in me. Nothing at all.

On my second night, I was in and out of sleep. I had no sense of time, but the lights were dim and visiting time was over so I knew that it must have been early hours in the morning. I really needed to use the toilet, but I just lay there contemplating how I'm going to get up with a machine attached to me. I starred into the darkness of the other room lazily until I heard footsteps coming towards me. The only light that was on was the dim light above my bed head, giving me just enough awareness of my bed space. I thought it was a night nurse checking on us, except the footsteps sounded too close together... like a heavy child. My heart did a serious somersault when I saw an image of little old lady coming towards me. Her skin was pale and she was muttering something. She drew closer and I tried to sit up, but my head felt too heavy for my body, so I just sunk back into the bed, hoping at this moment it might swallow me up. Her mumbles grew louder the closer she came, but I still couldn't understand. For a moment I thought maybe she was headed to the bathroom which was just in front of my bed, but she was coming straight towards me; her eyes were rested on mine. I forced all of my energy to mutter the words out of me 'no it's over there', referring to the toilet. She took no notice, as if I said nothing. I then shuffled my feet around a little to portray more strength than I actually felt. 'Go away' I croaked. But it came out in a whisper. 'No, it's over there, don't come here'. My voice betrayed me with the weakness of its projection. My eyes bawled around the room hoping someone would come to redirect her without thinking I was being mean to an old lady. She stopped at the end of my bed and just as quickly as she moved towards me, she turned around and pitter pattered her little feet away disappearing into the darkness; still muttering something that I couldn't understand. I believe it was in that moment that I knew I still had fight left in me.

After I was discharged, the discomposure that I felt was just beginning of what I was about to face. I couldn't look anyone in the eye because I felt sorry that I was so self-centred and I disregarded the effect my actions would have on others. I was told that I was weak because I took the cowards way out. I was criticised because I'm a mother, and I didn't think of my child. I was judged from left, right and centre. There were a few that took the time to ask me how I felt, and even though I didn't have an answer at that time, I appreciated that. Mum was always by my side. I knew she wanted to be there for me but all I felt was a deep remorse. I felt like I made things worst for myself, drawing the kind of attention that allowed people to ask the kind of questions that I didn't want to answer; I wasn't ready. I felt ashamed and I blamed myself because I made this happen to me. We all have the power to control what we do in our lives and I chose wrong.

The first and only person I wanted to see and live for was my baby boy who was patiently waiting for his mother to come home. He was completely oblivious to everything that was happening. All he cared about was that his mum was back to feed him. When we hugged I felt like I couldn't breathe. All I knew is that I nearly committed the biggest mistake of my life to not be here to see him grow. To help him through his struggles. I felt his love had just poured into me and I took it with a vow to be here to give it back to him for the rest of my life.

So I came out of hospital and I found my mask of a happier face waiting for me in my untouched bedroom. My notepad was still on the rug at the bottom of my bed, tear stains blurred some of the letters. I came back to face the same life, just from a different perspective. A perspective that I knew I hadn't figure out as yet, but I was ready to fight for mine. That's it.

I wanted to share this part of my story with you this month because it's something that February purged on me. I was confronted about significant moments in my past through unfortunate circumstances that lead to this very moment. Once I became more pro active in my self awareness journey, things started to align in such a way that I am forced to grow. I thought because time had past that my wounds had healed, but I was wrong. I've realised that it isn't until you've faced the hurt, problem, or obstacle, it will continue to resurrect in your path in many different ways. Don't try to bury your feelings and emotions inside of you so deep that you have to remind yourself too often that you need to not say a word about it. Talk about it.

When I was a child, I was exposed to the kind of things that created exclusion from a child-like mentality. I was segregated from the adult world through the eyes of the guilty; but the ones in denial betrayed me. A sexual identity forced upon me, to not benefit the wellness of my being.

The truth about dysfunctional love...

Imagine learning your identity throughout the course of being molested, raped, being taken advantage of whilst being oblivious to the fact that parts of your humanity is being scared for a lifetime from a simple decision made. You don't know the effects of these things happening until you realise that you're looking for a partnership in love that is actually a reflection of how you handle a relationship with yourself. You want love, but you don't trust anyone enough to give it to you wholeheartedly with your best interest at heart. If this is not you, it's me. This in my opinion is the repercussion of dysfunctional love. The dysfunction started with self doubt; which didn't start with me.

Understanding who I was in the frame labelled 'Victim' reflected the same painting with the opposite meaning to survival and salvation. It took me some time to resonate with the word victim. At some stages I felt victimised by it in all honesty. Maybe because I always felt that people only labelled things to have a lasting impression. Perhaps I feared having a phase of my life determine a lasting impression of who I am.

I will say this however, I understand, and I stand with those of you who are coming forward. It's not an easy thing to do, it's also very uncomfortable to talk about; especially when we know how many people will actually be affected by your revelations. Where I came from, we were brought up to respect our elders. In my community, your parents aren't the only ones who can beat your ass and send you home crying. Have you ever heard the saying 'it takes a village to raise a child?' That may be true, but what if that village is infested with paedophiles? Do you understand the general effect this would have on everyone? It's a weakness within the community that needs to be dealt with. Otherwise it will continue to be a flaw for generations. People hurting people because of the hurt that they feel towards themselves.

The things that I am capable of now, I clearly wasn't back then. The belief that I have in myself now is nothing compared to the belief I was taught back then. I realised that whether I remember all of my past or not, I am who I am today and that is how I can keep on stepping into change. I want a change. I'm a mother myself and change is inevitable. I want to teach my son the value of himself way beyond how someone else might value him. I was valued as a child, but I had non for myself; especially when it came to my sexuality. The most sacred part of me was taken advantage of again and again, resulting in the lack of confidence in myself to want or have more.

If I knew myself as a child, here's what I would say to me...

You are a light. You feel things in your stomach when you know something isn't right. I want you to trust that, always. I want you to be brave and follow that little voice in your head. You know that small voice that mama says is the good one? Listen to it so that it becomes so loud it's the only voice you hear. That is your voice, use it. When anyone hurt you, I want you to remember not to blame yourself, instead, learn how to believe in yourself more so that you can rise above that hurt. To rise above it you must embrace your feelings through it. Don't be bribed by anyone either. You never have to accept anything less than blessings, and bribes aren't blessings. Your two little feet has walked many miles. Remember your journey and adventures, they keep you humble. Nothing is more powerful than believing in your capabilities, so keep your mind free so that it can grow continuously. Last but not least, I need you to know that you are beautiful! Beautifully sweet, beautifully talented and beautifully you. You love to look at the stars at night to create your own stories from them. I want you to remember that you are one of them living here on this earth. Believe in yourself and learn to speak up. Whenever you are uncomfortable ask yourself why. If it doesn't benefit you in the long run, learn to let it go. I love you. I admire you so much that I wish I could just hug you and tell you that everything is going to be okay because it will be!

With all of my purest love,

Future You.

I appreciate February 2019 because I came to the realisation of something that I felt I've always known. I'm learning to discipline myself with reassurance from my own knowledge of what I've been through. The beginning is never easy, only because of the fear to feel hurt. I was afraid. I've now learned that after fear is freedom.

No one wants to be hurt, but aren't we facing hurt everyday? On the news; from people we love, the disappointment we feel from lack of motivation. The feeling of fear to find what we know would make us happy and at peace with ourselves and each other. Or perhaps, we don't fear finding happiness, do we? We fear the sacrifices we need to make to feel the feeling we know we yearn. We fear the consequences to our actions that we know doesn't only affect us.

You don't need to be extrinsic to the environment that you're in, you can adapt to it; still proving you stand true to what you believe and who you are with respect.

Love and light to you all,

LaLa Grey

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