My mother died when I was 14 years of age. She committed suicide. I was in the room next door and awoke to a gunshot. It was the day after my last day of my freshman year in high school. It sounded different than I would have thought a gunshot would sound like, but I knew. She had talked about it and even had tried before when I was 8 years old and it was me who had found her then.
I made my friend go into her bedroom, using the excuse that I couldn’t put my contacts in to see. It was an excuse, but I couldn’t go in. How could I? It was my mom, how could I go and find her like that? The image of it used to destroy me inside, but as I have grown, I have chosen a different way of looking at what happens when we die, that the spirit lives on.
To most people that know me, they have no idea that I have not only lost my mother at a young age, but that she had committed suicide. Tragic. For years after, I couldn’t tell people without cringing every time they reacted to my story. I almost didn’t want to tell, but I knew I had to tell. When the moment arose, and it often did when I was young, people asked where my parents were.
Here’s the clincher, it wasn’t just that I had lost my mom, but I also lost my father to heart failure when I was nine years old. Forget it. It's at this point when I’m telling my life story to people, they are usually looking at me with enormous eyes of pity, which I hate to see. Don’t pity me, I think and get angry inside. Even now at 38 years old I think to myself, I’m the one who lost them. I’m the one who went through the pain and have had to grow up without my parents, not the person listening to my story. Then, I feel bad for the other person interrogating me and become empathetic to their emotions of my pain. Don't they get that I’m strong and have made it through? These are the facts. No need to feel sorry for me. Their sorrow only validates the pain, my pain. I’m the one who has suffered it, not them.
Very soon after my mother died, when I was in high school and telling my story to one of the many friends who had asked what had happened to my parents, I made the decision that the healthy thing for me to do was to be open and honest, not care about others’ reactions. I didn’t want my story to be a taboo subject or a secret. I also felt that I owed it to my parents who had suffered enough while they were here. Honor their memory and forgive my mother. By telling my story, it would also tell hers, which meant she could know wherever she is that I don’t blame her for what happened. I have always thought that her story could change someone elses’ life for the better. Maybe encourage them to seek the proper mental health care that wasn’t available to my mother 24 years ago.
I am expressive and have to tell my story. I can’t control other people’s reactions to what I have been through. The truth is that they are not me and I’m not them, so how could they really have an idea of what it was like to lose my mother and father at such young age. I decided that being transparent would be the best thing. If this happened to me, it had to have happened for a reason.
Why keep it all inside?
When you keep pain inside, it erodes your insides. It gets bigger. It leads to disease and illness. It is just not healthy. It’s definitely painful to share sadness with others, but to keep it in and internalize can be overwhelming. I have chosen not to be closed. I am usually an open book, when asked. I wouldn’t walk around and announce my life story, but when it comes up, I share and I hope my tragic story may help someone else with theirs. I have survived and become stronger as I have grown. Being open and transparent is difficult, but by sharing, it may give someone else more strength and will to carry on with their own pain.
If years of pain is covered up, it can turn into layers of built up emotion that will need to emerge in some way. I realize when I was younger, when something around me would trigger an emotion relative to my loss, then I would get anxiety and panic. When I would share my emotion and lay everything out, I could cope and move forward.
I used my instincts and my intuition to know that it was okay to lay everything out on the line. What did I have to lose? I had to release my thoughts and then would be okay.
We go through phases in our lives as we grow and transform in our spiritual selves. We can choose to embrace it or choose to ignore it. I choose to embrace it and know the right path and the right people will come my way, if I am open to it. I can feel it. It’s always right if everything is clicking together, then you know you are on your right path.
One of the primary ways to feel intuition is to be open and release the pain. Share it, peel away the layers if they have been building for years. Sometimes, we don’t even know what the layers we need to peel away. Sometimes, they are small in the beginning and just by being open and sharing a personal experience with a friend, the onion begins to peel, layer after layer. Transparency, like the layers of the onion, can make you cry. It hurts, but it’s a cleansing. An awakening and it’s scary, but it can grow the spirit and help move forward the journey. Transparency can encourage greatness.