Who we really are

Who are we, really?

I watched an episode of ‘Once Upon a Time‘ last night, and there was a part that struck a chord with me. One of the characters is told that she will see something only when she accepts who she truly is. After some deep discussion with a friend, she admits that she is an orphan, even though she has met her family.

Once Upon a Time (TV series)

Once Upon a Time (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She realizes that even though she isn’t the same person she was before, even though she is an adult with a respectable job and house, even though she has met the rest of her family, she is still the same lost little girl that she was long ago. She is still an orphan. Sometimes those big, defining things don’t just go away.

Even when we try to move past things, sometimes they linger. Even when we aren’t the same person we were before, that doesn’t change what happened before. No matter what we think we know about ourselves, there can still be scars or wounds from before.

It struck a chord with me because it pointed out something I’d been denying for a while. I never really dealt with the death of my Mother. I thought I did. I told people that I did. I wanted to be done with it. What I  never actually did was deal with it.

I covered the wound with bandages. I kept changing them until it stopped hurting. I told everyone it was better. I never stopped to check and see if the wound was infected. I just assumed it was fine.

As a child, I think that I never knew what to say, or who to say it to. I ‘got over it’ quickly, because I didn’t know how to be appropriately sad. I figured if I didn’t know how to grieve properly, I should just not do it. I should be a little sad that everything changed, (I mean everything,) and I should be sad that  I didn’t have my Mom that I loved very much anymore. I didn’t know how to process those huge feelings.

I’m sure there are things that this affects, but I don’t really know what they are yet. I’m just beginning to notice that there are things about that time in my life that never really got addressed or solved. I was 9, and I didn’t want to be sad about it all, so I just kind of stopped being sad. I’m only now, 19 years later, realizing how bad I screwed that up. I can’t say I should have known better, because I was a child, but I can say that I now realize that I didn’t do all the things I needed to to come to terms with all that happened.

The trouble for me now is, that I don’t really know what to do with this new information. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do about how I handled things 19 years ago. Especially when it’s not as if I wronged someone, I just didn’t properly handle my own emotions. So at some point, I’ll need to figure out what to do about it all.

For now, I’ll just be content that I finally realized that I didn’t do it right. I’ll have to worry about the rest later.

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8 thoughts on “Who we really are

  1. There seems to be thin line between being appropriately sad and being overly sad. At least, in the eyes of the other people.
    Newt to that it sometimes seems easier to just ignore it, consider it to be ‘dealt with’ than really facing the effect it has on you.
    I hope you’ll get to the point where you can honestly say you grieved and accepted.

    • It’s such a strange situation, being able to look back and see it in such a different light. At the time, I thought everything was going as good as it possibly could go. I see now that I just couldn’t understand. I’m more curious than upset about any of it.

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