We are Alive

It is recently that I have comprehended and accepted both of my parent’s inclusion or more realistically, lack of inclusion in my childhood. Memories and confusion flooded my mind when I was trapped within mental illness and nightmares of crippling words and abandonment re-played over and over. I had fallen victim to my abusive childhood but I also blamed my parents for the situation I was in. I blamed them for not being there for me when I was bullied, I blamed them for not understanding me, I blamed them for my lack of direction in life, for my excessive drinking, and for my depression. There are elements in my upbringing that I can say have resulted in particular events and characteristics within myself because that is only human nature. We are created by our upbringing and our environment, and parents sub-consciously influence our characters with their every word and action.

I reached a moment when I suddenly realised that I could not put the blame upon my parents anymore and I was responsible for my own feelings, my own life. I was angry because I had inherited the mental illnesses that I had watched my mother succumb to and I feared they would destroy my life as they had destroyed hers.

When I was travelling I met a young man from Israel who always wore a brightly coloured patchwork jacket and a bountiful head of long twisted curls. He regularly expressed his views on alien life and his theories of our own alien origins induced by the South American drug Ayuahasca. He spoke of parallel universes he had explored whilst strumming his eight string mini guitar.

There came a day when he returned from a nearby town to explain he had received no more than an email stating that his father had taken his own life. The young Israelite appeared detached and aloof as he sat amongst us twirling his fingers through his curls. But he understood and he accepted with such grace the traumatic situation that had so unexpectedly landed in his life. He was aware of a suffering his father lived through that deemed the world an unbearable place of inhabutance, and now the pain was over. Now the pain was to live through the family left behind. Now this young man had to end his freedom, his choices and his own direction to return home and work to provide for his family.

In my childhood my mother had confessed on numerous occasions that she had tried to take her own life, that she didn’t wish to be alive, and for this I blamed myself. In her mental instability she cursed the day I was born inadvertently reducing me to a worthless incapable excuse of a human being. I have grown to understand reasons for my mother’s behaviour and am able to help her where she could not help me. Because underneath the exterior that labels her as my mother, she is a human being who has experienced a great fear, who has been rejected and abused by those closest and has lived through the darkened shadows of society. And that is what matters today; that she is alive. That today, she is alive and I am alive.


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