"There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you."--Maya Angelou
Untold stories. How many of us walk around day after day carrying luggage from the past? Each of us can probably think of many things that we regret...things we wish we could take back...things we wish we could go back and do over again. It is these stories that have made us the person that we are today.
I was what you would call a rebellious child...or should I say, a rebellious adolescent...but I am getting ahead of myself here...I should begin at the beginning. My mom and dad both worked so it was from the age of about 11 on, that I practically raised myself. I'd come home from school, flip on American Bandstand, and keep myself occupied until my parents got home from work. Then, I would help mom fix dinner (by the age of 13 I was cooking dinner by myself), we'd sit as a family to eat, and then 'family' flew out the window. My dad, an alcoholic, would retire to his little room with his six-pack of beer, and that was the last I would see of him at night. Mom would preen herself and then off she would go to her babysitting job...night after night after night. At least, that is what she wanted me to believe...but that's another story.
So, here I was, just entering my teen-age years...and finding myself with no guidance. And, personally, because I never knew anything different, I saw that as normal. I was a 'good' kid. After dinner, I'd go out an play with my friends until dusk and then come in to do homework, etc. It wasn't until I entered high school that things really changed for me. My parents then became what I considered 'super strict'. I was punished for every little thing...and punishment meant I was grounded. For something little as having my coat unbuttoned on the way home from school...which by the way was one of our teen-age fads...I would be grounded for a month...and it was like that for every little thing....so bad that I NEVER got out, NEVER attended the school dances, even my proms, NEVER had a boyfriend. It was awful not being a part of.
By 15 or 16, I began to rebel by skipping school and hanging out. If I couldn't go out at night, then I might as well go out in the daytime. Problem was, the "good" kids were in school. I missed so much time, I was kicked out and my parents put me in another school...where I did the same thing...and, when I hit 18, I walked into school and cleaned at my locker telling the principal, "You can't do anything to me. I am 18 now." And I walked out of school and never looked back...not then...not until years down the road when I began to regret not completing high school. I did eventually get my GED and complete a bachelors in Criminal Justice...online, not in a classroom setting. I also came to realize that my parents' did what they felt was best for me. Knowing that neither could 'watch' over me, punishment and grounding was their way of making sure I was all right. In doing so, they took what should have been a memorable period of my life and destroyed it. But that's all over now...and the logical part of me understands and forgives...although my heart may forever remember.
Sometimes I wonder how different my life may have been if I had completed school back then and sought to further my education. Would I have been a lawyer? A psychiatrist? If I had had a boyfriend? Attended my proms? Would I have avoided the heartache of so many bad relationships...the abuse...But, the fact is, I DIDN'T do any of that...and the past is the past. There is no going back. And I did learn so much from my experiences that is such an integral part of who I am today. No, I cannot go back and undo the threads of the past, and I don't think I would really want to. For today, I value education and schooling so highly that at 63, I continue to seek out courses and trainings. It's a never-ending and thoroughly enjoyable process for me.
So, it does us no good to ruminate over what 'might have been' for we are the sum total of our experiences--good or bad. Things that NEED to happen have a way of happening...and understanding the flow of life allows us to let go, accept that over which we have no control. Living a life of guilt or blame takes us out of harmony and balance. I am not saying that we should forget, only that we must do whatever needs to be done to let go of harmful energies such as anger and guilt. Understanding the flow of life allows us to let go, accept whatever limitations we may have no power over, and move forward.