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Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

Head, Heart, and Soul

A life lived on the edge of emotion.

Stigma:

There has always been a shame to being different. In the 1950s and 60s, all families in white middle-class suburbs were stable and loving according to the common mythology. If you were smart, you went on to college and otherwise, you found a trade that suited you and you did that for the next 20 to 40 years. My family never fit this mold, but I had to pretend for the sake of…something…Maybe just to be “normal”.

Self-sacrifice:

Even now, I want to rewrite this to say that everything was fine and I was responsible for everything and am responsible for myself now. I don’t want to lay disasters on anyone else. They were victims and someone should be responsible… ME.

Survivor guilt:

Yes, there is survivor guilt. I knew early on, when I left home, that I might be the only one to “survive”. I didn’t know how literal that might be. I had to disconnect emotionally from my family to stay sane and alive and though I have had to admit to “crazy” most of the time, I’ve made it to almost 70. (I’m sorry. “Crazy” isn’t really acceptable but I find “mentally ill” to be personally insulting.)

Family:

I have searched for “family”. I have joined groups and other peoples families where I was accepted as “part of the family”. These often didn’t last for more than a few years.- I don’t know, at some basic level, how to “family”. I even let friends disappear into the past.
Pets have served their place as my family — They don’t argue or say stupid things or hound (that’s a pun) me to change my ways, and they forgive quickly and snuggle when you are sad or sorry. But, I still carry guilt for not being enough of a good person…Not being there for them and not taking care of them as well as I should.

Poet. Philosopher. A sense of Humor. 60 years ago I rode the winds at the top of a tall cottonwood. Buy me a coffee @ https://ko-fi.com/danasanford

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