These days, life as I know it is ordinary. I have three beautiful boys, a loving husband, a home in the suburbs of America's Dairy land. I go about my days taking care of my family, as they are my number one priority.
People may see me as a typical mom, and I like that. Most days, I see myself that way too.
It just takes a word, a smell, a tiny trigger point to snap me back into reality. I'm not typical. I'm no where near ordinary.
It is for these reasons that I struggle coming here. It is a reminder that I can't pretend my past never happened. I have to face it head on. I need to confront it. I need to let my story pour out of me, and I am driven to do so because I know someone, somewhere will benefit from hearing my experiences. It is a driving force that once revved up inside me with such power, such force. I wanted to scream it to the world. That is, until I got to the hard parts.
It's weird, because talking about my past does not bother me so much. I am open when people ask about my mom or family. I talk about my life in foster care, about being adopted, then returned. I can talk about the abuse I endured, and it doesn't affect me.
Writing about it is the hard part. The emotions pour out of me, and I relive every moment. I am faced with so many questions as to why I went through all that I did. I am reminded of the injustices that happened to me, and it makes my heart ache to think that these things, and more, are still happening to children all over, and nothing is being done to give them a voice.
That is what drives me. What brings me here. I want to be a voice for them.
I sit here, with my 3 year old on my lap. He just woke up and stumbled out here searching for me. He's still half asleep and he is snuggled up close to my chest, eyes closed, stroking my hair, strands falling and twisting between his tiny fingers. Something about being this close brings him comfort. I recall that feeling, as I had just a glimpse of moments like this when I was close to his age. The fleeting moments when I could crawl into my mother's lap and press my ear tight against her chest. I could hear her voice through her breast and it soothed me. I recall holding onto her as tight as I could, if only for that moment.
When I look at my little boy's sweet little face, I cannot imagine one day without him by my side. As much as it pains me to think of life without him, I know his trauma would be magnified much more if I were to ever leave him and not look back.
It makes me wonder how she could do that to me.
It hurts. A lot.
Rejection is one of the most awful things you could ever feel. It means you are not wanted. It's hard not to take that personal, especially when it happens over and over and over again.
Being surrounded by my family is the only comfort I have, and I hold onto that with all my might. They haven't rejected me as of yet, but the fear that is embedded deep within me remains. I pray they never turn their backs on me. Rationally, it sounds ridiculous, but I know it can happen.
For now, I relish every moment I can. My boys are my life, the very breath that fills me. We go about our day to day. We have the typical family struggles, especially now that I have a teenager. Anyone with a teenager should be able to relate to how fun it is to have one. I have moments where I scream, when I want to pull my hair out and I feel like hitting my head on a wall, but those moments all seem to disappear each night when I peek on my boys as they sleep. Secure, safe, tucked in their beds, not one ounce of fear in their little hearts, as they dream away.
They know where they rest their heads every night. The number will always stay the same...
I named this blog Seventeen Pillows for each pillow I rested my head on as a child. My journey through each of those moments is a difficult one, but it is a road I need to take.