Saturday, November 5, 2016

Opening Old Wounds, Catching my Heart

My youth was better then some, but had its fill of trauma. For example, I was adopted and I was fortunate enough to know who my birth mother was growing up. In fact, I seen her often which in retrospect, wasn't a good idea. However, I never knew my paternal side. 

I was always asking about my Dad. I had grand dreams that one day he would show up on our door step and ask to take me somewhere. I pressed my birth Mother every chance I got but never really got anywhere.

Until one Summer. A tall, salt and peppered old man comes to our apartment in Omaha, NE and introduces himself. He was the father of my father. Grandpa. He had heard of me searching for my dad and wanted to meet me. So he brought me a model car, told me he would only take me out if I called him Grandpa instead of Mr. Baker. 

I was never happier. Our first outing he took me clay pigeon shooting in a corn field. I was a pretty good shot and I impressed him. On the way home I asked about my father and he responded only by saying "why, aren't I enough?" 
I thought he was testing me, to see if I was good enough to meet his son. I was just a child and thought like a child. 
He never returned. It crushed me. I internalized that as a personal fault. 

As an adult I think about that situation and it still hurts. I thought I dealt with it already, but apparently I didn't. Not completely anyway. 

I guess I dealt with whatever my brain felt I was capable of dealing with. Then when I am ready it releases a little more. The pain is leaking out, thankfully. 

In the mean time I am chasing my heart all over. Its whimsical nature is hard to contain when I am emotional. Dealing with traumatic experiences isn't black and white, its multifaceted and individualistic. Its complicated and hard to understand, involving parts of the brain that are only theoretically understood. (believe me, I've been studying. Is that kind of like "trust me, I played a doctor on TV?" LOL!)

Sometimes, and here is my main point, we have to deal with one issue repeatedly. Just because it comes up repeatedly and makes you emotional repeatedly, doesn't mean you did anything wrong, it just means that your brain is protecting you by demanding you only recall a little at a time. It may take a while, but it will come, be happy in the moment and look for a friend. 

With Love
Jeff Utnage

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