What I Never Had

I was listening to Alanis Morrisette’s song Torch this morning and found myself sobbing.  Yes- I have felt the sting of a lovers farewell but it was a much deeper pain and an awareness that caused me to pause.  And to cry.  And to sob.  And to sit and write this blog post.

I miss the things I never had.  Before I list them, let me assure you that I have had many lovely people in my life, moments of such pure beauty that have stolen my breath, loved with all I am and all I have.  I’m blessed to have a loving mother, 4 beautiful children, siblings, a wonderful step-dad and some beautiful friends who have been there for me when I allowed them to  come close.  I’ve attained financial success, realized some dreams and most importantly made a positive impact on some folks in my life.   All of this and yet there is an ache, a longing, a pain so deep that there have been times I have wanted to end my life.

The little girl with the hands to her face is me. This was my last carefree summer. I was 5 when I was sexually abused.

These are the things I never had that I miss the most:

  1. A father who was present in my life.  A dad to validate and support and love me and let me know that I was safe and beautiful and worthy.  The sting of his leaving when I was 13 has not healed.
  2. An opportunity to loose my virginity with a man who valued me and let me have free choice.  Loosing it at age 5 by the hands of a sexual predator stole that from me.
  3. To know what it is like to define your life by the value of who you are as a woman rather than simply as a sexual being.
  4. Believing when someone says they love you as you are.
  5. Lightness and laughter and ease with others without self-consciously editing my thoughts, reactions, words.  Joy of being a carefree teenager or young woman.
  6. Feeling worthy of good things.  Allowing them into my life without question.
  7. Going for walks in the wood without fear.  Feeling safe and at ease within myself.
  8. Deep intimacy.
  9. A healthy, loving and supportive relationship.  Despite being married twice, I have not been able to sustain or enjoy or know what it is like to have the love that I deserve.  How can I when I haven’t known how to love myself?  (My husbands are not to ‘blame’ – there is no ‘blame’ in success or failure of the relationships.)
  10. Loving myself.  Completely.

It’s a painful place to realize that you have not had the things that most others take for granted.   And yet I am grateful that I am awakening.  I am coming to understand the why of my discomfort.  With over half of my life behind me, I don’t have much time left.

I can miss what I did not have.  I can and must mourn their loss and face the pain rather than pretend it’s all okay.

The compassion I show to others, my support and encouragement of their journeys and dreams is something I need to give to myself.

It all starts with me.




4 thoughts on “What I Never Had

  1. Beautiful post and so true.

  2. Mary Champagne says:

    If only you could just have a moment to see yourself in the mirror as I see you. True, deep, blessed beauty. You truly shine. I wish I could give you that. You are enough. always enough.

  3. alexvorobej says:

    Very well Written. Your words make one reflect on what many of us take for granted.

  4. Elsie McGraw says:

    My word. This is my story almost to the last detail. I don’t have children and didn’t have a loving mother. We do have to feel our pain in order to move beyond it. Hugs and you are doing wonderful things. The light shines from the pain.

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