I Am Enough: Gratitude for Those Who Hurt Me Deeply
There are times when I still think about one particular man and what our relationship could have been, and it still hurts.
But I’m grateful that he came into my life the way he did. And, also, that he left it the way he did–with his lies and manipulations being exposed. I’m also grateful to one of the women in his life who, through her own pain, came to me with the truth.
As much as it shattered my heart, it could’ve been so much worse, and there is no other way that I would ever have understood the connection between my father, my childhood, and so many of the decisions I’ve made as an adult had my relationship with this man not ended in the way that it did. It was because of him and trying to understand what had gone wrong that I was able to unlock the keys to my childhood wounds and make peace with them, as well as choices I had made in significant relationships, and put those to rest as well.
It was through these past two years, and coming to understand him and understand my father, that all of my questions of self-worth have finally been set aside so that I can now make room for people in my life who are less selfish, who have no hidden agendas, and are fully intentional towards showing me their love and support.
So I’m grateful to have had him in my life, for what I thought he was but was not. And for being the Rosetta Stone to understanding the untrue foundations I’ve built my life on since childhood and early understanding of what I thought life was, and what I thought my family believed, and what was drilled into me.
I have to thank my adversaries over the past year and more as well, although it’s been hard and chaotic and so stressful.
Two years ago, I had what they call “top cover.” I had a boss who supported everything I did and told me he would back me up no matter what, and did. I was allowed the freedom and creativity to make certain projects into successes, with no fear that he would squelch anything I wanted to do, and he allowed me to be successful. If I were ever in trouble, or about to be in trouble, or in fear of failure, I knew that he would step in and defend me, although that was seldom, if ever, needed.
When he left, the people who hated the projects I worked with and the alliances I had made, stepped in to–in their words–choke me out and put an end to all of the projects and work I had accomplished, obliterating all those successes.
And yet, they have not been successful in destroying everything I’ve worked for. I’ve had to forge new relationships with new bosses, find common ground and new successes. I’ve done it without having to turn to my old top cover or beg for help from anyone else. I’ve had to step forward, a thousand times stronger than I had been before, dig in, and ensure that the things that made me happy were not taken away.
There are many times in the past year when I’ve had to hold my own and hold it all alone. I’ve lived under the threat of losing my job or of having to move to a position that would’ve bored me to tears and straight into retirement early. Without exception, it would’ve been easier, in every instance, and at every point in time, to have given in, given up, stepped down or walked away from what I thought was the right thing to do. My strength, in getting through these last few curves and nooks of this long, dark tunnel, has come from understanding where I came from and the shadows of the relationship with my dad, my extended dysfunctional family, and the things I’ve believed about myself all my life that were true, and the things that were not that have held me back.
Some people have called me fearless. Others have called me disrespectful. But it all comes from one place deep inside me. There are things that my enemies, adversaries, and those who would hurt me, emotionally and otherwise, can never do to me because they were done so long ago and they cannot be repeated in that same way.
They will never witness a three-year-old Lorna being buried alive, or pull me out of the mud and muck.
They will never beat my four-year-old body until I am rushed to the emergency room with kidney damage.
They will never force their way into a doctor’s office with five-year-old Lorna in their arms, still bleeding from the bites of a reactive dog who tried to tear her throat out and tell her how, surely, she did something to provoke the dog attack.
They will never tell my seven-year-old self that my beloved Grandma is dying of cancer and that it’s all my fault.
They will never tell me, at 12 years old, that I should be ashamed of myself for trying to get out of going off alone with their favorite uncle, who just happens to be a known pedophile who has been molesting me for years.
No matter what any adversary or opponent might ever do to me, these things they can never do.
And, from that, I draw strength.
It’s not that I am fearless. It is that I know what I’m made of. And that all times I’ve been told in my life that I was not “enough,” that these were the lies and manipulations of dysfunctional people who don’t deserve a place at the table of my life.
These are the people I’ve spent my life trying to please, trying to be enough for.
I am enough. I always was.
And this is what I know, here at the end of the dark tunnel, stepping into the light.
No longer staring into the sun and blinking, blindly, but seeing everything around me fresh and anew and that the light around me now comes from within.