“Owning our story and loving ourselves through the process is the bravest thing that we will ever do” – Brene Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection)
Today I decided to be vulnerable and to talk about my process of accepting who I am. I hope this post inspires you to embrace and love yourself just as you are.
When I first decided to come to the US, it felt like a perfect escape from my life. From my family and most of all from the secrecy that ruled my existence in so many ways and that I did not know how to face it: my biological father.
I’ve met my biological father for the first time when I was 22. Until then I lived my life not knowing very much about the reasons why my mom was a single mother, why my father never looked for me, why I lived with my grandma until I was 5 and why I felt so emotionally distant from my family.
When I was 15, my mother asked me if I wanted to know my biological father. I got scared and I did not want to hurt the feelings of my step father who loved and cared about me for all those years. “I already have a father!” I said with tears on my face, feeling that I was trapped on the limb of a story that I knew very little about, yet it was a deep and important part of myself.
Growing up, I had all these negative self-talks about feeling less loved, neglected and alone. I felt also that because my mother decided not to do an abortion, the least I could do was to prove to her that I was worth it. These feelings were killing me inside, and for a long time, I did not know who I was or what I wanted. I’ve always been a strong woman, but at that point, I was being strong for very unfortunate reasons.
When I started studying psychology, I began to think more about my life, my conflicts, and the way that I approached my relationships. At that time I decided to go to therapy, and there I finally had a space to talk about those things.
Therefore, I started to realize that the way I dealt with my relationships, in general, had an interesting pattern. I always want to prove that I was worth it, because I was scared to be abandoned, I also wanted to prove that I could handle things myself, my underlying mantra used to be “if you leave me I’ll be just fine”. Have you ever stopped to think about the patterns you are following in your life?
Asking for help, was one of the most difficult things that I had to learn in my life, and I still have a long journey to go.
While I was in therapy I found the courage to face the truth about my story. I looked for my father and I found him. I had then to do the scariest thing of all, – “to tell my mom that I found him”, and ask her the questions that I was holding with me for years.
I always thought my mom didn’t care so much about me, but after hearing what she had to say, I realized how much she fought for me, and how our decisions can profoundly change the course of our lives, of other people’s lives, and even those yet to come. There is nothing really to be done in that matter, because of it just how life is.
I came to the USA, few months after meeting my biological father and facing my truth. Arriving here had a different taste than I expected because I didn’t want to escape from my life anymore.
I realized that I was never alone and that all the things that I judged as my weaknesses were actually my strengths.
I was finally owning my story and embracing my truth, and it made me see the love my parents have for me, made me see them as humans, and all of a sudden, just when I went away and could look from distance, I could see how blessed I was to be who I am.
From that moment on, I did not want things to be different about my past anymore and started thanking life for giving me the opportunity to create on top of so many possibilities.
What was your real reason for deciding to live abroad? I’d love to see you embracing your vulnerability and sharing your powerful story.