I was born in the early 1980’s in a small town in south-eastern Europe. My family and I lived in a modest flat in one of the numerous identical blocks that were build during the years of socialism. We were a fairly average family of four and everything looked quite normal on the outside. But behind the doors of our cramped apartment, there were many internal storms and turmoils.
Perhaps the most significant thing to mention is that I don’t remember much of my childhood. What’s more, I don’t have almost any happy memories as a child – no memories of family holidays, trips or birthday parties. The only happy memory I have is playing all day outside during those long summer vacations. But our apartment was empty, quiet and cold – this is the picture I have of our family home.
I have started to understand that I have suppressed most of my memories from my early childhood. I have also found out that my mother was alone when she was giving birth to me – my father was in a hospital after suffering a car crash, and since I arrived early none of the relatives were present either. I also figured that by the time I was born, my parents’ marriage was already broken and perhaps I was something of an attempt to give their family life a second chance and a new meaning.
When I was 10 years old my mother decided to live and work abroad, which left me and my older sister half-orphans. In fact, my father spent most of his time working, my sister was enjoying her first years in college, and I found myself pretty much on my own most of the time. Along with being affected by the lack of mother figure around me, these years will go down as the saddest and loneliest of my life – perhaps my first brush with depression.
Secondary school years was a time to experiment and rebel. Drugs, alcohol and other self-destruction methods were employed. I could no longer stand the pain and lived on the edge, constantly challenging the status quo. I went through all hair colours, hair lengths and styles, I fought with teachers and other authority figures, I did everything to numb the incredible vacuum inside of me. It was my heart’s cry for love and support.
I began coming out of those depths at the time I started university. I couldn’t wait to finish secondary school and move out of our flat and my hometown. This urge to run away took me much further when I decided to spend around an year working in the state of Alaska. I couldn’t have picked a more remote part of the world – I had to go to the opposite part of the globe just to try and find my missing sense of self.
Whatever self-image I was able to construct in my years at university and in Alaska, all that had to be shattered during my time in Ireland. After I graduated I decided to continue my life abroad and moved to Ireland. This will go down as the most challenging time in my life so far.
I started shedding pieces of my fragile (false) self early in my time in Ireland. The same year I moved, just a month after my arrival, my grandmother died. And that set the beginning of a dreadful chain of painful experiences and losses. The death of my mother was the blow that shattered my already fractured self and knocked me down but the death of my sister was the hit below the belt that knocked me out.
In the days after the untimely loss of my sister, I desperately tried to open my eyes through the foggy vision of my grief and depression. But I what I saw was that I lost everything I’ve worked so hard for, everything that I’ve build for myself, everything I knew and believed was erased. It was dark and empty and cold, very much like the way I remembered my home of early childhood. But this time I wasn’t the child, I was actually the parent.
My son was born when my sister got very sick. Regretfully his first years of life would be the years of my worst of states. I wasn’t able to cope but I hanged on, I hanged on the bare thread of my love for him. He was the beacon and when I was able to see through the fog, I would follow his light in the surrounding darkness.
The silver lining in this turbulent storm is that the grief, the depression, the anxiety, the pain, the fear, the sadness, the loneliness, the vulnerability and the rawness, the tears and the cries, all that provoked me to embark on a journey of finding my true authentic self and build a life that is aligned with it.
And this is where I am now. Steady on my path, taking baby steps in healing from the trauma and regaining vital life forces.
My healing journey has bore many a fruit and my purpose with this blog is to share it with you.
May you be blessed on your path of self-discovery. Namaste ❤
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