Hope was something that I felt I had lost. I also came to realize that hope could also be dangerous. Always having hope that my parents would come around, that they could grow, learn, become better and more importantly that they wanted to do this, was hope that always gave me strength. Until it didn’t. Hope became the glimmer I always looked for, only to be constantly disappointed. In this hope, I made many decisions that if I knew differently, I would have lived my life differently. In the hope they would come around, I remained more attached to the idea of being the daughter they would approve of and hopefully, accept and love unconditionally. But as I faced reality and the devastating pain that came with this reality, my hope began to disappear. Now, I sat in my bathroom shower bawling my eyes out, crying until I could no longer breathe, feeling the strongest physical pain I have ever felt in my heart. Without hope, I did not know where to go, what to do, I had no direction. Without hope, this pain felt like it would consume me and moving on felt necessary but all I could see was darkness, with no direction of how to escape the pain.
Then a new hope appeared. I still don’t know how I got here, but eventually the pain began to subside. But it did not subside until I surrendered to allowing my pain to express itself, validating my emotions and accepting that for now, I may not have answers but I would have to continue to try to move forward, no matter how directionless. As I began to reconnect with the present moment, I began to appreciate what was present in my life that was positive, that gave me love and acceptance. As I began to look around, I started to think of acceptance differently. I accepted and loved myself, my friends, boyfriend, coworkers, employers and even some clients accepted and loved me! There is acceptance all around in my world. Yet, the emptiness and the hole in my heart still often remains. Being present, recognizing everything that is going well, has begun to bring back hope into my life. A hope that I can become attuned with my own needs and practice self-love and self-acceptance. A hope that all the love and acceptance from others can fill the empty part of my heart in different ways. A hope that I can be happy and move forward in life, no matter how my parents behave now or in the future. Now, when my parents do what they do, I am no longer as upset or attached to it. I don’t expect them to be better human beings, to change, to grow or to even love me unconditionally. I accept they love me, but I also accept that they love me in very flawed ways. Their humanity no longer has as much of an impact on my humanity, my self-identity. It has been a very very rocky road, and it is no where near over. But, I have been holding on, now I see that my pain is beginning to end, or at least diminish.