What you see depends on not only on what you look AT, but also where you look FROM. ~ James Deacon (a Musician from South Africa).
The older I get the more I see and reflect on things that impacted my life. I’m turning seventy in a few months. I’ve lived at least three life time. My first life was confusing at best. It sounded like someone else from far away land in another world. Most of it were narrated to me as a story. It was before consciousness became a memory. I was told that I was left in the crib at least 95% of the time. It was the parental guidance at the time. They firmly believed that a cuddled child is a spoiled child. When my paternal grandmother came to visit us, her daughter (my aunt) came with her. My father asked her to stay and be my caregiver. She became my primary caregiver when she was 15 or 16 years old. Mother told me that she believed it was proper to leave me in the crib except when it’s for feeding or bathing. She reared my siblings the same way. I wasn’t shocked to hear her say that as if that part of my life was a physical memory. My aunt became my surrogate mother. I still miss her when I think of her. My basic attachment was with her. She was the source of motherly affection for me. I still miss her when I think of her. I know she loved me. She made me feel safe. I didn’t have any traumatic accidents or broken bones in the care of a blind teenager.
The shadow to that first life is, – I was emotionally detached from my mother. Mother was a demanding perfectionist – religious woman. She believed it was her duty to break my will that became the point of warfare between mother and daughter. She didn’t believe in capital punishment but her eyes did the belt work. Her method of discipline was in her words and body language. That’s when I learned to lie. A typical teenager defying the rules and lied to stay on the good side.
When I was in my early 20s I went to visit my cousin who lived in the Marianas. I was thrilled to find my aunt there taking care of my cousin’s children. I was ecstatic. We slept on the floor together and talked throughout the night. She loved cherry flavored jello sprinkled with Nestle Coffeemate, powdered creamer. It was one of those sweet little surprises in life I learned from her. Jello and coffeemate for dessert became an emotional trigger to a place where I felt safe… like a security blanket.
Attachment theory is the most important tenet that young children need to develop relationship with at least one primary caregiver for normal social and emotional development. It’s an anchor or home base by which you can return to, to feel safe A primary caregiver that made you feel safe. When I needed to feel safe, after my father passed away with mother absent emotionally, I developed addictions to nicotine by the time I was fourteen. Like an orphan I survived just like more than half of the population, growing up without strong attachment. We were never naked and never hungry, but we didn’t have a strong home base where we were made to feel like champions. I was drifting hither and thither feeling like a lost and lonely orphan, overwhelmed with fear and shame. Anxiety ruled the day. In reflection I see my calling was customized. I learned to let the shadows and the lights live together (in me). We can live with haters (enemies) and lovers (and friends) in one place and grow. LET their hate aspire you to grow more. I can see clearly that my calling was customized. I mean I didn’t choose it, it chose me. Im not a great writer but I write. I didn’t find writing, writing found me. It is SERENDIPITY, a fortunate accident. Or GRACE, an unmerited favor.