The beginning of my story contains a lot of unknowns. A few significant events took place before I was capable of remembering them and the details remain unnamed. I could easily fill in those blanks by giving my grandma a call, but the what-if’s seem to stand in the way. What if it’s hard to take in, what if it hurts, what if it affects me negatively?
It’s time to take a step into bravery, #mystepintobravery. I knew my grandma held the key to the details I was in search of, so with pen and paper in hand, I gave her a ring.
As I wrote about in upside down pacifiers, my birth mom was 15 when I was born. Since she was still in school, we were enrolled in a program aimed at helping teenage mothers continue their education by providing transportation and daycare services. We participated for about three months; the exhaustion of a newborn, quickly becoming too much.
Because then, my birth mom abandoned me.
It was just like every other day, the van picking us up, making its way to daycare and school. But when neither of us came come that afternoon, my grandma knew something was wrong. She started calling everyone she knew, anxiously trying to place where we were and finally found out that I was at a house nearby.
Rushing to the home, she found people she didn’t know inside, and no one taking care of a baby. I was in the corner, in my carseat. Hungry. Dirty. Crying. I had been dropped off hours ago and had been left alone since. My grandma grabbed me, took me home and tried to reach my birth mom, furiously wanting answers.
They never heard from her.
With my birth mom’s absence, my grandparents found an in-home daycare for me to go to while they were at work. However, shortly after starting there, my grandma noticed that every time she picked me up to hold me, I would scream out in pain. The daycare couple was asked if something happened, but they insisted they knew nothing.
I ended up in the ER.
We never went back.
I hadn’t even turned one yet.
After hanging up the phone, surrounded by notes, I knew that I could choose to respond in one of two ways: victim or victor.
As a victim, I’d find myself in a cycle of constantly searching for pity and validation, playing the “woe is me card,” and the “I can’t do this because of my past.” As a victor, I could use the information to understand myself better; why my body associates change with trauma and why trust doesn’t come easily.
We have the opportunity to look at life with these mentalities; using our circumstances to either help or hinder. We can choose to stay captive to what life throws at us or we can take steps towards freedom. It’s a choice. My choice. Your choice.
And as for me, I choose to be a victor.