1. (verb) uncover, bring out, unveil, reveal
Instead of looking up "reveal" in the dictionary I decided to look up it's synonyms. It seems the synonyms are even more revealing than the basic definition. Unwrap, affirm and acknowledge. Those are potent words when describing human emotion. Either way my eyes have opened and I can no longer hide from truth that has clearly revealed itself to me...
It was a painful thing for to me to accept. I blinked, looking out the window trying to keep the tear from falling down my cheek, thus revealing my suffering. "Were you a wanted child"? the words rang out in the room. No, I thought to myself. I wasn't. "What were the circumstances around your birth"? With a smirk on my face to hide the pain I answer. My mother got pregnant when she was 17. She was a preacher's daughter and it was shameful for her to be pregnant out of wedlock. My grandmother and grandfather encouraged her to get an abortion but she changed her mind when she was at the clinic. My mother would eventually call me years later, crying, "you were the first real decision I made and I am grateful I did".
It was all very confusing. It always has been. That therapist would later go on to tell me it is sad that I was never wanted and that I probably would never get what I need from my mother. I hated him then but I realize now he was right. This isn't a bad thing anymore. The feelings I had at that time have resolved and caramelized to be kept eternally in the past. What I want to bring to light is the present.
This year I went home for Thanksgiving. I wasn't looking forward to it as every time I went back home this past year I left early, couldn't sleep, felt tremendously sad, got a migraine or all the above. About three years ago I developed a new awareness. I became an observer. As we were eating dinner I noticed the interactions that were occurring and with whom. It became painful for me to see what was happening. My family was split, broken, fractured, cleaved. I've known it all along but it took spending time with my 15 year old cousin to really see just how real it was.
Painfully, I was allowed into his world. He revealed himself to me by sharing stories of how my uncle, his father, had belittled him, physically abused him by bullying and hitting, once even choking him out with his own arm. I travelled with him to a living in ghettos, a life of drugs including, of course, his mother and father selling and taking them. I listened to a heartbroken young man share his story with me. I felt like an outsider. This was my family. How did this happen?
I know the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. Where had my family been in all of this? What parts did we all play? What were we doing to make it better? I would later realize I couldn't save my cousin. There really isn't anything I can do but support and encourage him. When my family talks about that cousin of mine there are rolled eyes and "pffffft" sounds that break my heart each time. He is only a symptom of the much larger problem.
• a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others, esp. for reasons of expediency.
Where do I go from here? First, the stages of grief. Once again grieving over the loss of what I have and what I do not have. Grief over what I know. Grief over what I cannot fix. And then what? Resolve. Healing. Empowerment.
And now I remember lessons of impermanence and grasping from The Buddha. My life with my family now feels like this Frost poem. One you and I have probably read several times but for me it now takes on new meaning. Less involved and more like a passenger. Observing from a distance.