The Missing Link

Many years ago, I lived a life that I couldn’t even begin to describe in words. Much of this life, I have struggled to even remember as I have grown up and forged a new path.

Many people who know me, know that my father committed suicide when I was 11 years old. This is a pain I can’t even being to help you understand. It was one of the most painful moments in my life… only to be outweighed by one other moment, thus far in my life. However, the most painful part of losing someone to suicide, is not the actual death, it’s the years of torture after that cause the most pain. Even 22 years later I am fighting the hurt from that one choice my father made.

At the time of my father’s death, my older brother and I lost so much more than a father. We lost a link to two very important people in our lives. People whom we have searched for our entire lives since that moment. Our brother and sister. Reconnecting with, and finding those two was a joy that far exceeded any other moment I have experienced… ever.

We were recently able to share with them our life when dad was alive. They traveled the 4ish hours to visit us and we got to give them pieces of a life that they didn’t even know existed until a few years ago. It was in these moments that I realized the true extent of how much of my own life I had forgotten.

As my brother drove us through the many places our dad lived, I was shocked at the number of memories that jumped into my mind. Memories that I hadn’t ever experienced.

In the weeks since we shared these places with them, I have had an entirely new form of pain. I feel like meeting Joey and Amanda allowed me the ability to process the years that I had previously blocked from my memory.

I am now trying to sort out in my mind what I lived all those years ago. Some memories – watching my father take drugs, being physically abused, being literally scared for my own life – those things I already knew existed, and those are the memories that stand out. Those are the things that have formed the person I am today. However, I now have to merge those memories with so many more memories – good and bad.

I feel like, for the first time, I am finally able to understand what I experienced as a child; and I am finally able to properly mourn the death of my father. I am understanding, for the first time possibly, exactly how bad the things were that I experienced.

I am angry. I am sad. I am hurt. I am also okay. I am a survivor. I am strong. I am broken, but I will heal. I have my missing link in my siblings – for that, I will always be thankful.

I hope to someday be able to sit down and put into words the memories I have and the way those things have affected me. But for now, I am focusing on dealing personally with the new emotions and memories I have. It’s hard, and it hurts… but life hurts sometimes. However, I am an overcomer.

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