One of the many ways I work to heal the trauma from my childhood is through providing for my children what my brothers and I did not have.
Today is a Sunday and with everyone home, my husband and I made a big breakfast. As we sat around the table with our children, passing pancakes and sausages, orange slices, and yogurt, I felt the weight of grief that bubbles up sometimes. It begins with a lump in my throat and a sob that lingers in my chest, stubbornly refusing to move.
The grief is obviously connected to years of hunger and food insecurity, but it’s more than that.
I carry around, in my heart, the image of the little girl I was. She is thin, with short hair and clothes that are too big or too small and totally out of fashion.
The hardest part of carrying her around is not her sadness, but the look on her face. In these visions, at these moments when the grief bubbles up, I see her looking not sad but confused. Confused about why she can see a world that is full of food and other riches, but she has to go hungry.
She can see a world full of people that experience joy and love every day, yet she is alone and scared of the people that are closest to her. She just doesn’t understand and I have never found the words to explain it to her.
The best I can do is to ensure that it stops with me.