I’ve always loved the novels “Wuthering Heights” and “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte and her sister Emily. I was drawn into “Jane Eyre” from the first page. I loved reading about the loneliness, hopelessness, sadness, cruelty and hardships in life, because it struck a chord deep within me … I have been there myself, I’ve experienced it all. To read the book, and later see it as a movie, was a very strong experience. To follow Jane from childhood, watch her grow up, and see how her life at last blossomed was so empowering. I know that this book moved my heart, all the way down into the pit that I was in, to make me hope.
I started to think that there was a purpose to my life too. I was as sad as a child could be and at one point I did not wish to live anymore, because life had taught me hate and bitterness, the feeling of rejection, and of being a burden, unworthy, and guilty for not being grateful for it all. Still, deep inside, I hoped that someday a prince would appear from somewhere, like Cinderella, or Sleeping Beauty. He would arrive on his white horse and fight for me. Well, my prince did appear a few years later in a little, green car; a very tall man in a tiny Fiat, with a glint in his eye, who knew all there is to know about computers. I fell for his humour and kindness, and from the start we talked, laughed and cried together, and became each other’s soul mates.
We have two daughters, who are growing up as we speak, thirteen and twenty years old. We’re a little family, and I’m happy to see that the future is looking brighter ahead of us, that the children won’t have to struggle with the same questions as I have, or the sorrow that I have carried with me from childhood. My deep grief ends with me, and that is a good reason for going on with life, to make sure that our children will not have scars on their souls like the ones I have, that they won’t remember a mother who beat them, or a father who told them daily how stupid they were. That they will some day see the magic of life, that they will be happy and become good mothers to their own children, and look back at happy childhood memories, of kind words, of good things big and small, and that we, their parents, told them that they are precious and loved, and that we are proud of them … things that I never had when I grew up.
Even my wedding day was nearly ruined because the day before my adoptive father got drunk. He called me and said that any invited guests who had not replied directly to him would not be allowed to come. Period. This was my one special day, and he threatened to call it off. I knew that a few of those invited had not called him, and feared the worst. I was lost in tears, and I had to phone everybody and and ask them to please, please call my father immediately. The wedding day was hardly better. When he walked me down the aisle, he was almost drunk off his feet, although he tried to hide it, and in front of the priest and everybody else I had to tell him to go and sit with the others. On the one day that I was supposed to feel like a princess, I ended up sad and humiliated.
Time will heal, they say. I wonder how long it will take before I can ever truly forgive my adoptive parents, if ever, for everything they have done. I still feel unwanted, although I know there is no reason to feel that way anymore. But even though they are both dead, their voices still live in my head … they keep telling me everything I was used to hear. I try to ignore them; sometimes I win the battle, other times I’m completely lost, and I only want to sleep and forget. I keep asking myself how much longer this has to go on. My life feels like an ocean filled with tears, always moving, from tiny ripples, to giant storm waves that would sink any boat … this is how my feelings go from day to day. What happens the day I run out of tears? Is that even possible? I can only go on, and try to find out.