“Just who do you think you are?”
My mother asked me this many times growing up. Usually it was in the context of giving me a dressing down. Basically jumping my shit for something I had done that she didn’t like.
The appropriate answer, of course, was, “Nothing.” “Nobody.” “A worm.” The whole point was to break me down, to make me feel bad about what I’d done and to recognize that she was bigger, badder and meaner than me. And above all else below her.
It’s this and other things that explain why we don’t talk anymore.
But it’s these memories and this particular question that stay with me. I do my best to forgive my mom for my childhood. I know I wouldn’t be the man I am today without her and dysfunctional childhood or not, I am happy with the life I have. I consider myself truly blessed and not in the “Wow, things could have been a whole lot worse” kinda way but truly blessed. I love my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My struggles are here to make me better and my successes are reminders of everything I’ve done right.
So why does this question keep haunting me?
Today it finally occurred to me. I had the same feeling, as this memory floated up into my consciousness, that I had whenever she asked me, spit flying, features contorted in anger, looking at a young boy to wreak her vengeance for a life denied her. Only this time it wasn’t a glimmer.
This time it was strong. Full bore and powerful.
I AM SOMEBODY! I AM POWERFUL. I AM MAGNIFICENT AND I AM A FORCE FOR BENEFICENCE. I SHINE BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL AND EVERYONE WHO COMES IN CONTACT WITH ME SHINES BRIGHTER. I AM LOVE. I AM LIGHT. I AM SHELTER. I AM STRENGTH.
That’s who I think I am.