The labels

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Were you scared?

I am so sorry?

Will you be just like your family?

I want to protect you.

Why did you have to go through that?

You will be just like them.

You will be back in that drug lifestyle just wait.

Dont marry her,  because she has too many problems.

I can fix you.

Do you still have scars?

Will you go crazy?

Do they still control you now that you are away from all that? 

I get so many questions when I tell people about my life. The things I went through and I lost so many friends. As my siblings went back to the drug life, I moved forward. As my siblings faced trials of their own, I was facing trails or my own. Facing the stereotypes, the pressure and the whispers. Yes! It was too much at times and I wanted to take the easy way out. I wanted to go back to how it was. Be normal and feel like I looked like someone. I felt ashamed of my past and of my fanily for many years. It would affect the relationships I had, even lost some good friends, because they didn’t know how to handle all the information I was telling them. I just wanted a family to look like me, a family that I was not ashamed to talk about. I spent many years fighting with myself and my other family. I would point fingers at them and blame them for this life I had. I would blame them for many things. The blaming made it easier to quiet the memories in my mind. It tamed the hurt on my soul and calmed my heart.

At school the whispers were more like yelling to me. I knew people saw right through me. My adopted parents are Caucasian while I am Native American. So even in public it was noticeable. People would question us and automatically feel sorry for us. I didn’t want that. I didn’t want people to see me as “that child.” I just wanted my life. People were determining my fate for me and I did not know where to turn.

Everyday, I would hide my double life from people. I would pretend to be someone I was not, just to fit in the normal. I lived like this for years, holding all of my memories and stories inside my head. Repeating everything that happened to me in my head. I would have trouble thinking about normal everyday life. My life was a mess spiritually. I would have trouble focusing at school and focusing on my future. I let my past get in the way of my future goals. I let it become me. I couldn’t find the peace in myself.

A few years ago in college, I was apart of this group called ” InterVarsity” we took a trip to Michigan for Bible camp. Spenting a whole week there, no phones, 1 bible and a note book, we talked about ourselves and reflecting on our life. Each morning and evening we did a final gathering , where we talked about the different things in our lives and different passages from the Bible.

One night, we were talking about forgiveness and love. We were asked about someone who we had trouble forgiving. Someone who hurt us so bad. The passage we talked about stated:

Be kind to one another, forgive one another as God in Christ forgave you…” Mark 11:25

I automatically thought about my family. What happened to me. What my mom had put us through, the fate we were given. Looking at myself on the outside in, I could imagine someone holding in that much pain and hate. I thought about the struggles and sleepless nights. I thought about how I was on the brink of death. No matter how much church cereal I gave my younger siblings, I was closer.

At first, I couldn’t bring myself to talk about my past. I didn’t want people to know. I didn’t want to face any of it. I was just a normal college student. The tears formed and I could not stop them. I fell onto the ground and just cried. My knees were weak and I just wanted the pain to go away. I just wanted a normal life and a life with no pain. It was like I had put all these memories in a file folder in my head and sealed it shut.

After that moment, everything came back to me. All the memories and all the pain. I knew I had to get it out. I knew I had to start somewhere. It took me an extra few years to get it all out. I didn’t want help from counselors or social workers. This was something I needed to do.

I knew I had to be above what people were labeling me as. I knew I had to fight something no one else can see but me.

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