I was going through my old scrapbook pages the other day and I came across this one that I did three years ago for a challenge to do "raw" journaling. I felt compelled to share it here. I hope the journaling might be a help to someone so even though it was a difficult layout for me to do and actually a little difficult to share I still have the feeling that I should...so here is the journaling:
There are generally reasons for the way people act. Everyone has a story. Everyone has a background. If we will just come to accept and love people in spite of the outer layer they show, we will have peace ourselves. My story, my background doesn't start simply with me...there are other stories, other backgrounds that put mine in motion. I was raised by my stepmom. So many negative images with that word that I hate to use it. In my heart she was my mom. My birth mother was not a part of my life after my dad and her were divorced. Drugs and alcohol were her priority. I remember scenes, from my early childhood I would rather forget. It might be easy to be bitter, but I am not. I understand that some choices she made at a very young age, when reasoning is not clear, affected her decision making process later on. She had a tough life. I am sorry she did not experience the joys of motherhood she could have. As I mentioned earlier, in my heart my stepmom was just my mom. That doesn't mean thing were always pleasant for us. There is a story there, too. There were often times I didn't feel a whole lot of love from her. There were ugly moments of fighting and conflict and not just your ordinary mother/daughter stuff. Before her and my dad married, her youngest son committed suicide. That leaves huge scars. She loved me. She did. She saw in me the same kind of personality that was in her son. This scared her. She couldn't stand the loss of another child. She felt she needed to make me tough to withstand the emotional rigors of a sometimes cruel world. I didn't know it at the time, but she later explained that she would do things that would cause me pain on purpose in order to get me to fight back. She would provoke the anger in me so I would learn how to confront life and not give up. It was not the way I would ever raise a child, but I understand. I understand her story. I understand the background. I understand now that she loved me. Everyone has a story. Everyone has a background.
“Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to just be people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey…delays…sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling burst of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.” ― Gordon B. Hinckley