“Did you?” by Veena Nankani

This dedicated to all those that did not get the best start.
You cannot change your past, but you can change your future.
 
Did you live where I lived?
Did you hear what I heard?
Did you see what I saw?
Did you have the examples that I had?
Did you have to do what I’ve done just to stay alive?
 
Did you have your breakfast made for you?
Did you get taught how to eat?
Did you eat food every day?
Did you have a dining table?
Did you have a kitchen?
Did you have a bedroom?
Did you have a bed?  
 
Did you get bathed when you were dirty?
Did you get clothes to wear?
Did you get hand-me-downs from older siblings?
Did you get socks on your birthday?
Did you know when it was your birthday?  
Did you get told that you were pretty?
Did you get told that you were handsome?
 
Did you get encouraged when you were down?  
Did you have someone believing in you?
Did you have someone motivating you?
Did you get told that you were worthy?
Did you get taught how to be treated by others?
Did you get taught to believe in yourself?  
Did you learn from a good example?
 
Did you get asked how was school?
Did you get asked about your day?
Did you get asked anything at all?
Did you have someone look at your homework?
Did you get help with your homework?
Did you have someone attend your school?
Did you have someone who knew which school you were attending?
Did you have someone who cared a damn about your education? 
 
Did you get taught how to speak?
Did you get taught how to behave with manners?
Did you get taught right from wrong?
Did you get rewarded when you did well?
Did you learn to respect your elders because they had earned it?
Did you learn how to trust, based on an environment of trust?
 
Did you receive toys?
I wasn’t allowed to play.
Did you get hugs and kisses?
I was rarely given eye contact.
 
Did you have opportunities?
I did not have a choice.
Did you get to make decisions?
I did not have a voice.
 
Did you receive compliments?
My existence was rarely acknowledged. 
Did you hear the words “I love you”?
I only heard it once – and it was for show.
 
I am not making excuses, I just want you to understand
I didn’t even have one of these things consistently
So please be patient with me because although I am an adult
I have just discovered that what I thought was normal was actually dysfunctional.
 
I am now confused because I am doing things I don’t want to do
And I don’t know how to stop
I was determined not be like them
I was determined to make my life beautiful
But now it appears that I’m always trying to make the pain go away.
 
When you see my eyes are dead, it is not that I am heartless
I had to bury my heart so it wouldn’t get broken
I had to be numb so I wouldn’t go insane
I have only just realized that I have a serious problem which I can’t solve alone
I’ve started to receive help now
So please be patient with me.
 
We have very different stories
We had very different starts
I will catch up one day
It’ll take me a little longer than it took you.
 
Eventually our paths will converge to a point of oneness
You will see me and I will see you
We will understand that we are one and the same
Then all that we will see is love
Then I will be me, and you will be you
Then I will be you, and you will be me
Then we will be free.    
 
(All dysfunctional people are exhibiting their pain. Everyone has a back-story. Let us all try to be less judgmental – Healing takes time.)

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By the author of the comedy autobiography "Mum Knows Best" Veena Nankani - Life Coach, Nutritionist, Motivational Speaker, Writer, Poet, Professional Reviewer and Entrepreneur. www.veenanankani.com
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