The Runt of the Litter
12/20/2013 11:13 AM
By Stephie Goldfish
One afternoon, not long ago, I awoke from a deep sleep, feeling a heaviness and sadness weighing on my heart. In my sleep, I had been trying to figure out why I felt so much pain and sadness. It bothered me so much that it woke me up, and I came to an epiphany in the moment or two I sat up and figured it out.
Lately in my life, I have been encountering people who either, really, really love me, or who really, really can’t stand me. And they keep coming into my life.
Last month, a friend told me she has been encountering people in her life who reflect something about herself. That God has been placing them in her life and it was opening up her knowledge to her own self, sort of like a mirror, a reflection, and revealing reasons why they are entering her life.
Since that time, I’ve been contemplating this, especially as we are approaching the end of another year, and with a new year ahead. It dawned on me what I have needed to know my entire life.
I often visualize the moment my twin sister and I were born via cesarean section and eventually brought in to see our mother. Something makes me see a distraught look on my mother when she sees me—I feel it was as different as night and day what she felt when she saw I was two pounds smaller than my sister.
After a very big, painful realization that what I felt was a rejection in some sense by my mother, I have also just awakened to a sense of my own judgmental feelings of others, sort of rejecting them in some ways as I feel I was rejected.
It is easy to love the whole and “unbroken” ones in our lives, when you are so broken yourself.
And, how does one get whole with such a congenital birth defect that you aren’t rejected over and over again? And, how does one keep from repeating history, keep from rejecting those put in our lives, whether for a short while or a very long time? How do we keep from experiencing the daily struggles, like we had to within the family dynamics?
I remember a moment when my sister, my mother, and I had visited our natural father in North Carolina, back in 1989, before he had died. We showed him a picture of us two standing beside our other half-sister, and I remember distinctly his words he used to describe me there in the pack: The runt of the litter.
This has stayed on my mind over the years, because runts of the litter are usually strong fighters, if they survive. And, at the time, I felt it was an endearing description.
But, my reason for writing this is to somehow bring awareness that when our parents or others see our brokenness early on and we feel their rejection from it, it is something we keep reliving over and over again, with each person we meet, whether this is imagined or a reality we can’t deny.
I have been rejecting people in the same manner. It is not that I want to, it is something I feel, too, is being mirrored back to me. We want to feel 100% accepted, but it never happens. How do you heal from this and how do you move on?
Realize every person on Earth has both broken and whole parts, some more in our face than others. Yes, acknowledge our pain and sadness, but, at the same time, honor our strengths and whole parts.
Stephie Goldfish, aka Stephanie Hodgson, was born with a large ventricular septal defect, but it wasn't diagnosed until age 17. Since her defect went unrepaired, this resulted in Eisenmenger’s physiology, and she has developed severe secondary pulmonary hypertension. Stephie is an artist who graduated at the top of her class from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh; she is currently pursuing her love of writing, and writes short stories and poetry, as well as nonfiction. Learn more at her website and her personal blog.
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