I started recycling back before it was kosher, it is always fun to jump on a bandwagon that you know is going somewhere. I would pack up my daughter who was about two at the time, and head to the local warehouse about ten minutes away, that was acting as a recycling drop-off. It was usually quite empty, except for a very kind and amiable older couple that I would run into most times we visited, which was about twice a week. We would chat for a few minutes, as I proudly dropped off our wine bottles, the only thing we had to recycle at the time, as they were only taking glass. As we all know, from there recycling took on its own life, it grew and became a wonderful way to renew and reuse, to take what was once tossed away, and turn it back into something of worth, which brings me to todays post:
The Recycling of our Lives
There are many, too many, people, some that I have spoken with, some that I have never met, that have come from dysfunctional families. It’s an all too common occurrence, and one that I myself believe is a part of just about everyone’s life to some degree. Some are first degree, minor occurrences, small set-backs, a few angry words here and there, nothing major, easily forgotten. Some are second degree, this gets into more troubling territory, episodes of various levels of neglect, verbal abuse, favoritism, things that always stay with you, the next level is the worst, third degree. This is where the darkest parts of human nature exist, alcoholism, domestic violence, severe verbal abuse, sometimes physical, the aspects of which real damage can be done to all those involved, and is never forgotten, only managed. Out of these three levels of dysfunction, to rise, survive and escape it, we must find some way of recycling.
It is very difficult at a young age to know which way to go, what to think, how to act, when you receive very little guidance. You just put one foot in front of the other, use what God made you with, and keep moving ahead. At the time, you never realize that you are recycling the thrown aside, the cracked, the damaged, into something worthy and useful, you just know that you want to walk far enough, to escape the dark clouds surrounding you. Most of us will make it, some of us will not.
What kept me walking was to a large extent, stubbornness. It is very hard for me to give up, on anything, a task, a goal, or myself, and I never did. I recycled hurt, sadness, neglect and pain, into writing, sometimes drawing, caring for younger siblings, pets, and of course gardening, as well as in later years, aiming for, and finding a career path, constantly dodging the doubt, anger, and jealousy hurled at me, from those that are supposed to nurture not negate, I had decided I would not be stopped, and I wasn’t.
I found it very interesting to observe the ways other family members recycled their own issues, be they the same as mine or somewhat different. One became a feral cat savior, rescuing many, having one share many years, before she crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. I observed it give him great determination and focus, and to this day, after me, I feel he is the strongest. Another focused on being the best mother she could be at a very young age, but also started her journey toward a most commendable work ethic. Another focused also on work, whatever that encompassed, he took it, ran with it, and hit a home run. Others were less obvious, but had their ways, took them, molded them, into what they needed to renew.
As we all know, recycling has made our world better, safer, a happier place to be. It also works the same for the human spirit, no one should be tossed aside, ignored or intentionally broken, but sometimes we are. What we choose to do after the fact, how we renew ourselves, is unique to us all, but makes us better, safer, and in a happier place to be.
Image by: ladyowl.deviantart.com