As a child I would daydream a lot. I would daydream about what a nice happy family life would be like/ look like. I would romanticise this. I don’t anymore. Because I don’t see a point. When my family life broke apart I daydreamed what it would be like to have a dad. What it would be like to have a mum. What it would be like to have parents that love each other. What it would be like to be truly accepted and loved and to be cared for. To be accepted for who you are and to be loved unconditionally for who you are. I daydreamed of what it would be like to live with my mum for a long time. It would probably have been better, no? I wondered often how I could make my parents happy. For a long time I blamed myself for my parents divorce. I felt that it was my fault even though I know I did nothing wrong.
I remember when mum had to leave. That was one of the saddest days in our lives. My sister, and brothers cried. I walked around listless hugging them, trying to comfort them. In a sense taking over the mother’s role. Trying to make sense of what suddenly happened. One minute I had a mum. The next I didn’t. She wasn’t there anymore. We couldn’t go to her like we did in the past because she was no longer at home. That was robbed from us. That was painful. A difficult thing to come to terms with. People at school would often say: You come from the perfect family Hannah. Don’t worry your parents will get back together before you know it. But they never did. And that was okay by me. Only I had to grow up overnight. From being a child I suddenly had to take on a mother’s role for my younger sister and brother.
I remember dropping my sister off at school on one of those first days after my parents split up and my sister clung to my neck for dear life. She did not want to let go of me. No-one showed empathy to me then. The teachers didn’t really care. They just said let her go – she’ll be okay. But what was I supposed to do? I was 13 years old. She clung to my neck, then to my legs. She didn’t want to be abandoned by her sister. And walking away from her was painful. I remember crying and turning up to my class late and being told off for coming in late. But what was I supposed to do, let my sister go in that state of mind? Eventually she realised how much I loved her and she grew out of the clingyness. But it is still with me as clear as day. Her holding on as if she would lose me forever.
And within that turmoil I carried on daydreaming about being a part of a family where I would be accepted and loved for who I am. I daydreamed of being told that I am loved, of being told that I am cared for. I longed for a mother’s hug, a mother’s kiss. A father’s hug, a father’s kiss. I day dreamed of what it would be like to come home and your parents being proud of you and wanting the best for you. I daydreamed of what it would be like to know that I am loved and wanted. I daydreamed for many years. Probably till my early 20s and then I abandoned those daydreams. I no longer saw the point in daydreaming for something that I could not have. It was just fueling the depression and the longing within me. I had to abandon the futile attempt of finding a family where I could belong to, where I could have that special relationship with and not feel like an outcast. But part of something, someone, and loved unconditionally. I didn’t know it was a quest inside of me. But I remember looking at a variety of male role models and thinking I wish my dad was like that. I wish I could come running to him. But I could not.
Now? What of now? Without looking – thinking about these things, God planted me in a family. He puts the lonely in families. In some ways the quest, the journey of looking for a family has been answered. It just happened. I can’t explain how it happened. God just did it. And is answering a longing within me. A deep longing within me. Yet I am frightened that it will be taken away from me. I suppose I have to trust the Lord for it to last.
Hannah you have a family. Hannah you are loved unconditionally. You are loved. You are cared for. You don’t have to look anymore. You are safe. Safe. Safe. Safe.