Living with the shadows of the past

The word Shadow brings up so many feelings a number of which I cannot easily recognize. But it does make me think of the past – of my childhood, of home, of my mother and the long days spent doing nothing but watching the play of shadows with the changing light of day.

I cannot say if it makes me uneasy or sad to think of the past but it does seem to fill me with a certain heaviness of heart. I can’t say why but my eyes seem to overflow. There was no particular tragedy that I witnessed as a child  but I suppose growing up with a woman too preoccupied to be a mother meant my brother and I grew up in a state of relative neglect. It might even be called benign neglect but when I think of growing up I think of aloneness and emptiness.

Howsoever uneventful one’s childhood might seem it leaves imprints that last a long time and can at times be hard to remove. I am 31 years of age and I admit that it is only now that I am making sense of much of my little existence. It is usually quiet winter afternoons that fill me with a certain dread. Maybe it is the dread of living and dying alone, awakened by the lack of noise that suggests human contact.

I do not recall (m)any long leisurely conversations with my mother. I do not recall many joyful moments spent in her company. I recall only quiet afternoons with an undercurrent of untold sadness, misery and suppressed anger. Her not being able to deal with her emotions ended up transferring the same to her children. At this point I clarify we are not her biological children, so there is no hereditary transfer of habits.

My struggle is to break out of these shadows of the past and become my own person – a strong and happy individual. I wish the same for my sweet little brother.