I went through what I’ve lost.
I went through what I’ve gained.
But there were still things I needed to get out, things that weren’t really losses or false beliefs or truths uncovered. These were feelings, feelings I had for a very long time that I no longer wanted to feel. Guilt. Shame. Fault. Blame.
I took the stones I had left — all 50 of them. I wrote those four words down, over and over again, one word on every stone. Then I stared at them for a while. I didn’t want to keep them. I didn’t want to hold onto them any longer than I already had. These were heavy stones. They were weighing me down too much. I didn’t need them.
I could have thrown those feelings into the ocean, just like I threw the stones of my false beliefs. But it didn’t feel right. These feelings had a place. That place was definitely not within me, but it also wasn’t somewhere in the bottom of the Atlantic.
I knew where these feelings really belonged. They belonged to my mother.
My mother is the one who should feel guilty. She is the one that hurt me. She is the one that abused her children. She is the one that broke the rules. She is the guilty one, on so many levels she is the guilty one. Not me.
My mother is the one that should feel shame. A normal person doesn’t abuse their own children. The things she did to me do not exemplify who I am as a person; they show what she is. She is the sick one. Not me.
My mother is the one at fault. She knew what she was doing was wrong. I was just a child. I didn’t choose this. She took away my power. She took everything from me. She was the wrong one. Not me.
My mother is the one to blame. She was the adult. She was my mother. She had no right to do what she did. She was supposed to protect me. I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t cause this. She caused it. She is the one that should be taking the blame. Not me.
I gathered the stones together. I tried to think of what I could put them in. I had an extra craft jar, and started putting the stones in there. I wanted to make sure I fit all 50 of them; I didn’t want any left behind. Then I noticed the jar of peanut butter I keep in my desk drawer. I try to eat a spoonful a day, because it’s the only food I can always tolerate. It also happens to be one of the only foods I wanted as a child, but couldn’t have.
So I finished the peanut butter. I cleaned out the jar and made sure it was dry. And then I started putting all of the stones inside. And it was a perfect fit. I put the lid on the jar and sealed it. It was done.
The jar may have been small, but it was heavy. Just like the weight of the guilt, shame, fault, and blame I had been carrying with me for so many years.
Those feelings don’t belong to me anymore, and neither does that jar. I packed it all up in a box and sent it to my mother (re-routed safely through another location).
They belong to her now. It doesn’t matter if she accepts them; that’s not on me. All I know is that those stones are no longer mine. The weight of those feelings are no longer mine. She will have to carry that weight, even if it’s for just a few minutes before she realizes what they are and throws them out the window.
They are the stones I’ve given away, or really, the stones I’ve given back. My mother put those feelings on me, and I don’t want them anymore. She can have them.