I have been watching all of the Christmas classics with much enjoyment. One of my favorites is Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life. The main line in the film is the above title. It encouraged me to explore my own life and the impact it has had or, if I had never been born, the lack of one.
If I had never been born my father would not have had the excitement of delivering me himself in the middle of a blizzard in International Falls, MN, creating an intense bond between us.
If I had never been born I would not have experienced the joy and closeness I felt when in my father’s presence.
If I had never been born I would have missed out on the first thirteen years of a wonderful life with four siblings, magical summer vacations spent with my Finnish grandparents and all of their siblings in northern Minnesota at their cabin at Laminade Lake, a happy life in the Midwest with all the changing of the seasons, my joy in Catholicism.
If I had never been born I would never have experienced the bonding, the total happiness that the town of Petersburg, NE gave to me.
If I had never been born I would never have been able to ice skate on the Beaver River in Boone County, Nebraska. I would have missed swimming in it in the summer, happy holidays with all of my friends in Petersburg, singing in the choir of St. John the Baptist, our family Christmas with all of its delights.
If I had never been born my father would not have raped me when I was thirteen, initiating five years of incest and physical violence.
If I had never been born I would never have run away from home at the age of eighteen after the most savage of beatings at the hand of my father, one that almost killed me, while my mother chanted, “hit her again, hit her again”.
If I had never been born I would never have met, fallen in love with and married Michael Flynn.
If I had never been born I would never have experienced the greatest joy I have ever known, the birth of three daughters and one son all by my husband Michael Flynn.
If I had never been born I would never have left Mike after four years of his alcoholism, his friends who tried to hit on me sexually while he laughed as if it was all in good fun until one of his friends raped me, the deep shame of infidelity and after that I spiraled downward, leaving my Catholicism and my husband and moved in and married his boss after a year of two failed suicide attempts, two stays in a psychiatric ward, a year of violence from Mike.
If I had never been born I would not have spent the next eight years married to a sadistic husband who cheated on me, beat me up and as I found out years later sexually abused two of my daughters.
If I had never been born I would not have gone through a second divorce leaving everything – a successful business we had started together, a lovely five bedroom home in a prestigious area – to my husband who said if I tried to take anything he would hire people to testify in court that I was a prostitute who did her business with her clients in front of her children thereby insuring I would never see them again.
If I had never been born I would not have lived the next few years going from one man to another while I tried to be the perfect mother, the perfect friend, the perfect Customer Service Manager/Full Charge Bookkeeper in the business I helped to start.
If I had never been born my youngest daughter would never have been raped at gunpoint while working at a fast food place.
If I had never been born I would have never met the most wonderful man I’ve ever known, the father of my daughter’s husband, became engaged to him, bought a lovely new home, thought I had died and gone to heaven until he told me something bad must have happened to me when I was young and he intended to find out what it was; he said no one as wonderful as me would have been with so many abusive men. Shuddering at even the thought of going back to those memories I told him not to ask me about that and tried to give his ring back; he refused to take it saying the only way he would leave me was through death. Intent on pushing him into leaving me I started an affair with a man I worked with and within weeks found out that my fiancé had lung cancer, I ended the affair and began preparing Chuck for death.
If I had never been born I would not have watched Chuck go through chemo, radiation, placed on life support, taken off life support and had a Hickman Catheter implanted in his chest so we could take him home, then a few days later held his hand praying the 23rd Psalm over and over during the hour and a half it took him to suffocate.
If I had never been born I would not have, a few short weeks later, been living with a sadistic, child sexual abuser, a rapist who having read my journals with all the incriminating evidence of my wrongdoing, tormented me mentally, physically, emotionally, and especially sexually where he raped me over and over ramming into my brain that I was no good, I was a cheat, I didn’t deserve to live.
If I had never been born I would not have gone through five years of recovery from incest, created my own program called REPAIR and started an international program for recovery from child sexual abuse called the Lamplighter Movement which today has 77 chapters in ten countries.
If I had never been born I would not have any of my books published through Loving Healing Press by its publisher Victor Volkman, a man who had more faith in me than I did. These books are: REPAIR YOUR LIFE (now in its 2nd edition), REPAIR for Teens, REPAIR for Kids, REPAIR for Toddlers, The REPAIR Your Life Workbook and It’s Your Choice! Decisions That will Change Your Life; then published in Kindle version with paperbacks expected soon five novels, my memoir I Never Heard A Robin Sing, four volumes of poetry and two non-fiction works – all available on amazon.com.
If I had never been born I would not now be happily married (for almost 18 years) to a wonderful man (an only child who never had any children of his own), the matriarch of an enormous family, four children, who are four of the most wonderful people I know,14 grandchildren and expecting our 14th great grandchild next February. In short, if I had never been born, none of them would exist.
If I had never been born I would not now live in a beautiful 3 story, 15 room house on five acres of land near Sedona, AZ, a longtime dream.
I have touched thousands of lives, I have overcome many obstacles, I have forgiven my parents, especially my father, I have forgiven myself and I have returned to the Catholicism of my youth.
I am blessed and if I had never been born I could not say that!
(If you had never been born what would your world look like, what would you have missed?)