S.Y.S. Series: Sedne Sibley - Breaking Generational Curses
My name is Sedne (Sydney) and I am 24 years old. This is the first time that I have put my journey on paper (or on the web lol) and I only hope that by doing this, it resonates with someone!
To sum up my childhood, I grew up in dysfunction and organized chaos. I never had an example of anything "healthy", only things I knew I didn't want to do and didn't want to become. There was love, but it was never healthy. I didn't even know what real love felt like, but I knew this wasn't it. From the outside looking in, you wouldn't have guessed. I excelled in school, I had friends, and at the time I was pursuing a promising career in music. Growing up though, I have always felt like a lone wolf. Always heard, but never quite seen. I get everyone, but never felt like anyone ever got me. And if I'm being honest, I still feel that way from time to time.
My parents were high school sweethearts. My mom was adopted, once she discovered her biological family, it was also discovered that mental illness ran deep in the family. My grandmother was schizophrenic among other things, and my grandfather was bipolar. My dad's family history is unknown, as he was in and out of my life. I'm only close with a handful of relatives on my dad’s side, however nothing was ever mentioned about a history of family mental illness. My mom married my step-father when I was around 6 or 7 years old and they are still married today. I grew up being close to my step dad's family, and I don't know where I would be if it wasn't for them. I endured a lot of emotional, mental, and physical abuse, to the point where I was almost put into the system (CPS). Had it not been for my step-dad, his mother, and his own step-dad, there's no telling where I would be today. While I am telling part of my story, September is a special month for me because of my dad.
My dad and I had a tumultuous relationship. Like I said, he was in and out of my life. In 2017, my dad went missing for three weeks. At first, I was indifferent. We hadn’t talked in such a long time.. But while he was away, I discovered so many things I didn’t know.. Not only about him, but about why he wasn’t as present in my life growing up like I wanted him to be. It always ate at me that my dad wasn’t around, but at the time I was entirely too young to truly understand. He was later found near the border of Texas and Mexico.
On the exact day he returned to Texas, we reconnected in a way that made me feel...Whole. It’s the only way I can explain it. We saw each other, hugged, and cried for what felt like forever..A moment I never thought I would have with him. He explained he went through what he called a "spiritual awakening". He felt a calling on his life where God told him to go to Mexico to sacrifice himself to prove his love for him. In the mountains of Mexico, he told me he had a divine intervention which spared his life. There were other signs that showed me something was not quite right with my father; his severe mood swings, black outs, his obsession with looking directly at the sun, or becoming dangerously in rage when proving his point or expressing dissatisfaction. On the other side, my dad was funny, never met a stranger he couldn’t find something in common with, the life of the party for our family events, loving, a fierce protector, super passionate, and so much more. Which made it hard for me to determine if he was just having a bad day or if there was an underlying illness. Looking back on it and knowing how schizophrenia works, I believe he was undiagnosed schizophrenic (and bipolar...and we believe he suffered from PTSD). In 2018, we had a falling out, which resulted in a year of no communication. We didn't speak again until my brother's graduation in May of 2019. In August of 2019, there was word that my dad was missing again. Immediately I felt like I was starting yet another cycle with him coming in and out of my life, and I couldn’t allow myself to be down about it. I was 23 years old at the time, and if we couldn’t get our relationship together by now then I just figured we probably never would. We weren’t even on speaking terms, so what could I say anyway? Him disappearing wasn't unlike him at this point so I thought. In 2019, it was hard to keep track of him as no one knew where he was or what he was up to, but he was an enigma, so it was always hard for someone to truly have a read on him. Fast forward to March 4th, 2020, it was discovered that my dad had passed.
In November of 2019, developers were scoping the site for new construction homes in Texas to which they discovered human remains. An investigation was launched to discover who the remains belonged to and in March of 2020, the remains were identified as my dad’s. While his death was ruled as undetermined since his remains were there for so long, we (my family and I) know that he committed suicide. This was not the first time my dad tried to kill himself, but actually his third time and this time no one was there to stop or rescue him. When I found out about my dad, I was going through my own problems. I was going through an intense depression of navigating my career, my love life, and everything in between and didn't want anyone to know. I was still trying to rebuild myself from the ground up due to my own personal problems that I didn’t have a clue how to figure out on my own, and was already the lowest I thought I could possibly be..It was almost as if the universe said, "but just wait...you can go lower." If rock bottom was a place, I was beneath it. I have been through alot in 24 years, but nothing prepared me for this. Many have asked what led my dad down this path. I believe it’s when families (especially families of color) don’t communicate in a positive and constructive way or when people are passive or turn a blind eye to the events that happened during childhood that show up as negative personalities in adulthood.
I compartmentalized and internalized everything as a child. Because of that...At my core, I have always just been very...Sad. This took me over the edge. From March 4th up until June 24th (2020) I was drunk or high nearly everyday. I was barely showering nor washing my hair, and when I did - I didn't have any energy left in me. I don't know if I wanted to die if I'm being honest, I just wanted to stop feeling so. much. pain. I wanted to stop existing because all I knew was pain. I just shut down. If someone was to ask me how the first half of this year was for me, I genuinely wouldn't be able to tell you because I just cannot remember it. What I've learned is that it is your brain's way of trying to protect you from anymore trauma. A coping mechanism in its own way.
June 24th 2020, I got a vision of a healthier life.. A healthier me and took my power back. I was alone, drunk, and very self destructive, and I just realized that... I didn't want this for me. I have been through so much, this was NOT the way I was meant to go out. So I got help. I found an amazing therapist. I saw a psychiatrist, due to my family's (long) history of mental illness and everyone else shying away from it. I started breaking generational curses that I didn't know existed, and started leaning on others who SEE me for ME. I started living, for the first time, at 24 years old. This month will forever be special to me because of my dad. I am telling a part of my story and his story because if anyone out there feels like suicide is the answer...Let me tell you, there are so many people who would love the opportunity to hear your story, than to have no other option but to attend your funeral. I am begging you to please let them in.
My advice to families who are grieving and/or someone who has survived suicide..Or even someone who is going through their own situation.. You are not alone. Give yourself some time to feel what you are feeling, but don't stay there too long. There is no right answer on how to grieve. There is no right answer on how to navigate after surviving. But there will be a silver lining that will present itself, eventually. I still write emails to my dad, every month, when I feel heavy. I only hope no one ever takes over that email lol. I know when you are sitting in your own shit (excuse my language), it's tough. You feel like no one understands. But I promise you, there are people who see you. Who want to help you. Who love you and want to love you through your pain. And it does NOT have to be your family. We spend so much time putting an emphasis on a title..But there are strangers who would move mountains for you. Let them. I would also like to add that no one knows how long we have here. Life is so so so short. Too short to hold grudges. Too short to not let someone know you love them. When my dad passed, I was able to reconnect with not only siblings, but his side of my family I wasn't sure I'd ever speak to again because of ego and pride. Find the silver lining, there is one in every situation you are in. I promise.
To those who are struggling:
You have to stay. You have to stay strong. You have to learn how to love yourself. You were put on this earth to accomplish something so phenomenal, and only YOU can do it. We are all here to complete our own mission, and your mission is not over just yet. There is a poem called "The Fragments of Hope" that goes:
Dear Future You,
Hold on. Please.
Dear Current You,
I'm holding on. But it hurts.
Dear Past You,
I held on. Thank you.
Stay hopeful. I promise it gets better.
A few resources I discovered along the way that helped me were:
@the.holistic.psychologist on Instagram
@sourcemessages on Instagram
@alyssamariewellness on Instagram
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
The Law of Attraction by Esther and Jerry Hicks
And my personal favorite, my line of work. Real Estate has helped me in so many ways. If I am not at my best, I cannot expect to be the best for others. The people I have met, and the mentors, partners, and teachers I have gained in a short amount of time are priceless. I still write music, and finding a rockstar therapist has also helped me...But I highly recommend to find something you enjoy doing. It will fulfill you in so many ways.