For a long time, I considered myself to be a certain type of person. I knew myself pretty well and was comfortable with who I was. And then my mom got sick, went a little nuts (no, seriously) and my entire being was rocked to the core. I was eight months pregnant with my third child when that happened, so I tried to shut out as much as I could to preserve my sanity. When my then-baby was about eight months old, I started to deal with the aftermath of her illness, including all the feelings that came up. I had no idea how many and how varied they were. Slowly, I’ve worked through them and come to accept, maybe even appreciate, some of the more troubled parts of my relationship with my mother.
Now that I’m moving past those, I find that there are other “layers” of myself that I previously thought either didn’t exist or hadn’t bothered me. I think of the analogy from the movie Shrek about being like an onion because they have layers. To me, the onion analogy is apropos because some of my layers are smelly, some make me cry and so on. It’s unnerving, to me, to discover I am not the person I thought I was or that things I thought about myself might not be true.
I am an onion, but really, aren’t we all? Do we peel back the layers, even the smelly or rotten ones, to reveal the center of our selves or do we leave our skins on to shield us?