Material Things

I learned that not one thing I owned defined my status in life nor did I truly need it. 

Have you ever played that game “I’m going on a trip and I need to take?” Or the “if you were stuck on an island who would you want with you and what would you want.” That’s basically what I was faced with at 14/15yrs old. Deciding what really mattered to me.

It was July 28th, 2009. We pulled into the driveway of my childhood home. It was quiet and sunny outside. The back door was broken open, I stood there at the back door as my father searched through the house ensuring that my mother was not lurking inside. 
As I entered the house I saw so much of my life memories scattered throughout each room. I was given several trash bags and told to fill them with what I needed and would like to keep. My father guarded the front door and my uncle guarded the back door. We didn’t know how long we had before my mother returned but it was urgent to my dad that my brother and I get what we wanted and needed so that we could return to some normalcy.

I entered my room and began crying. My mother’s pill bottles were scattered all over my floor, where she had attempted sucide. I felt guilty and ashamed that I had drove my mother to such desperate measures. I began throwing the bottles in the garbage as I cried even harder… I didn’t realize until later that what my mother did was only her last desperate attempt to gain access to my brother and my life, the pills that could have ended her life remained untouched. 

It’s amazing what you discover about yourself when you are asked what you really need and would like to have out of the trillions of things you have had for years. Of course the very first thing I chose was my my Gaming system along with every game I needed. It was essential to my sanity. But I didn’t absolutely need it. I went to my underwear drawer and could not even find one pair of underwear that I wanted because of every pair reminded me of what my mother forced me to do so many times.

I roamed the house, it was calm and ghostly. My heart sank as I entered each room searching for something that I needed in each room. Did I need that old picture or that tv or did I want that blanket. 

Not one thing in that house protected me and helped me survive the torture I endured.

I realized that not one thing in my house was something I absolutely needed to survive. I could live without every single thing but I could not live without my soul, my brain, and my body. That day I lost a lot of physical things but gained the understanding that material things did not define who I was or ensure my survival. 
I was faced one other time with the material “needs dilemma”. When I was escaping the cult and arranged marriage. Sadly that time I could only choose a suitcase of stuff. 

There’s nothing more defining and life changing then being faced with the decision of what you absolutely need to survive. At the end of the day the material things we have do not save our lives, they don’t keep us protected or shielded from heart ache. The secret that nobody tells you… not one material thing is something a person truly needs to survive.


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