I've come to the conclusion that I will need a lot of therapy to recover from 10 years 4 months and 4 days of life in Haiti. The depth of the pain and betrayal I have experienced personally and as part of the general population of a third world country. The pain I have been witness to, the human rights violations I've seen, the abuse of all kinds, the corruption I've witnessed, the screams of grief I've heard and held deep inside, the tears I've cried, oh the tears I've cried. This country is so dark some days, it can seem like a deep dark evil place where children aren't protected, women aren't valued highly, men rule with an iron fist and death is around every corner. There is a church or NGO on every dusty corner yet the body of Christ does not often work in unity. I've seen people take advantage of natural disasters for personal gain. I've experienced deep hurts inflicted by fellow believers.
I'll also need therapy to talk through the mistakes I've made, the pain I've caused. The people I have let down. The failures I didn't acknowledge, or maybe didn't see. The ugliness of my pettiness and selfishness and immaturity. Sometimes we cause more harm than good. Sometimes our plans for good end up falling apart and people we love get hurt. Oh how sorry I am for my failures.
But mostly, mostly, I'll need therapy to help me walk through the steps of grief for leaving a place I have loved so dearly. A country that welcomed me, an outsider, with open arms and made me feel at home. A people who understand hospitality, family and sharing in a way I've never seen or even imagined. Leaving those I love so dearly and have done life with for so long. I would not be who I am today without every one of the orphanage children and staff members influence on my life. The depth of my sorrow for leaving the kids has been hard to swallow. A giant lump immediately forms in my throat and tears flood my eyes every time I think about missing out on day to day life with some of these kids. The incredible community I have here, and the deep rooted friendships where there is a real understanding of both the darkness and the light that have made me who I am. Not many people understand the Canadian, Haitian, blended family, intercultural life I live, the deep pain and immense joys I've experienced, and the spiritual journey God has taken me on. Leaving this community where I am KNOWN, that's scary. Being known is what makes us feel loved. Oh how lucky I have been to have this safe haven of friends here who really understand me, people I can share my light with, but also the darkness, the frustrations, and the Haiti in my soul. I'll miss the language, and the food, and the sun and bright blue clouds. I'll miss the palm trees and beaches and circular timeline of life.
I'm so incredibly thankful for the journey I have been on. If I could do it all again I would in an instant. The intense emotions I'm experiencing are only because my love for Haiti and my love for Canada are both so deeply rooted. Leaving home for home. It's an incredible honor to love and be loved so well in two completely different places.
Please be patient with me friends as I walk through these emotions,