Previously I’ve shared stories of the extreme bullying I endured in childhood while growing up down the bush. Sadly, my story is familiar to many people. In fact after I shared my story a lot of people emailed and said that similar situations keep them away from returning to the rez to this day.
For a long time I felt the same way. I really took to heart the words that other kids would say to me. One time riding the bus some kids threw garbage at me and called me white trash’. Many of them probably were just mimicking something they heard someone else say without putting much real thought into it. After all, we were only kids.
But that small comment put this dark shame inside of me that took a lot of counseling and healing work to overcome. Shame that I was worthless, shame that the world would be better off without me. Shame that took me to very dark place.
I still remember crying in my counselors office and telling her that story. “Nahnda, do you believe in the Creator?” she asked. “Yes.” I said emphatically. Probably the thing that hurt the most was being excluded from my community when my entire heart carried such passion for being Ongwehowe.
“Do you believe that the Creator made you?” she asked. “I think so,” I answered her. To be honest I was confused by her questioning.
“Well the Creator doesn’t make garbage. The Creator makes things that are good, and pure and true. Just like you” she told me. That was all it took. I burst out bawling right there like a little baby. All of a sudden it was like all the bullying, all the hurt and all the shame that was planted in my heart was uprooted by that bit of truth. I remember wailing right there in her office. I think I used an entire box of tissue.
She went on. “The Creator doesn’t make garbage Nahnda. And He Created you with a purpose, with intention and for a very good reason. Maybe so you could get through just this, become stronger and tell someone else that too. The Creator doesn’t make garbage.”
After I cried out all my tears, I took a deep cleansing breath and suddenly it was like a huge weight was taken off my chest. I could breath freely again and suddenly I felt light. I felt like I could run, and sing, and dance without any care. It was almost instantaneous.
I’m sharing this story today, because maybe she was right. Maybe I was allowed to go through all that trauma to encourage somebody else who is suffering. Maybe there is another person out there just like me who was told that they aren’t Indian enough to come to the rez, or go to longhouse, or dance, or drum, or even learn how to make a decent scone. To all of you I say that you were created by the Creator, and that the Creator doesn’t make mistakes. He Who Created Our Bodies breathes life into all of us when we are born with specific intention for our lives – to fill a purpose for what He has planned. We are all a part of that plan.
Even when it hurts, even when it’s tough times, even when it seems like the people around you wish you would just disappear – you are an essential part of the plan.
You were made Haudenosaune for a reason. Whether you have two Haudenosaunee parents, a dad who is black, a mother who is Jewish or any other color of mankind for that matter. He made you who you are for a reason, and when you can embrace that – sometimes things fall into place rather quickly they way they should.