What I am going to write about in this blog is exactly what the title is, not a metaphor but actually about I learned how to swim! There is a reason why I want to share this story, it is not meant to be funny either.
When I was a small child, my family lived in a trailer, or camper, in a campground on Robbins Pond, in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Most of the memories I have from there were fun ones. Like roller skating with my cousins and the older kids, picking wild blackberries and not giving a shit about the briars in my feet because I refused to wear shoes, and walking in the pond with an older cousin and my brother and getting leaches all over our legs even after our parents told us to stay out of the water because of the leaches. I remember those like yesterday, even though those memories are over 40 years old.
So learning to swim was NOT a fun time! Most children learn with their parents holding them in the water and teaching them how to move their arms and kick their feet or by taking swimming lessons at the local YMCA. Nope nuh uh, not me. One day my family was out on a boat in the middle of Robbins Pond. We were having so much fun until my brother’s father picked me up and threw me off the boat into the pond and yelled, “sink or swim.” Oh my goodness, who the fuck does that to a kid! Everyone but me thought it was funny. I learned really quick how to doggie paddle and I paddled my way back to the boat. The only good thing to come off of being thrown off of a boat was actually learning how to swim, albeit out of fear, but I learned.
When I became had children of my own I swore I would NEVER teach them how to swim out of fear. Swim time should be fun! My parents bough a home in a country club when my oldest son was almost 4, yes they had a pool. I told my parents they better not just throw him in. Thankfully, my mother had more sense than that. She wanted to be the one to teach them how to swim. Reluctantly I agreed. She taught my boys how to swim proper. Without fear.
Now I am going to throw in a metaphor here haha! Thought you were just going to hear a story huh? You must swim with the sharks to see the beauty of the ocean. After living through so much abuse and going through hell and back, you learn to appreciate the little things that make you happy. A happy life after abuse is quite possible. Learn to love yourself again and embrace your experiences for those experiences can make you strong again. Learn from those experiences so you do not repeat them. Swimming with the sharks opens your eyes to the warning signs in the depths of the ocean. While the ocean is big and beautiful underneath, the sharks will try to devour you, and take your life away. Be aware of the dangers that may lie ahead, swim away when you see the danger, and always be aware of your surroundings.
“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.”-William James