Story Behind the Songs by Carmen Mills

     My story starts as a toddler who had been found in an orphanage by an American man.

He came to the country of Costa Rica looking for a child to addopt. He had no idea what he was getting himself into when he found me.  The doctors told him I would not be a good candidate because I had so many issues.  I was severely malnourished from lack of a healthy diet.  I couldn't even walk and was already showing signs of distrust.  The chances that I would ever graduate high school or get married, would probaly never happen.  Despite all the things I had going against me, he addopted me anyway.

      You see,  studies in early childhood development tell us that, the first three years of a child's life are crucial for healthy brain functions.  The basic needs are food, safety,  and love , to feel secure and safe. I did not have these things, so at an early age I  struggled with insecurity and distrust.  My parents told me I would hide food in my bedroom, just in case there might not be enough for later.     As you can imagine, from  my elementary years up through high school, I carried this pain with me.  Never feeling like I was good enough, and unable to trust anyone.   There just seemed to be a deep dark pain or sadness that I carried as a young person.  I wanted to appear as normal as possible, so I would hide these feelings and pretend like I was happy.  It was like wearing a mask. I did not know until later in life that what I had was depression. I did find however, that when I would  listen to music it helped. One day a simple beautiful song came to me. For awhile I could get away from feeling sad by singing what was in my head,  it even  gave me joy!    

     I would love to say  after that, everything was perfect and I magically no longer struggled. Just not the case, it took years  for me to have a better understanding of depression and anxiety.  By now it was no longer  just songwriting that seemed to bring a sense of calm, but singing to other's,  seeing the expression on their faces. It was like we understood each other.

     I did eventually graduate collage and get married. I had four girls. To be quite honest that's when I was forced to deal with my issues of abandonment. Man was that rough! It was no longer just about me, I now had my daughters to think about.  Would I be up for the task of being the kind of mother I should be?  All I knew is that I wanted these girls to know they were loved and special in every way.  Running way was not an option.

     Since the girls are all now beautiful grown adult women, my mission of showing love has now moved into caring about others.  The songs I write, are of hope and peace.  Do I still struggle with depression?  Sometimes, but I don't try to hide it or pretend that it doesn't exist. I continually pray and ask God for help. In the right moment, it always comes along.  Like the help that came for that young baby from Costa Rica years ago.

© 2023 by Carmen Mills.