I posted about a quote the other day which said “it is never too late to have a happy childhood”-L. I have been thinking about this quote ever since I saw it and have been trying to understand both what it really means and how it can affect people in both a positive and negative way.
I believe that most actions are an attempt at kindness and comfort. I also believe that there is some truth to the “eggshell skull rule” that should pertain to emotional harm as well as physical. Sometimes an intention, as good as it is intending to be can offend or insult another.
I had a very hard upbringing. I was stuck in a childhood that was abusive, neglectful, confusing, scary, anxiety inducing, blaming, shaming and victimizing. There was love, I was loved and I was better off than many of the children out there. My point is that when I heard this quote about childhood I first smiled, thinking; “I still have the power to fill the voids I feel and comfort the child within in order to heal”. Over the last few days I have been reflecting on this quote and I keep feeling saddened. Sad for the child I was and for the children out there who feel stuck and scared.
As human beings we tend to repeat the patterns of our past. Not because they are right or wrong but because we are familiar with the roles they train us into and because we are comfortable acting, being and doing what we know.
I was terrified to relieve myself of the victim role. I was scared of who I would hurt. What relationships I would lose and what parts of myself would be revealed. It took me 29 years and becoming a mother to finally look at the victim within me and say goodbye. Parenthood is a big transition. It changes you; it makes you; it defines you and it blinds you to many things. I had someone say to me once that they wanted a daughter in order to heal the child within themselves. I want to make sure that every parent out there; new, old or yet to come removes from themselves needing anything from their child.
One of the hardest things for me as a parent to do is to realize that I have to be happy for what my daughter has that I never did. I do not want my daughter feeling like her experiences as a child are my emotional healing. One of my favorite parenting tag-lines is; being a parent is the loneliest job in the world and yet you are never alone. The emotional, mental and physical battles you will go through while parenting are yours and yours alone. They are to be shared with other loving adults, relationships or partners but not with your children. I am not suggesting you hide emotional insecurities or even emotional instabilities from your children. Rather I am suggesting and encouraging that parents learn from their own childhoods, heal through observation of their children and allow their child to have a childhood of their own.