Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Baggage Claim

As survivors of abuse there is a lot in our lives that is tainted by the residue. Who we could have been has been distorted, and we struggle to sort it all out. Then you throw parenting into the mix and we don’t know which way is up anymore. We all come with a lot of baggage. Which tends to differ in size, shape, color and even functionality, but the weight of it is pretty even across the board.

I knew going into parenthood two things. One, I did not want my children to grow up the way I did. Two, I did not want my children to be anything like I was. The first one?  Kudos to me (and you), no child should grow up in that level of dysfunction. Though somehow through it all, we made it out “alive”. Maybe through intervention,  sought out help or were lucky to have a few people that modeled healthy behavior. Either way, we made it into the world "functioning". So now we have made it our mission to protect our children. We fear that others may hurt them, but what we fear most is that we ourselves will cause damage or fail in some way that will leave them vulnerable.

The reality is, for the most part we are doing just fine. Yes, mistakes, outbursts, dirty dishes, tears and all. Do we recognize that? Probably not, we focus on all of the negatives and moments of well, being human. We ask ourselves, “Why are my kids so great, when I screw up so much?” or, “My kids are nothing like me at that age” and, “I was such a bad kid”. Our children are showing us everything we are doing right and the reason they act so different at this age is because they did not have the same experiences you did at this age. You have done your job as their parent to provide and protect. Or let’s say, because I know some of you are thinking it, they have had some bad or similar experiences and they are equally great. Why? Because of your resiliency and awareness you intervened, you got them the help they needed. Most often abuse itself is not the solitary reason for our pain and suffering, it’s the re-occurrence, the lack of recognition, or the "sweep-it-under-the-rug" mentality that causes the most harm.

So, do I want my children to be like me? In a sense they are, extensions of who I was supposed to be. With the added bonus of the various strengths and experiences I’ve picked up along the way. The things I did leading up to this point, do not define me. I did those things based on what I knew and out of pain. I did not do those things because I am a bad person; it was my environment and dysfunctional reality.

It is in my children's personalities and experiences that I can see glimpses of who I could have been. I had to go through a process of mourning the loss of that little girl, but out of that came appreciation for who I am; baggage and all.


Post a Comment

Free Website TemplatesFreethemes4all.comFree CSS TemplatesFree Joomla TemplatesFree Blogger TemplatesFree Wordpress ThemesFree Wordpress Themes TemplatesFree CSS Templates dreamweaverSEO Design