This may sound like the tinny lamentation, be warned.
Every parent breaks their child — it’s as impossible to deny this as is it to ignore the fact that usually, they also patch them up. If one is lucky, the cracks are filled in with golden life lessons and you are richer for your trauma; most of the time through they are chinks bathed in pain that no one but you know about.
It may be the sense of abandonment that sinks into your hind brain when a parent doesn’t show up to school on time, let’s say. Or, more dramatically, when a divorce or separation occurs and one parent walks away.
It may be the sense of self-loathing that you breathe in each day until it becomes your reality because of something that’s been said at a vulnerable moment.
These feelings you dismiss on the daily, telling yourself you are wrong, that it isn’t you, isn’t what they meant to do — until you meet a trigger that presses rewind on your narrative; once again you are child who was left behind or rebuffed.
Does this mean parents can do nothing right? No, I don’t think so. Kids are receptive creatures who will — for as little as a hug and a kiss — offer a chance of undo, redo and fix.
A second chance
Will every parent take every second chance? The odds are off on that one.
The worst thing of course is the generational trauma, something so hated that it’s a treasured legacy, handed down from one age to another. The problem with this sort of heirloom is the difference in perception it leaves in the eyes of the receiver and the giver. It’s usually wrapped in the bubble wrap of guilt and warmed by the fires of hurt and anger, given at a time when you least expect it; like the ligament that tore when you were running a marathon you prepared well for or the fracture that came when you finally got a dog and took it out for a walk.
It’s worrying too that personalities seem to be about genetic lotteries — can you escape yours? As I grow older I find reflections of my gene pools, swirling like whirlpools just below the surface, once in a while some bile jerks through.
Shall we follow the self-acceptance route to forgiveness, can affirmations help? Or is it time to go to the head of the hydra — talk to the people responsible, really hash it out? Is there a statute of limitations on this? As someone over 35, it really wouldn’t do to go crying, ‘my mommy made me do it’ after all …
Ah the complications that come with living; existence of course is easier. You breathe, breathe, breathe and time rolls on by. It’s the engagement that’s the problem; there are wants, needs and expectations. Sometimes you can’t temper them — you don’t know they are folly. That said, do you not find sometimes that when you don’t know you can fall and you take a leap, you actually fly?
And so it is with childhood — you don’t know what buttons you are pressing to rewind time on another’s self-beliefs … without meaning to, you may be unleashing the beast.
The right and wrong of it is subjective and a cat’s cradle too complex to unravel. So, try the bubble method? Live. And take control — sounds good right? It only works if you have a good hard look at the things that are getting to you — and resolving them or letting them go. This is just the weather system.
You know what helps? Remember that we are all broken. We are all fixed. We are all the same — even if we are all different.