I’ve said before that I’m not a fan of using your childhood pains as excuses to be a dickhead in real life.
I still stand by that claim, however, I can admit that moving past childhood pains – even decades later – is a damn struggle.
Not a daily struggle – thank God.
For me, the struggle is situational….meaning in certain situations I am taken back instantly to my world as a little girl and the emotions that come with that can nearly bring me to my knees.
When I watch the dynamic between Watermelon and Rambo – sometimes I feel crippled. 95% of the time they are inseparable and amazing BUT let’s be real – he is her parent and she’s almost a teenager and they are going to disagree. Some days she lives in Attitude City and we both want to shank her.
But when they disagree and I am a bystander – every part of me cringes – fearing any of the interaction will mimic the way it was for me and my Dad. 23 years into life with Rambo and I should know better. I should know with every fiber in me – that it won’t go there or be like that.
And that’s the shits about childhood memories – they never ever go away. They never stop hurting. You never stop trying to shield the people you love from ever feeling what you once did. You just learn to accept the pain but the pain stays. You rise above the pain but your heart still remembers the pain.
My life as a mother is about breaking the dangerous, unhealthy and painful cycles that no one had the balls to break before me. I feel like I’m on constant vigil – watching for moments in my girl’s lives that I can make better. Constantly trying to stop things that could potentially scar them forever.
And maybe that’s the thing. Maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe the childhood relationships and interactions that they experience will make them who they are – in a good way. Maybe they’ll be stronger and have to learn to rise above – like me and Rambo had to. Maybe - and probably – there’s no such thing as a perfect childhood.
Perfection is imperfection after all (thank you Lori – for teaching me that). We simply cannot fart gumdrops and poop rainbows every single day. Kids will fight with their parents. The key is how they fight and how they make up and figure things out when the fight is over, I suppose.
For me? 30 (ahem - almost 40) some years old and I’m still figuring out how to rise above the internal pain that never goes away…even if it’s not a part of my daily life. It seems like some cruel joke that I have a daughter who is me…years ago. Her reactions, her fears, her insecurities, her pains, her anxieties – they are mine. In the same sense – her joys, her loyalty, her compassion, her depth of love for people at her young age – they are mine too.
Watching her feel all of these things – nearly crushes me sometimes. No matter how many times I tell her she’ll be okay – she can’t believe that until she’s an adult and realizes I was right.
So much of me trying to prevent a rerun of my life is probably just getting in the way of Rambo and Watermelon figuring things out on their own. I mean a 95% loving relationship at this age with any child is pretty stellar so I should just get out of the way and trust them both.
They are not me and my father. They never were. They never will be.
I have got to learn to let go of the fear that they could be.
I need to learn to trust. Both of them. Completely.
Most importantly - I need to remind myself that the pain of the past did not kill me.
I survived it all.
I rose above.