During one of my hypnotherapy sessions, the therapist and I were chatting casually about my childhood. As I was telling her about my parents, my upbringing, their nasty divorce, my mother's lifelong clinical depression, and my father's abandoning of us, and more, it became very apparent to me how much baggage I still carry around from both of my parents. I thought I had let it go years ago, but what I actually did was bury it deep down inside. My most recent revelation has been: when you are raised by parents who have a disturbed and screwed up understanding of what love is (because of how they were raised), you grow up to be an adult with a little piece of that "screwed up understanding" inside of you. Sure, as adult, you can choose to try and work through what happened in your past, and try to make better choices like I try to do everyday, but no matter what, that little piece of screwed up remains. See what hypnotherapy uncovers?
I never thought I would say this, but "I'm in therapy and I love it." I love being able to be completely vulnerable and messy in front of someone who isn't judging me and I love that she helps me break apart that "screwed up" piece of my soul, little by little. She has introduced me to my broken little inner child, and she helps me make sense of why I am the way that I am. She's also shown me that I often love and hold my own children the way I wanted to be loved and held when I was a child, but wasn't. Therapy allows me to own my story and to not be ashamed of it.
Never seeing love as a child and having what little love you did have rejected by a parent over and over again, wreaks havoc in your soul. Growing up, not understanding the screaming, the crying, the abandonment, the hate, the rejection, and the depression of my parents and having no one to talk to about it was even worse. Vulnerability wasn't something we "did" in our house. We didn't show our feelings or talk about issues. Instead you had to swallow what you felt and had to try and make sense of it on your own. The only safe place to be vulnerable growing up was in the privacy of your own mind. Here, no one rolled their eyes at you, no one yelled at you, no one ignored you, no one was making an uncomfortable laugh, no one told you to "dry it up" and stop crying, no one told you that you looked like trash and they were embarrassed to be seen with you, no one judged you, and no one could reject you. My mind was my only shelter from the chaos that often surrounded me. Perhaps that's why I'm so introverted. I prefer the safety of my own mind over any place else.
I'm a far cry from a perfect parent, but I really do try to allow my kids to feel safe and vulnerable. I try to love them everyday in the way I needed to be as a child. I'm not trying to work out my emotional issues through my children, but I am trying to bring them up differently...better. I want them to hear love, see love, know love, and feel love. They may grow up and tell their own kids how screwed up I was, and to an extent I probably am~ but no matter how wacky they think I am, the only thing that matters to me is that they know and feel how much they are truly loved.